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Maiden Bradley, Wiltshire

Historical Description

Maiden Bradley, a village and a parish chiefly in Wiltshire, but the hamlet of Yarnfield is in Somerset. The village stands 4½ miles N of Mere, 5 ESE of Witham, and 6 S of Frome stations on the G.W.R., occupies high ground overlooked by higher but isolated hills, and has a post and money order office under Bath; telegraph office, Horningsham. Acreage of parish, 4609; population, 606. The village contains a handsome stone drinking - fountain and cattle trough, with the following inscription:- ERECTED BY ALGERNON, 14TH DUKE OF SOMERSET, ANNO DOMINI, 1891. Drink, travellers, drink, of Bradley's purest rill, Which, strange to say, runs quite a mile up hill; Then to your panting steeds let all attend, An honest horse is surely man's best friend.

The property belongs to the Duke of Somerset, and Maiden Bradley House is the Duke's seat. An hospital for leprous women was founded here in the time of Stephen, or in that of Henry I., by Manasser Bisset; was changed in 1190 into an Augustinian priory; was given at the dissolution to the Seymours; and is now represented by some remains incorporated with a farmhouse. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Salisbury; value, £150. Patron, Christ Church, Oxford. The church, dedicated to All Saints, contains monuments of the Seymours, and is good; it was enlarged in 1884, and a new organ added. In 1891 the chancel was laid with encaustic tiles, and in 1893 a handsome reredos of oak was erected, with picture of Last Supper after Max Bernatz, and various representations of saints on either side.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1662.

Findmypast, in association with the Wiltshire Record Office, have the following parish records online for Maiden Bradley:



Church of England

All Saints (parish church)

The church of All Saints, founded in the reign of Richard II. is a building of stone in mixed styles, consisting of chancel, nave of four bays, aisles, south porch and a western tower containing 6 bells; the 3rd, dated 1619, with an illegible inscription, is supposed to have been presented by Charles, Prince of Wales, then aged 19; another is dated 1613 and four were recast in 1895, the old designs and inscriptions being renewed and 2 new bells added: the chancel has a stained window, the gift of Edw. Adolphus, 12th Duke of Somerset, and there is another erected as a memorial to Michael John Festing esq.: here also is the tomb of Sir Edward Seymour bart. Speaker of the House of Commons in 1678: the organ chamber was added in 1884, at a cost of £402, and during its erection the foundations of an earlier church were met with: in 1908 the organ was restored and enlarged by the 15th Duke of Somerset, in memory of his brother Lord Percy St. Maur: in 1884 the vestry was enlarged: in 1891 the chancel floor was relaid, and in 1893 a new reredos, painted by Mrs. Hanson, wife of a former vicar (1883-97), was provided: the church plate includes a handsome flagon, dated 1636, and a silver paten, dated 1674: there are 280 sittings.


Congregational Chapel

The Congregational chapel was founded in 1780, with 150 sittings.


Online maps of Maiden Bradley are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Wiltshire papers online:

RegionSouth West
Postal districtBA12
Post TownWarminster