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"TROWBRIDGE, a parish and post and market town in the hundred of Melksham, North division of the county of Wilts, 103 miles from London, 10 S.W. from Devizes, 9½ N.W. from Warminster, and 32 N.W. from Salisbury. It is a station on the Great Western railway. It is situated on a rocky eminence near the river Bias, across which is a stone bridge, and about a mile from the Kennet and Avon canal. The parish contains the tythings of Studley, Staverton, and Little Trowle, the two last of which are mentioned in Domesday book. It was anciently a royal manor, and had a castle at Courthill with seven towers, which Stephen took from Humphrey de Bohun, who held it for the Empress Matilda.


This castle was rebuilt by John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, but having fallen into decay, its site was given by Henry VIII. to Sir Edward Seymour, in whose possession it remained until the marriage of Lady Frances Seymour, daughter of Algernon, 7th Duke of Somerset, with the Marquess of Granby, afterwards Duke of Rutland, from whose family it was purchased by Thomas Timbrel. It is now in the possession of William Stancomb, Esq., who purchased it from the widow of the late Thomas Timbrel, since which he has built a very fine market-house at a cost of nearly £5,000.


The town is irregularly built, and the streets are narrow and ill-constructed, except the main thoroughfare, which is spacious. It is paved, lighted with gas, and supplied with excellent water. The stone cross in the market-place, which stood here in Leland's time, was removed in the early part of the present century. There are two banks, a savings-bank, police-station, and court-hall. Petty sessions are held on the first Wednesday in every month, and a county court every two months. The town is under the management of a local board and town commissioners.


The manufacture of woollen cloth was introduced at an early period, and must have soon become a thriving branch of trade, as Camden mentions that Trowbridge was then famous for the clothing trade: the articles made are kerseymeres, tweed, and broadcloth. The population of the parish in 1861 was 10,487, and of the town 9,626.


The living is a rectory,* with the curacy of St. Stephen's annexed, in the diocese of Sarum, value £600. The church, dedicated to St. James, is old, with a square tower at the W. end, containing eight bells; it has been restored at an outlay of about £8,000. There are fragments of ancient painted glass in some of the windows, and attached to the eastern ends of the aisles are two private chapels. In addition to the parish church are the district churches of Trinity, Studley, and Staverton, the livings of which are perpetual curacies, varying in value from £230 to £110.


Trinity church was erected in 1838 at the W. end of the town. The parochial charities produce about £285 per annum, besides several almshouses. There are National and British schools for both sexes, including infants. The Independents, Wesleyans, Presbyterians, and General and Particular Baptists have chapels. Market days are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. An annual fair is held on the 5th August and two following days."

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

Trowbridge is a town 30 miles NW of Salisbury. Grid Ref ST856580. Postcode BA14 8ER. Population 10,863 in 1831, 13,859 in 1951. It includes Studley.


  • St James, Church Street, Church of England


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Trowbridge area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

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 Trowbridge, St James:

    • WSRO registers: Chr 1539-1935, Mar 1539-1987, Bur 1539-1855
    • BTs with gaps from 1588
    • IGI (Some periods are entered twice, appearing in one as Trowbridge and the other as Trowbridge, St James) Chr 1538-1717 Batch C058502, 1718-1874 Batch C058501; 1538-1841 Batch C153271, 1539-1760 Batch C153501, 1761-1935 females Batch C153505; Mar 1563-1717 Batch M058502, 1718-1851 Batch M058501, 1822-1895 Batch M153502, 1813-1836 Batch M153504 from BTs
    • VRI Chr 1538-1934, Mar 1538-1906
    • White Horse Baptisms 1538-1840
  • Indexes and registers of the parish church of Trowbridge, Holy Trinity:
    (created 1839)

    • WSRO registers: Chr 1838-1970, Mar 1839-1985, Bur 1839-1978
    • BTs from 1839
    • IGI NOTE the events shown in the IGI as being at Holy Trinity, Trowbridge (Chr 1538-1841 Batch C153271) are actually from Great Bedwin, which happens to have a register on the same microfilm 1279361 in the LDS library. These same events have been found in the 2nd edition BVRI as well.
  • Indexes and registers of the parish church of Trowbridge, St Thomas:
    (parish created from Trowbridge St James, and Staverton, in 1870)

  • Indexes and registers of the parish church of Trowbridge, Studley St John: (parish created from Holy Trinity in 1858)

  • Indexes and registers of Trowbridge, Presbyterian church of Silver Street:

  • Indexes and registers of Trowbridge, Independent Tabernacle church of Back Street:

    • Registers at PRO, piece RG4 3318
    • IGI Chr 1773-1837 Batch C078021
  • Indexes and registers of Trowbridge, Wesleyan Methodist church of Trowbridge:

    • Registers at PRO, piece RG4 44A
    • IGI Chr 1791-1822 Batch C078031

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Trowbridge 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 ST856580 (Lat/Lon: 51.320867, -2.208048), Trowbridge 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.