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Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire

Historical Description

Wootton Bassett, a small town and a parish in Wiltshire. The town stands near the Wilts and Berks Canal, with a station on the G.W.R., 83 miles from London, and 5½ W by S of Swindon. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Swindon. Acreage, 5126; population, 2200. There is a parish council consisting of fifteen members. It was known at Domesday as Wodeton, belonged anciently to the Bassets, passed to the Despencers, Edmund de Langley son of Edward III., and others; sent two members to Parliament from the time of Henry VI. till disfranchised by the Reform Act of 1832; was governed, under charters of Henry VI. and Charles II., by a mayor, 2 aldermen, and 12 burgesses, but under the Municipal Corporations Act the incorporation was abolished in 1886. It had anciently an hospital, which in the time of Henry IV. was given to Bradenstoke Priory; possessed once a famous broadcloth manufacture, which is now extinct; consists chiefly of one street, about half a mile long, and has two banks, a good inn, a town-hall (restored in 1889, and used as a library and for other purposes), a market-house, a good ancient church, a cattle market on the first Wednesday of every month, and two annual fairs. The manor belongs to Sir Henry Bruce Meux, Bart. The manor house was once a royal residence, and is now a farmhouse. There is a chalybeate spring. The living is avicarage in the diocese of Salisbury; gross value, £520 with residence. The church is an ancient building of stone in the Early English style, and has been well restored by the Meux family. There are Wesleyan, Congregational, and Primitive Methodist chapels.

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 parishWootton-Bassett All Saints 
Poor Law unionCricklade and Wootton-Bassett 

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 Wootton Bassett:


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 Wootton Bassett from the following:

Newspapers and Periodicals

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