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Warminster, Wiltshire

Historical Description

Warminster, a town and a parish in Wiltshire. The town stands at the head of a valley, under escarpments of the Downs, on the W border of Salisbury Plain, and has a station on the G.W.R., 106 miles from London, and 20 NW by W of Salisbury, and a post, money order, and telegraph office. It disputes with Edington the claim of occupying the site of the Roman Verlucio, derives its name from an ancient nunnery on the banks of the Guere or Were, known in Domesday Book as Guermestre, is now a seat of sessions and county courts, publishes a weekly newspaper, and consists chiefly of one street about a mile long, with many good houses. Mailing is carried on to a considerable extent, and there are four breweries, two large engineering works, two banks, a town-hall, a corn market-house, an endowed grammar school, a literary institute, an athenaeum, St Boniface Missionary College for young men, St Denys Home for preparing women for missionary work, St Monica, a school for ladies conducted by the sisters of St Denys, a cottage hospital, a free orphanage, a workhouse, a weekly market on Saturday, and three annual fairs. Acreage of the civil parish, 6564; population, 5563; of the ecclesiastical, 5536. It has an urban district council consisting of fifteen members. The manor belonged anciently to the Crown, passed through the Manduits, the Hungerfords, the Howards, and others to the Thynnes, and belongs now to the Marquis of Bath. Roman antiquities have been found, and an ancient camp is at Southleigh Wood. The minster, dedicated to St Denys, was completely rebuilt, with the exception of the tower, in 1887-89, and is a handsome cruciform structure in the Early English style, with an embattled tower. The living is a vicarage, with St Lawrence and St John annexed, in the diocese of Salisbury; gross value, £400 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Salisbury. St Lawrence and St John are both chapels of ease to the parish church. Christ Church is a building of stone with a square embattled tower, and was restored in 1881. There are Congregational, Baptist, and Wesleyan chapels. Bishop Squire was a native.

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


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyWiltshire 
Ecclesiastical parishWarminster St. Denis 
Poor Law unionWarminster 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

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

1821-1881 1839-18861832-1904

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Warminster from the following:


Online maps of Warminster 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