Dates at The Manor 1

Following on from the last blog, and thanks to CL, I have taken some photographs of several engravings at The Manor in Chitterne. One of the two engraved window panes there revealed an unexpected find and a bit of a wow moment.

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The Manor, Chitterne St Mary

The Manor was owned and leased to tenants by a succession of Lords of the Manor, the Paulets, the Methuens and the Longs, until Frederick Buckeridge Wallis bought the buildings and land from the Long family at the end of WW1, as told to me by Lawrence Wallis. All I knew of the tenants of The Manor, before the Wallis family arrived there in about 1823, was gleaned from the recollections of William E Sanders, who says that the Sanders family leased The Manor up till c1800, when Christopher Fricker took it on. Christopher died in 1815 and is buried in St Mary’s graveyard.

Members of the Sanders family are buried in the same graveyard and remembered on memorial tablets on the quoins of St Mary’s Chancel. Their names also occur in the Parish Registers from the 1600s.

So the find on the window pane has slotted another piece into the jigsaw of The Manor.

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Marks and engravings etched into the glass window pane at The Manor, Chitterne

The E. Morris engraved on the pane refers to Elizabeth Morris née Shurland who died on 21st December 1812 and was buried on the 28th under the floor of the Chancel. According to her tombstone Elizabeth was the widow of Jeremiah Morris of Mere, Wiltshire, who died in 1806, and the daughter of C. Shurland, a Senator of Barbados Island. Her son, Joseph Brown Morris, was curate of Imber, Wiltshire from 1808 to 1815.  So perhaps Elizabeth moved to The Manor to be near her son, but that supposition begs a question: Did she live in Christopher Fricker’s house or take over the lease from him? Or, did Joseph take on the curacy of Imber to be near his mother? Joseph took on the lease of the Round House at some point around 1808, then sadly died young in 1815, whereupon his brother Charles Morris took on the lease and lived at the Round House until 1879. Hence my wow moment at seeing the engraving.

I have not discovered who Christopher Daniel was but there are other photographs from The Manor still to share, which will have to wait for another time.



Dates at The Manor 1

Old Chitterne Names 4: Churches Path and Top Path

Churches Path and Top Path are two halves of footpath number 5 on the Rights of Way map. A footpath, bisected by Imber Road, from St Mary’s Chancel to the far end of the village on the Tilshead Road.



Churches Path was the path used by the villagers of old between the two old Chitterne Churches, All Saints and St Mary’s, in the days when one vicar served the two congregations and services and festivals involved both churches.

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Churches Path start (or end)

The path starts on the Warminster Road alongside St Mary’s Manor, with an unpaved track leading to St Mary’s Chancel.

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St Mary’s churchyard and Chancel

The path crosses St Mary’s churchyard, passing the Chancel on its north side, and heads towards a kissing gate in the far corner. Nowadays parts of Churches Path are little used as I found when I tried to walk it recently.

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Kissing gate and field gate St Mary’s churchyard to Garston

From St Mary’s Churchyard I exited the kissing gate in the north-east corner to enter Garston. I turned left and picked my way through fallen branches, rogue elder trees and animal workings that clutter the old avenue of lime trees marking the path.

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Churches Path avenue with Great House avenue in the distance

Halfway along, the avenue is crossed by another, more clearly defined avenue, which marks the old main drive to the Great House that once stood in the Sportsfield.

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Last two trees of Churches avenue with the field gate ahead

At the end of the Churches avenue the path strikes out across Garston towards a gate in the corner, passes behind All Saints Manor Farmhouse, then between Chitterne Farm West barns to end at the Imber Road crossing.

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Churches Path approaching Chitterne Farm West barns
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Churches Path meets Imber Road at crossroads with Top Path
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Rights of Way signs at Imber crossroads

Top Path continues in the same direction as Churches Path on the other side of Imber Road. The path is marked by Rights of Way signs on a telegraph pole at the crossing, but it is tricky to find the correct way through farm buildings at the start.








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Top Path follows edge of field
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Top Path stile

Eventually the path follows the edge of a field and passes behind Brook Walk, here there is a stile that has seen better days but is just about do-able, then Abdon Close gardens.







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End (or beginning) of Top Path

The path finally reaches the Tilshead Road over another stile at number 4, Townsend.

Old Chitterne Names 4: Churches Path and Top Path