Transcript of the description for Gillingham from Hunt & Co.'s Directory of Dorsetshire, Hampshire, & Wiltshire 1851

GILLINGHAM, is a small manufacturing town, in the liberty of its name and west Shaftesbury division of the county, 4½ miles N.W. from that town and 105 W.S.W. from London, standing contiguous to the river Stour, and consists chiefly of three streets which are well lighted with gas. This parish is not only the most extensive in Dorsetshire, but is said to be the largest in England, being more than 40 miles in circumference; it occupies the northern extremity of the county and embraces an area of 64,000 acres, mostly pasture land, well enclosed, and its excellent dairy products are a source of much profit to the inhabitants. In the time of Henry VIII. here was a large forest four miles in length and one in breadth forming a portion of the ancient forest of Selwood; it was disaf-forested by Charles I. much it is said to the dissatisfaction of some of the townspeople. Traces of an ancient palace used by the Saxon and Norman kings as a hunting seat, are still visible, Lambarde says "King Edmund before he departed the kingdome of this realme withe Canute, fought against him in sundry battayles, whereof one was in Dorsetshyre hard by this towne. The place is at this day (1577) a forest." At the present period a considerable number of persons are employed here in a silk mill and at a flax spinning factory; some, flour-mills likewise and a large brewery require the labour of others, and many of the female population obtain a livelihood by the making of leather gloves. A large trade is carried on in slaughtering cattle for the London markets.

The parish church dedicated to the Virgin Mary is an imposing structure (rebuilt in 1838-9) having at the west end a tower 70 feet in height, the sacred edifice contains 1400 sittings. The living is a vicarage in the gift of the bishop of Sarum. There are also chapels for Baptists, Wesleyans, and Primitive Methodists, a school upon the National plan, and a free school, where 65 boys are educated and allowed to remain for four years. A market is held on Friday, and fairs on Trinity Monday and September the 12th, but the latter one is of minor importance. In 1841 Gillingham (excluding the hamlet of Bourton) contained 2760 inhabitants.

POST OFFICE, at James Read's. Letters arrive from London and the West of England at 9 a.m. and from Salisbury, &c. at 5 p.m. despatched to London, &c. via Wincanton at 5 p.m. and to Salisbury, &c. at 9 a.m.

