Centuries gone by
Hullavington is a historic Parish whose origins lie back in medieval times, with both Hullavington (Hunlavintone) and Stock Wood being mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. The Parish was originally composed of three main settlements.
Hullavington estate, owned by Earl Harold in 1066, consisted mainly of copyhold (tenanted) farmhouses along The Street with enclosed pastures behind. In 1242, the village had two watermills, but the flow of Gauze Brook was unable to sustain them and there is no evidence of them after 1337. Hullavington had 119 poll tax payers in 1377.
Surrendell Hamlet has the only evidence of prehistoric remains in the Parish, with a long barrow to the southwest of Surrendell Farm. The farmhouse was built in approximately 1631. The hamlet had its own church (mentioned in 1179), and there were 37 poll tax payers residing there in 1377. A Manor was built between 1545 and 1575. These buildings fell into neglect and were demolished by the end of the 19th century, leaving only the farmhouse.
Bradfield was a thriving community in its own right, with its own Manor and possibly a chapel. In 1377, the hamlet had 21 poll tax payers. By the 15th century, only the Manor remained, as it does today, with its 17th Century additions.
All three areas were passed to the Mortimer family, and from there to The Crown during the reign of Henry IV. In 1443, Henry VI granted the manor to Eton College as part of its original royal endowment. In 1568, Eton College leased much of the land to Giles Ivy and these leases passed eventually to Sir John Neeld in 1856. Eton College owned much of the Parish until as recently as 1958, when they sold the land to a syndicate of local farmers who bought the land, which they tenanted.
Only nine of the farmhouses present on The Street in 1764 survive today, with most of the other buildings being a mixture of 18th and 19th century properties.
Just four significant properties were originally built behind The Street. Court (Farm) now House has been in existence from as far back as the 12th Century or earlier when the site was used as the chief messuage (dwelling house) of the Manor of Hullavington. It underwent significant work in the 13th and 17th century to become the House we now know, and it still retains one of its original medieval doorways intact.
Mays Farm was built in the 17th Century, and Darley House and Hullavington House were built between 1764 and 1840.
Places of worship
St Mary Magdalene Church, now Grade 1 listed, dates back beyond 1240 when a Vicarage was ordained. It is likely that the Abbey monks ran the Church previously to this as the nave and chancel are 12th century. The adjoining chapel and porch are 13th century. The original tower was built in the 14th century, and this tower was later to be replaced by the 1880 tower you see today.
There were a number of Quaker families in the Parish from 1660-1832 and a meeting house was founded in 1753. In 1800, the Quaker Society of Hullavington was one of only seven active in Wiltshire. By 1853 however, the society no longer met.
The 19th century saw three other places of worship within the village.
In 1821, a small stone chapel was built at Newtown for a union of Independents and Baptists, this closed its doors in 1928.
In 1843, a small chapel built of stone rubble was constructed at Gibbs Lane for the Particular Baptists. Now called Mount Zion Church, this chapel was in use until 1989, when the Church started using the village hall for worship.
Also in 1843, a small stone rubble chapel dressed with red brick was constructed in Watts Lane for the primitive Methodists. It remained open until the mid-1980s.
Schooling in the village
The village has had a school of some sort since 1690, when Ayliffe Green made an endowment for, amongst other things, an education charity. Since the early 18th century, children have attended school, and benefited from this bequest of £3 a year.
In 1832, a school for six girls and six boys was started on the west side of The Street, and in 1833, another for 19 girls and 20 boys was built on the east side. This second school was built with funding and support from Mr. J Neeld MP who insisted that the school was affiliated with the Church of England.
The smaller school became a “Dissenters” school (a group of people who didn’t agree with state interference in religion) until it closed in 1879. The second school was enlarged, and in 1871, had 100 children on roll. The school was still in use until 1987, and was used in conjunction with the new school, which was constructed in 1970.
Ayliffe Green also left a behest of £1 to the second poor of Hullavington in his 1690 will. From the 1690s, the Parish had two overseers of the poor. Between 1689 and 1744, they spent approximately £15-£20 per year supporting two to six paupers, paying for clothes, fuel, rent, and occasionally a funeral. Expenditure rose year on year, until in 1802-3, 28 adults were being relieved continuously and 14 occasionally at a cost of £357.
Hullavington and the Malmesbury workhouse
The Parish resolved to provide a workhouse. This never happened, and in 1835, Hullavington, along with 25 other parishes joined the Malmesbury poor-law union. A workhouse was constructed to house 250 inmates. The workhouse existed until 1930 and the building was finally demolished in 1971-2. A part of the site now houses the Activity Zone.
The village has had three public houses.
A church house was built on the east side of the churchyard facing the Street between 1504 and 1535. In the 19th century, it was used as an inn and called The Plough. It had closed its doors by 1877, and the house was demolished in the late 19th century.
Both The Star and Queens Head are mentioned as being public houses in 1819. The Star was rebuilt in about 1900 and is still open as a pub today, whilst the Queens Head became a private residence in 2001.