Place:Shorncote, Wiltshire, England

Alt namesShorncottsource: alternate name
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.662°N 1.966°W
Located inWiltshire, England     ( - 1897)
Also located inGloucestershire, England     (1897 - )
See alsoHighworth Cricklade and Staple Hundred, Wiltshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Somerford Keynes, Wiltshire, Englandcivil parish into which it was absorbed around 1894
source: Family History Library Catalog

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

"SHORNCOTE, a parish in the [registration] district of Cirencester and county of Wilts; 3½ miles S by E of Cirencester [railway] station. Post town, Cricklade. Acres: 4,850. Rated property: £482. Population: 19. Houses: 6. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol. Value: £130. Patron: the Lord Chancellor. The church is good."

The map in A Vision of Britain through Time indicates that the nearest settlement of any size to Shorncote is Somerford Keynes. The Ordnance Survey Map of 1900 shows Somerford Keynes to be a civil parish in Gloucestershire rather than Wiltshire. No rural district in Wiltshire is given for either Somerford Keynes or Shorncote, it is assumed that the parishes were merged in 1894, at the same time as the transfer of the area from Wiltshire to Gloucestershire. However, the Wikipedia article on Somerford Keynes has a reference to the Somerford Keynes Parish website which states:

"There has been a Christian settlement here since at least AD685, the year that the building of Gloucester Cathedral started. We also know the Romans were here, and archaeological digs before gravelling have shown evidence of much earlier occupation. Until 1897 we were in Wiltshire. On the formation of the civil parishes and proper County Councils in that year, the locals chose to be in Gloucestershire (by 3 votes to 2!!). In those days we had a pub, a school, at least one shop and a vicar to ourselves (Shorncote was amalgamated with us in the 1880s)."

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.