"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]