September 2019

Wills Workshop

12 of us attended a most excellent workshop at the History Centre in Chippenham. We are particularly interested in wills and inventories which describe a person's trade or possessions as these will help us build a picture of how inhabitants made their living in the past. After an initial talk, the group had a go at reading a will and inventory for George Beames from the parish who died in 1673. George had a cheese press, 8 cheese racks and 20 cheeses as well as 6 cattle, 6 heifers, 9 ewes, 1 pig and 2 horses.

We have a list of wills/inventories. Village co-ordinators will be working with volunteers in each village to read and transcribe these documents. Since the workshop, I have attempted to read a few wills including for Ann Chapman of Tytherton Lucas, who died a spinster in 1689. The inventory lists her possessions by room. These rooms could describe Westfield House (where I live), or it could be somewhere that no longer exists.

Please consider volunteering to help read some wills and inventories. Contact your village co-ordinator: Bremhill - Jim Scott, Isobel Moore, Ewen Bird; Foxham - Craig Gingell; East Tytheron - Tom King; Tytherton Lucas - Helen Stuckey; Stanley - Derek McCord; Spirthill and Charlcutt - Sarah Jones.

Upcoming events:

  • 10 am to 4.30 pm on Sunday 21st September - Guided tours of the Moravian Church at East Tytherton
  • 7 pm on 21st Sept - at the Calne Heritage Centre - talk on Leonary Casey and the other former slaves who were pupils at the Moravian school in East Tytherton (booking not required)

On Thursday 15th August, about 50 of us assembled in the church for a fascinating talk by the Reverend Jim Scott on the history and social aspects of Bremhill Church.

After this we moved to Bremhill Court for a most interesting talk on its history and tour of the gardens by the present owner, Chris Ellis followed by refreshments.

A huge thank you to Jim and Chris for their wonderful insights and entertainment.

Helen Stuckey

Visit to Bremhill Court