Butt Mrs. Emma
Carrier Mrs. Hannah
Deane Rev. Henry, (vicar)
Dunn Rev. Joseph
Erle Rev. Walter
Le Hardy, Mrs.
Long Mrs. Maria
Phripp Mr. Robert
Thorn Mr. Thomas
Welch John, esq. White cottage
Whieldon Geo. esq. Wyke house
Abbott Edward, dairyman
Balls George, farmer
Bell & Son, solicitors, agents to the Union Fire & Life Office
Bealing George, shoemaker
Benjafield Charles, farmer
Benjafield Josiah, dairyman
Benjafield Joseph, cattle dealer
Benjafield Silas, farmer
Bollard Mary Ann, mistress of National School
Bond Cordelia, dressmaker
Bowles George, farmer, Ham common
Brown James, grocery, &c. dealer & beer retailer
Brown James, jun. beer retailer
Bullen Ann, grocer, Milton
Burt Thomas, farmer, Sandley farm
Butler John, farmer, Majeston
Butler William, carrier
Butt Frederick, sack manufacturer
Butt James, grocery, &c. dealer
Child John, grocery dealer & cabinet maker
Churchill John, beer retailer, &c.
Clarke William, blacksmith, Milton
Coke William, farmer, Ham common
Coombes John, farmer, Whistley farm
Coombes Joseph, tallow chandler
Coombes Joseph, jun. currier and leather cutter
Coward Mary Ann, milliner
Cox Isaiah, boot and shoemaker
Crocker John B. wine merchant
Doggrell Thomas, dairyman, Ham common
Dowding Charles, farmer, Langham
Dowding John, farmer, Huntingford
Dowding William, dealer
Dowding Wm. dairyman, Lawne
Dowding Wm. jun. dealer, Slande Brook
Down Silas, manager of silk mills
Down William, butcher
Dunn John, carrier
Dunn Joseph, linen draper
Dunn Shadrach, corn dealer
Edgar Silvester, watchmaker
Edwards John, saddle maker
Edwards Mary, beer retailer
Edwards Thomas, blacksmith
Flower Ambrose, beer retailer
French Henry, grocery, &c. dealer
George George, boot & shoemaker
George William, tailor
Goldsbrough Robert, 'Phœnix commercial Inn' maltster, brewer & licensed to let horses
Gray George, tailor
Gray Leah, milliner & dressmaker
Gray Thomas, boot & Shoemaker
Green John, blacksmith
Green Samuel H. coach builder
Green Stephen, hair dresser
Green Thos. boot & shoemaker
Green Thos. jun. boot & shoemaker
Hallett Rich, plumber, painter, &c.
Hann William, butcher
Hannam Josiah, miller & silk throwster
Hayter Harry, wheelwright, Milton
Hayter Rachel, milliner and dressmaker
Hayward John, tailor
Hillyer Wm. blacksmith, Peasmarsh
Honeyfield James, dealer
Honeyfield John, farmer, Park farm
Honeyfield Robert, farmer
Hull James, coffee house keeper
Hull John coal dealer, Mapperton hill
Hull Thomas, farmer, Huntingford
Kaines Henry, solicitor, agent to the Law Fire & the Royal Farmers Fire, Life & Hail Offices King James, farmer, Rolls bridge
Knapton Azariah, farmer, Lock's lane
Lawrence Ann, grocery &c. dealers
Light George & Hen. carpenters
Light Joseph, grocery, &c. dealer
Light Richard, 'Red Lion Inn'
Light Thomas, beer retailer
Light Thomas, shoemaker
Lloyd George, dairyman
Lodder Thos. grocery, &c. dealer
Lodder William, coach maker
Lydford Richard, carpenter
Maggs Uriah & Joseph, hemp manufacturers & millers
Maidment Solomon, farmer, Huntingford
Maidment Thos. 'Queen's Head'
March John, beer retailer
Martin James, thatcher
Martin Sarah, straw hat maker
Martin Thos. grocery dealer
Matthews Joseph, brewer & maltster
Matthews Thomas, farmer, Milton farm
Meaden John, farmer
Mells Edward, farmer, Waterloo farm
Miles Henry, surgeon
Miles Joseph, tinman & gunsmith
Miles Josiah, farmer
Morgan Mary, farmer, Langham
Neave Edward, grocer, draper & general warehouseman, agent to Storey & Thomas's Bank, and agent to the Sun Fire Office
Oborne John, boot & shoemaker
Parfitt John, farmer, Wyndham farm
Parratt Charles, wheelwright
Parratt Geo, farmer, Huntingford
Parson George, stonemason
Peters Stephen, rope and twine spinnner
Phripp Wm. grocery, &c. dealer
Rabbitts Chas. farmer, Langham
Rabbitts Hugh, farmer
Read Andrew, dairyman & cooper
Read Bethin, milliner
Read James, master of Free School
Read Jonathan, tailor
Read Nathaniel, whitesmith
Richards Thomas, beer retailer
Ridgeley George, cheese dealer
Roberts Wm. tailor & draper
Rose John, stonemason
Ryall Samuel D. auctioneer and surveyor, Culvers
Sheppard James, master of Free School
Sheppard William, farmer & miller, Eclif mill
Shute Jonathan, farmer
Silverthorne Eliza, grocer & brick & tile maker
Smith Robert, butcher
Stone Penninah, baker
Taylor George, farmer
Thorn Thomas, agent to the County Fire & Provident Life Offices
Trim Geo. farmer, Rectory farm
Trim Henry, cattle dealer
Wear John, farmer, Majiston
Welch George, farmer
Westover George, farmer, Covers
Westover John, farmer, Bugley
White William, farmer, Little marsh
Wiles John, builder and grocer, ironmonger and seedsman
Williams Charles, grocer & draper
Williams John, rope manufacturer
Young Thos. beer retailer

COACHES to Bath, tues, thurs. & sat. at 11 a.m. To Poole, mon. wed. & fri. at 6 p.m. To Salisbury daily (except Sun. at 9 a.m.

CARRIERS to Salisbury, Butler, mon, 9 30 a.m. & also Ford & Co. three times a week. Shaftesbury, Butler, sat. 10 a.m. & to Wincanton, wed. 10 a.m.