Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for CALNE

CALNE, a town, a parish, a subdistrict, a district, and a hundred in Wilts. The town stands on the rivulet Marlan, at the end of a branch railway from the Great Western, and of a branch canal from the Wilts and Berks, 5¼ miles E by S of Chippenham. Its environs are a fine mixture of dale and hill; and adjoin, on the SW, the Marquis of Lansdowne's seat of Bowood. It rose originally from the ruins of a Roman station; dates from the Saxon times; and was the scene of the synod, in 977, at which St. Dunstan presided, for settling the disputes respecting the celibacy of the clergy; when all present, except the president, went down by the falling in of the floor. It is a quaint old place, with small stone houses, either weather worn or white washed; and consists of one long chief street, and a few minor ones, all narrow, and paved with pebbles. It had an hospital so early as the time of Henry III.; and has now a post office‡ under Chippenham, two banking offices, three chief inns, a town hall, a parish church, a chapel of ease, five dissenting chapels, a free school, and a workhouse. The church is early English, with traces of Norman; has a pinnacled tower, 93 feet high; and was recently restored. The chapel of the Free Christians was erected in 1868, and is a structure of some elegance. The free school was founded in 1660, by John Bentley; and has an endowed income of £54, with two scholarships at Queen's college, Oxford. The workhouse is at Northfield, and cost about £5,000. A large cloth trade was formerly carried on, but has become nearly extinct. There are now flour-mills, flax-mills, and paper-mills. A weekly market is held on Wednesday; and fairs on 6 May and 29 Sept. The town is a borough by prescription; is governed by a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors; sent two members to parliament, from the time of Richard II. till the act of 1832; and now sends one. Its municipal limits comprise only 800 acres; while its parliamentary limits comprise all Calne parish, and parts of Blackland and Calstone-Wellington parishes. Direct taxes, £3,038. Electors in 1868, 175. Pop. of the m. borough, 2,494; of the p. borough, 5,179. Houses in the m. borough, 501; in the p. borough, 1,105.

The parish comprises, in addition to the m. borough, the tythings of Blackland, Calstone, Eastmead-street, Quemerford, Stock, Stockley, Studley, Whetham, Whitley, and part of Beversbrook. Acres, 8,079. Real property, exclusive of the part of Beversbrook, £25,974. Pop., 5,098. Houses, 1,087. The manor was given by Edward I. to the Cantilupes; and passed to the Zouches. The living is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of Trinity, in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £769.* Patron, the Bishop of Salisbury. The vicarage of Christchurch at Derryhill, is a separate benefice.-The subdistrict and the district are co-extensive; and contain the parishes of Calne, Blackland, Calstone-Wellington, Bremhill, Heddington, Cherhill, Compton-Basset, Hillmarton, Highway, and Yatesbury, and the liberty of Bowood. Acres, 28,610. Poor-rates in 1866, £8,028. Pop. in 1861, 8,885. Houses, 1,929. Marriages in 1866, 72; births, 278,-of which 9 were illegitimate; deaths, 142,-of which 36 were at ages under 5 years, and 5 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 642; births, 2,651; deaths, 1,788. The places of worship in 1851 were 11 of the Church of England, with 2,186 sittings; 1 of Independents, with 150 s.; 5 of Baptists, with 825 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 160 s.; 5 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 633 s.; 3 of Primitive Methodists, with 418 s.; 1 of Moravians, with 200 s.; and 1 of Brethren, with 100 s. The schools were 14 public day schools, with 1,270 scholars; 12 private day schools, with 251 s.; 13 Sunday schools, with 1,282 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 40 s.-The hundred contains eight parishes and a liberty. Acres, 19,083. Pop., 4,297. Houses, 972.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, a subdistrict, a district, and a hundred"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Calne AP/CP       Calne Within CP       Calne Hundred       Calne SubD       Calne RegD/PLU       Wiltshire AncC
Place: Calne

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