Bromham

"BROMHAM, a parish in the hundred of Potterne and Cannings, in the county of Wilts, 4 miles to the N.W. of Devizes, and 7 S.E. of Chippenham railway station. It is situated near the Devizes branch of the Great Western railway. The manor, which was held before the Norman conquest by Harold, has belonged to the Baynton family since the reign of Henry VII. The Roman road to Bath passed a little to the north of the village, many of the houses in which are very ancient, built with timber and brick, without regard to regularity. The principal street, which is unpaved, turns nearly at right angles, facing the church on the east and south, while to the west is a fine view of the open country. The weaving of cloth is carried on by some of the inhabitants, and there is an extensive brewery.

The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Salisbury, of the value of £698, in the patronage of the Rev. Edward Edgell. The church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, is very ancient, some of the monuments dating earlier than Henry II. It is in the Norman style of architecture, and has an embattled tower, surmounted by a spire rising above 180 feet from its base. The interior was restored in 1850, and a new stone pulpit added. It contains several brasses and monuments of the Bayntons, among which is one to Sir Edward Bayston, who died in 1574. There is also a monument to one of the Beauchamps, and one to Dr. Henry Season, author of an almanac entitled, "Season on the Seasons".

The Baptists and Wesleyans have chapels in the village, and there are National and British schools. An almshouse for 6 persons, endowed in 1614 by Sir Henry Baynton, has an income of £20 per annum. Spye Park, formerly the seat of the Bayntons, is 2 miles to the N. of Bromham. The mansion stands on high ground, commanding a fine view, and was once the residence of the witty and profligate Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, who flourished in the reign of Charles II., and died in 1680.

Bromham House, in the vicinity, was built of the materials of the ruined castle of Devizes. A Roman pavement and other remains have been discovered in this parish. Bromham was the birthplace of George Webb, Bishop of Lincoln, who died in 1641; John Collinson, who wrote the History of Somersetshire, and died in 1796; and Dr. Season. It is also the resting-place of the immortal poet, Thomas Moore, who died at Sloperton Cottage, long his favourite residence in this parish. A plain stone slab in the churchyard marks the spot where the poet and his two children are interred."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

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