HEYTESBURY, a small town, a parish, a sub-district, and a hundred, in Wilts. The town stands on the river Wiley, and on the Somerset and Weymouth railway, near Salisbury plain, 4 miles SE by E of Warminster; was known, to the Saxons, as Hegtredesbiryg; took afterwards the names of Haresbury, Haseberie, and Heightsbury; is now commonly called Hatchbury; was, in the time of Stephen, the residence of the Empress Mand; was, in 1766, nearly all destroyed by fire, and afterwards rebuilt; consists now chiefly of a single street; possesses interest to tourists as the central point of a region abounding in British, Roman, Saxon, and Danish remains; and gives the title of Baron to the family of A'Court. It sent two members to parliament from the time of Henry VI. till disfranchised by the act of 1832; was a borough by prescription; and is now a seat of courts leet. It has a post office‡ under Bath, a railway station, two chief inns, a church, an Independent chapel, a national school, and an endowed hospital. The church dates from the 13th century; was partly rebuilt in 1470; underwent a thorough restoration in 1866, at an expense of about £5, 500; is cruciform; has a massive tower; and contains the burial place of the A'Courts, and a tablet to Cunningham, the antiquary. The hospital was founded in 1470, by Lady Hungerford, for a chaplain, twelve poor men, and one poor woman; was rebuilt in 1769; forms three sides of a square, two stories high; and has an endowed income of £1, 373. A weekly market was formerly held; and two fairs are still held on 14 May and 25 Sept.The parish comprises 3, 380 acres. Real property, £4, 713. Pop., in 1841, 1, 311; in 1861, 1, 103. Houses, 237. The manor belonged to the Burghershs; and passed to the Badlesmeres, the Hungerfords, the Hastingses, and others. Heytesbury House, the seat of Lord Heytesbury, is on the N side of the town; was partially rebuilt about 1784; contains a fine collection of pictures: and stands in a well wooded park. Cotley Hill rises from the woods of the park; commands a very fine panoramic view; is crowned by a tumulus; and was anciently fortified. Knook castle, Scratchbury camp, Golden barrow, and many other autiquities are in the neighbourhood. The living is a vicarage, united with the vicarage of Knook, in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £350. Patron, the Bishop of Salisbury.The sub-district contains also eleven other parishes, and is in Warminster district. Acres, 27, 546. Pop., 4, 372. Houses, 946.-The hundred contains thirteen parishes, and part of another. Acres, 33, 040. Pop., 5, 572. Houses, 1, 209.
(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))
|Feature Description:||"a small town, a parish, a sub-district, and a hundred" (ADL Feature Type: "cities")|
|Administrative units:||Heytesbury AP/CP Heytesbury Hundred Heytesbury SubD Wiltshire AncC|
Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.