Great and Little Chalfield

Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire


Great Chalfield Manor House


Great Chalfield and Little Chalfield were two small manors outside the bounds of the Manor of Bradford and did not always strictly fall within the Bradford Hundred, having been sometimes counted in the Hundred of Melksham. Legal matters from Chalfield were brought to the Bradford Hundred Court by those who were called the “Abbess’s foreigners”. The Chalfields were confirmed as part of the Bradford Hundred by King John in 1205 and again by a legal decision early in the reign of Edward III after 1312.

The derivation of the placename is from Old English chalde feld -cold field.

Great Chalfield was a small parish in its own right, with its surviving church of All Saints and former mill next to the Manor House. The only other locality is Lenton Farm, just north of the Manor House complex.

Little (or West) Chalfield also counted as a separate parish, although it was very small. It had a chapel that was dedicated to St John the Baptist, but of which there is now no trace. The medieval manor house was replaced by a Tudor one which in turn was demolished in about 1830 and the present late Georgian house was built. Just to the west are buildings that served as the Poorhouses.

There were two other estates in Great Chalfield:

Moxhams was first recorded as Mochesham in 1236, but disappeared in the 18th century, presumably swallowed up by another; a family, de Mockesham or Moxham, took its name from the property and a house in Woolley Street, Bradford still bears the name.

Lyntonesford or Lyntesford or Lynsford was first mentioned in 1302 and still exists as Lenton Farm, just north of Great Chalfield Manor House. Lenton Farm is an organic sheep farm on the Great Chalfield estate that also hosts wedding receptions and lambing events.

In 1656 the Commonwealth Parliament proposed joining Moxhams and nearby Cottles Atworth with Monkton Farleigh as a single parish, but this was not carried out. Great Chalfield and Little Chalfield became joined to Cottles (Atworth Parva or Little Atworth) and Atworth (Atworth Magna) in 1884 to form the present Civil Parish of Atworth. The ecclesiastical parish of Great Chalfield is now part of a united benefice with those of Holt and Broughton Gifford.

The whole area of both Chalfields is entirely agricultural.