Place:Westwood, Wiltshire, England

Alt namesWestwood with Ifordsource: from redirect
Westwood cum Ifordsource: see below
Westwood-cum-Ifordsource: Family History Catalog
Lower Westwoodsource: main village in parish
Upper Westwoodsource: smaller village in parish
Avoncliffsource: village in parish
Lye Greensource: hamlet in parish
Ifordsource: manor in parish
TypeChapelry, Civil parish
Coordinates51.33°N 2.271°W
Located inWiltshire, England
See alsoElstub and Everleigh Hundred, Wiltshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Bradford on Avon Rural, Wiltshire, Englandrural district, 1894 - 1934
Bradford and Melksham Rural, Wiltshire, Englandrural district, 1834 - 1974
West Wiltshire District, Wiltshire, England1974-2009
Wiltshire District, Wiltshire, England2009--
source: Family History Library Catalog

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

Westwood, or Westwood cum Iford is a large village and a civil parish in the west of Wiltshire, England. The village is about 1.4 miles (2.3 km) southwest of the town of Bradford on Avon.

Upper Westwood, on a ridge crest to the north, was a distinct settlement from the main village of Lower Westwood but 20th-century housing filled the gap. The parish includes most of the village of Avoncliff, namely the portion south of the Avon, and the hamlet of Lye Green.


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

Iford Manor is a manor house near Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire. It is a Grade II* listed building sitting on the steep, south-facing slope of the Frome valley. It is known for its Peto Gardens and as the venue of the annual Iford Arts Festival.

The origins of the house may be as early as late 15th century. The classical façade was added around 1730, and the hanging woodlands above the garden were planted later in the 18th century.

Westwood's ecclesiastical parish was known as "Westwood cum Iford", but there is no mention of Iford Manor in the Wikipedia article on Westwood.


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

Westwood's recorded history begins in 983 AD, when King Ethelred's charters granted various pieces of land to his servant Aelfnoth, and four years later to his huntsman Leofwine. In Norman times, Westwood was one of the estates assigned for the support of the monks at Winchester Priory. The residents of the manor continued to be tenants of the Priory until it was dissolved by Henry VIII. The medieval population of Westwood, as recorded in Domesday Book of 1086, consisted of just 13 households, growing to 45 recorded taxpayers in the late 14th century. The earliest part of the present parish church of St Mary dates from the 13th century or even earlier, though its most impressive features – the Perpendicular Gothic nave, chapel and tower – were added in the late 15th century.

The earliest records of a substantial quarrying industry at Westwood date from 1649. By the mid-19th century, the quality of Westwood stone had earned a good reputation, and over the next half-century, output increased at a great rate. Westwood stone went to build many houses in Bath, as well as Holy Trinity church in Trowbridge (1838). A narrow-gauge railway was constructed to transport the huge blocks of rough cut stone from the quarry to the cutting-yard at Avoncliff railway station. Nowadays, all that remains from the centuries of intensive quarrying is the labyrinth of tunnels, eight feet high and twelve feet wide. They have been put to a number of imaginative uses, especially after they were taken over by the Ministry of Supply in 1939. For example, the eastern part of the quarry tunnels had since 1928 been used for growing mushrooms, as the relatively stable ambient temperatures and the high humidity of the underground were found perfectly suitable. From 1941, about six hundred workers manufactured gun-control equipment at an underground factory which had been located in the tunnels to defend against Luftwaffe raids. Additionally, by the end of 1942 the Westwood tunnels had "probably housed the greatest and most valuable collection of cultural and artistic artifacts assembled in one location anywhere in the world", including exhibits from the British Museum, pictures from the National Portrait Gallery, tapestries from the Victoria and Albert Museum, such as the Elgin Marbles, and the Wright brothers' aeroplane. An air conditioning plant had to be installed to control the humidity underground.

Research Tips

A collection of online source references will be found on the county page for Wiltshire.

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