Place:Fonthill Gifford, Wiltshire, England

NameFonthill Gifford
Alt namesFonthill Giffordsource: from redirect
Fonthill-Giffordsource: Family History Library Catalog
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.087°N 2.109°W
Located inWiltshire, England
See alsoDunworth Hundred, Wiltshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Tisbury Rural, Wiltshire, Englandrural district, 1894 - 1934
Mere and Tisbury Rural, Wiltshire, Englandrural district, 1934 - 1974
Salisbury District, Wiltshire, England1974-2009
Wiltshire District, Wiltshire, England2009--
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Fonthill Gifford is a village and civil parish in Wiltshire, England, to the north of the Nadder valley, 14 miles (23 km) west of Salisbury.

The name of the village and parish derives from the Giffard family, landowners, beginning with Berenger Giffard who was lord in 1086.

The parish had 70 taxpayers in 1377. From the 16th century until the 20th, most of the population were employed by the parish's wealthy households; 493 were recorded at the 1801 census, and numbers declined since then, reaching a new low of 102 in the UK census of 2011.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of West Harnham from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"FONTHILL-GIFFORD, a parish in Tisbury [registration] district, Wilts; 1½ mile SE by E of Hindon, and 2 NNW of Tisbury [railway] station. Post town: Hindon, or Tisbury, under Salisbury. Acres: 1, 961. Real property, with Hindon, Berwick-St. Leonard, and Chicklade: £5, 111. Rated property of [Fonthill Gifford] alone, £1,640. Population: 430. Houses: 87.
"The manor belonged, about the time of the Conquest, to the Giffards; passed to the Maundevilles, the Manduits, the Molyns, the Hungerfords, the Mervyns, the Cottingtons, and the Beckfords; was sold and divided, in 1823; and belongs now in part to the Morrisons, and in part to the Marquis of Westminster. An ancient mansion of the Mervyns on it was destroyed by fire; another mansion, built by the Cottingtons, and inherited by Alderman Beckford, also was destroyed by fire; a third, built by the alderman, at a cost of £240, 000, went rapidly to decay, and was sold by his son for £9, 000; and a fourth, built by that son, the author of "Vathek, " on a new site, likewise underwent a disastrous fate. This last was founded in 1796; took the name of Fonthill Abbey; was designed by Wyatt; had aggregately a cruciform outline, with central octagonal tower, 278 feet high; measured 312 feet from north to south, and 250 from east to west; was fitted interiorly in a style of great magnificence; stood in a park about 7 miles in circuit, all enclosed with a wall 12 feet high; had the reputation of being a sort of fairy palace, one of the most splendid edifices in the kingdom; cost directly about £273,000, and indirectly not less than £500,000; came to a sudden end, partly by the sale of the manor in 1823, partly by the fall of the central tower, and accompanying crash of the whole edifice in 1825; and is now represented by little else than interesting features within its grounds. A mansion on another site was erected in 1859, by the Marquis of Westminster; and another mansion, on another part of the grounds, an edifice in the Italian style, with a lofty tower, was altered by the late Mr. Morrison. Fonthill Abbey, while it stood, was the scene of some great fetes, and was visited by Lord Nelson [the Admiral], in company with Sir William and Lady Hamilton. The builder and proprietor of it sustained his reverses in connexion with West Indian property; retired, after these reverses, to a house at Bath, and died in 1844, at the age of 84.
"The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury. Value: £351. Patron: the Lord of the Manor. The church was rebuilt in 1865, by the Marquis of Westminster; and is a handsome edifice, after designs by T. Wyatt."

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