"TISBURY, includes the parishes of East Tisbury, West Tisbury, and Wardour, and is an ancient town in the hundred of Dunworth, county Wilts, 3 miles S.E. of Hindon, and 14 W. of Salisbury. It is a station on the Yeovil and Exeter section of the Great Western railway. This place, which is considerable, is situated in an agricultural district, watered by the river Nadder, a tributary of the Avon. It includes the hamlet of Wardour, whence the Lords Arundell of Wardour take their title. The original castle, of which there are still some remains, was built prior to the reign of Edward III., and was successively held by the families of St. Martin, Touchet, Audley, Willoughby-de-Broke, and subsequently by Sir John Arundell, whose son Thomas was created Lord Arundell of Wardour by James I.

In the civil war, the castle was held for the king by Lady Blanche, but was taken by Sir E. Hungerford, on the 4th of May, 1643, after a week's siege; and committed by the parliament to the keeping of General Ludlow. In the course of the same summer, it was retaken by Lord Arundel and a party of royalists, dismantled, and the Roundheads dislodged. It remained in ruins for more than a century; but in 1776 the family of Arundel erected Wardour Castle, about a mile from the original site. This mansion is built on an eminence, and consists of a centre and two wings projecting in a curvilinear form. Incorporated with the mansion is a Roman Catholic chapel, containing many paintings.

The village of Tisbury stands on the declivity of a hill overlooking the vale of the Nadder; and below it are the remains of a manor-house, formerly belonging to Shaftesbury Abbey, but now converted into a farmhouse; and near it is the church. The land is fertile and well cultivated. The great tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £880, besides 12 acres of glebe, and the vicarial for £440; besides which, £67 12s. is annually paid to the rector of Compton-Chamberlayne, and £50 to another impropriator. The living is a vicarage* in the archdeaconry and diocese of Salisbury, value £306.

The church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is of the early part of the 13th century. In the interior are an old font, two brasses (the earliest of Lawrence Hyde), bearing date 1590, and monuments to the former Lords Arundell, over one of which is the helmet worn by the first Lord Arundell. In the churchyard is a yew-tree, 30 feet in circumference, and said to be thirteen centuries old. The register commences in 1563.

The Independents and Wesleyans have chapels. The parochial charities produce about £100 per annum, applied towards the support of the schools, and apprenticing poor children. There are National and parochial schools for boys and girls, and a school supported by the Independents. The Poor-law Union of Tisbury comprises 20 parishes and townships, the union workhouse being situated at Wardour. It is also the seat of a superintendent registry, but belongs to the Shaftesbury New County Court district. Sir Nicholas Hyde, Chief Justice of the King's Bench and Lord Treasurer in the reign of James I., was born in Hatch House; and Sir John Davies, the lawyer and poet, was a native of the hamlet of Chisgrove."

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

Tisbury is 3 miles SE of Hindon. Grid Ref ST944291. Postcode SP3 6NH. Population 2,259 in 1831, 1,590 in 1951.


Church Records

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

  • Indexes and registers of the parish church of Tisbury, St John the Baptist:

  • Indexes and registers of Tisbury, All Saints:
    (the Roman Catholic Chapel of Wardour Castle)

    • Registers from 1744 are with the Incumbent
    • WSRO registers: (microfilm) Chr 1744-1875, Mar 1749-66 1820-1875, Bur 1820-1875
  • Indexes and registers of Tisbury, Independent church:

    • Registers at PRO, piece RG4 4108 (may be additional registers at WSRO)
    • IGI Chr 1720-1843 Batch C099741

Description & Travel

  • History of Tisbury is supplied by Tisbury Local History Society.

  • Tisbury Page of Nadder Valley Focus has village information, history, and pages of current information on church activities (the website is now defunct, the link takes you to the archived pages on the Wayback machine).

You can see pictures of Tisbury which are provided by:








    You can see maps centred on OS grid reference ST944291 (Lat/Lon: 51.061209, -2.081286), Tisbury 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.