Place:Melksham Without, Wiltshire, England

NameMelksham Without
Alt namesBeanacaresource: village in parish
Berryfieldsource: village in parish
Shaw (Melksham)source: village in parish
Whitleysource: village in parish
Outmarshsource: hamlet in parish
Redstockssource: hamlet in parish
Blackmore Forestsource: hamlet in parish
Bowerhillsource: suburb of Melksham outside its boundaries
The Spasource: suburb of Melksham outside its boundaries
Sandridgesource: dispersed settlement in parish
Sandridge Commonsource: part of dispersed settlement in parish
TypeCivil parish
Coordinates51.371°N 2.139°W
Located inWiltshire, England     (1894 - )
See alsoMelksham Hundred, Wiltshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Melksham Rural, Wiltshire, Englandrural district 1894-1934
Bradford and Melksham Rural, Wiltshire, Englandrural district 1934-1974
West Wiltshire District, Wiltshire, England1974-2009
Wiltshire District, Wiltshire, England2009--
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

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

Melksham Without is a civil parish in the county of Wiltshire, England. It stretches to the north, east and south from the boundaries of the town of Melksham and is the largest rural parish in Wiltshire, with a population of 7,230 (as of the UK census of 2011) and an area of 29 square kilometres (7,200 acres).

In 1894 the ancient parish of Melksham was divided into Melksham Urban District and the rural parish of Melksham Without. The northern boundary of the parish is the Roman road from Silchester to Bath; downstream from Melksham the Bristol Avon forms the southwestern boundary, and parts of the southern boundary are the Semington Brook and the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The parish includes the villages of Beanacre, Berryfield, Shaw and Whitley, and the hamlets of Outmarsh and Redstocks. It also includes the outer Melksham suburbs of Bowerhill and The Spa, and the dispersed settlement of Sandridge which includes Sandridge Common.

A packhorse bridge dating from 1725 spans the River Avon, providing a route (now a public footpath) to the neighbouring parish of Broughton Gifford.

The Kennet and Avon Canal was built in the south of the parish by 1804 and fully opened in 1810. In the same year the Wilts & Berks Canal opened, having been built through the parish from its connection with the Kennet and Avon near Semington. After passing through the eastern side of Melksham town the canal continued north through the parish towards Chippenham, Swindon and Abingdon. Both canals fell into decline following the arrival of the railways in the 1840s, and the closure of the Somerset Coal Canal (which provided much of their traffic) in 1904.

Today the Kennet and Avon Canal is a well-used recreational waterway, following its restoration in the 1970s and 1980s and formal re-opening in 1990. The Wilts & Berks Canal was abandoned in 1914 and its route south and east of Melksham has been built over; preservation and restoration efforts began in 1977 but are yet to be completed.

In 1848 the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway company built their line through the parish, to link the Swindon-Bath line (near Chippenham) with Westbury via Melksham and Trowbridge; the line was handed over to the Great Western Railway in 1850 and is still in use. The Devizes Branch Line was completed in 1857 and also taken over by the GWR, but closed in 1966.

The A350 primary route runs north-south through the parish on its section from Chippenham to Melksham and passes through Beanacre. South of Melksham, on its way to Westbury, its original route past Berryfield and Outmarsh was replaced in 2004 by the Semington bypass, about 400m to the east.

Research Tips

A 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 Without. 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.