Place:Melksham, Wiltshire, England

Alt namesWoodrowsource: tything in parish
Woolmoresource: tything in parish
Melksham Forestsource: hamlet in parish
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish, Urban district
Coordinates51.371°N 2.138°W
Located inWiltshire, England
See alsoMelksham Hundred, Wiltshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
West Wiltshire District, Wiltshire, England1974-2009 Wiltshire District,
Wiltshire, England2009--
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Melksham is a town on the River (Bristol) Avon in Wiltshire, England, about 4 1⁄2 miles (7 km) northeast of Trowbridge and 6 mi (10 km) south of Chippenham. At the 2011 UK census, it had a population of 19,357, making it Wiltshire's fifth-largest town after Swindon, Salisbury, Chippenham and Trowbridge.

Melksham was an urban district from 1894 until 1974. It includes a hamlet named Melksham Forest. When it was formed its more rural area was separated off into another civil parish named Melksham Without. Melksham Without contained the hamlets of Bowerhill, Hunters' Meadow, Berryfield and Beanacre. These places have been redirected to Melksham Without.


In 1539, as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the prioress and nuns of Amesbury surrendered their Melksham estates to the king. They had held these lands for about 250 years. This property, which consisted of the Lordship of the Manor and Hundred, was in 1541 granted to Sir Thomas Seymour. Seymour then sold it to Henry Brouncker, who had already made purchases of real estate in the neighbourhood. At some uncertain date, perhaps about 1550, Brouncker built a residence for himself on the site of an earlier mansion. This was known as Place House, built in a style suitable to that of a resident lord, who was also a man of considerable wealth.

Three generations of the family lived here: Henry Brouncker the founder, (d.1569), his son, Sir William, and his grandson Henry. On the death of this last Henry, about 1600, it became manifest that the Brouncker estate was heavily encumbered, and in the course of the next twenty or thirty years, all the property was alienated with the exception of Erlestoke, where William Brouncker, the heir, retired with his wife Anne, daughter of Sir John Dauntesey. Meanwhile, Place House was occupied for ten or eleven years by Henry Brouncker’s widow and her second husband, Ambrose Dauntesey. After their death, in 1612, the house apparently was occupied by the steward, and afterwards it was conveyed to Sir John Danvers, who married into the family, in 1634. Danvers died in 1655 and the lordship of Melksham passed to his son, who then conveyed the estate to Walter Long the Younger, of Whaddon, Wiltshire. The lordship remained in the Long family, who were descended from the first Henry Brouncker, until the early part of the 20th century, having passed to the 1st Viscount Long of Wraxall in Wiltshire.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Melksham.

Research Tips

  • From this Ancestry page you can browse the Wiltshire parishes which have parish register transcripts online, quite often from very early dates. However, reading the early ones requires skill and patience. Transcriptions should also be in FamilySearch.
  • A further collection of online source references will be found on the county page for Wiltshire.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Melksham. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.