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"SEMLEY, a parish in the hundred of Chalk, county Wilts, 3 miles N. of Shaftesbury, its post town, and 4 S.W. of Hindon. It is a station on the Salisbury and Yeovil line of railway. The village, which is considerable, is situated in a valley, and is wholly agricultural. In the southern part of the parish rises Semley Hill, in which the small river Sem has its source. There is a quarry of soft green stone used for building purposes. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £49210s., and the glebe comprises 101 acres.


The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Sarum, value £600, in the patronage of Christ Church, Oxford. The church, dedicated to St. Leonard, is an ancient cruciform structure, with a square embattled tower containing four bells. The church was restored in 1846, when a Tisbury stone font was presented by Miss Bennet, of Pyt House. The register dates from 1657. The parochial charities produce about £4 per annum. There is a place of worship for Baptists, also a National school for both sexes. Lord Arundel of Wardour is lord of the manor."

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

Semley is 5 miles S of Hindon. Grid Ref ST893269. Postcode SP7 9AS. Population 700 in 1831, 500 in 1951.

Church Records

  • Common to all parishes is a Key to Abbreviations and a description of Church Records and Indexes for Wiltshire, including a complete Marriage Index for the county.

  • Indexes and registers of the parish church of Semley, St Leonard:

    • WSRO registers: Chr 1709-1916, Mar 1709-1995, Bur 1708-1889
    • BTs before surviving registers for 1626-33, 1667-79
    • VRI Chr 1709-1906, Mar 1709-1886

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Semley which are provided by:



The Wiltshire Footprints web-site contains family and parish information on Semley parish and several other parishes in south-west Wiltshire.

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Semley has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.




You can see maps centred on OS grid reference ST893269 (Lat/Lon: 51.041295, -2.154017), Semley which are provided by:


You can also see Family History Societies covering the nearby area, plotted on a map. This facility is being developed, and is awaiting societies to enter information about the places they cover.