St Michael's Church, AtworthMost of the present parish of Atworth was originally part of the Manor and of the Ancient Parish of Bradford and its church was a chapel of Holy Trinity in Bradford. It was also known as Atworth Magna to distinguish it from a smaller area which was called Atworth Parva, Little Atworth or Cottles. The modern Civil Parish of Atworth was created on 19 December 1884 by detaching the Tithing of Atworth from Bradford and combining it with the three extra-parochial areas of Cottles, Little Chalfield and Great Chalfield.

The modern parish is bounded by South Wraxall to the west, Box and Corsham to the north, Melksham Without and Broughton Gifford to the east and Holt to the south.


The name has been rendered as versions of Atford and Atworth until settling down as the latter in the late 19th century. The name may refer to the farmstead of a Saxon called  Ætta; there is no ford here.

The village consists of two parts- an old nuclear settlement near the church and a long narrow strip along the turnpike Bath Road (A365 Melksham to Box). A large amount of recent house-building has now blurred the distinction. The old village centre contains the Church, Church Farm with a medieval barn, Manor House, former Foresters and Three Horsehoes pubs, primary school, Congregational Chapel and the big C18 Poplar Farm. There are several outlying farms as well.
The roadside development has the White Hart Inn, former New Inn, Independent and old Ebenezer Chapels and formerly several shops. A clock tower commemorates Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
At the eastern end of the main road was Atworth Common, which was divided into allotments, but is now built over. South of the road at this end was the Mendip engineering company which became part of the Dowty company; it closed in 1991 and the land has been redeveloped.

Cottles, or Atworth Parva, is a rectangular area in which the only major feature is Cottles House, currently occupied by Stonar School, a private school for girls. It is not clear whether this area was a part of the Manor of Bradford that was given to Shaftesbury Abbey in 1001.

The 2001 Census recorded a population of 1,280 inhabitants.

Bradford on Avon Museum has very few objects from Atworth. Excavated material from the Atworth Roman villa is in the Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Devizes, where some objects, including stone columns, are displayed in the Roman Gallery.
There is an Atworth History Society which has a collection of memorabilia from the village, viewable on the last Sunday of the month, March to October 14.00 to 16.00.


> Explore modern Atworth

> Old images of Atworth

> Chalfield


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