Picture reproduced by kind permission © Saoirse Maher aged 13
Tucked away in North Wiltshire and nestled against the ancient hangings at Clyffe, is a cluster of pretty hamlets we call our community. The Barton, Bupton, Bushton, Clyffe Pypard – Parish of Clyffe Pypard – and beyond the parish boundary, Thickthorn and Preston (part of the adjacent Parish of Lyneham & Bradenstoke).
We enjoy strong links with all neighbouring villages and share many social events across the area. A good example of this is Hilmarton Gardening club which draws its membership from Calne, Bushton and Clyffe Pypard, Brinkworth, Lyneham, Royal Wootton Bassett and other local communities.
Geography and History
The most striking topographical feature of Clyffe Pypard Parish is the north-west facing chalk escarpment, which stretches right across the parish, dividing the clay vale to the North from the Lower Chalk below the Marlborough Downs to the South. The community is situated approximately 5 miles North-west of Avebury (World Heritage Site), approximately 10 miles West of Geogian market town Marlborough and about 6 miles East of Royal Wootton Bassett.
Clyffe Pypard most likely derives its name from the ancient English word ‘cleeve’ meaning cliff and Pypard from a 13th century resident Richard Pipard.
The following extract comes from A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 9, by Authors:Elizabeth Crittall (editor) R. W. Dunning, K. H. Rogers, P. A. Spalding, Colin Shrimpton, Janet H. Stevenson, Margaret Tomlinson. Published 1970
‘Many springs and streams rise from just above the foot of the escarpment. One of these, running northwestwards through the parish, joins with other small streams to form the Brinkworth Brook, a headwater of the Bristol Avon. The area has always been well wooded. There were extensive stretches of woodland at the time of Domesday and the scattered pattern of settlement is no doubt partly due to the way in which clearance progressed. The two largest woods in the parish in 1968 were Cleeve Wood in the north and Stanmore Copse in the south. Archaeological finds, such as arrowheads, coins, jewellery, and skeletons, are evidence of a period of early settlement, extending from Neolithic to Pagan-Saxon times. Little evidence of prehistoric settlement has been found, although an axe, thought to date from the Neolithic period or the Bronze Age, was found on Broad Town Hill.
At the foot of the escarpment, at Woodhill and Bupton, numerous mounds and earthworks are possibly of medieval date. The nucleus of the village of Clyffe Pypard lies immediately beneath the steep, thickly-wooded slope of the escarpment and forms a small, rather picturesque group of buildings. Besides the parish church with manor-house and vicarage closely adjoining on either side, there are a few thatched, timber-framed cottages, and the ‘Goddard Arms’. This stands on the site of an earlier public house of the same name, burnt down in 1961. The village school (now residential) lies a little to the west and beyond this is a group of terraced council houses, built after the Second World War’.
There are no fewer than 13 references to ‘Clive’ in the Domesday Survey of Wiltshire, but it has not been established precisely how many relate to estates situated in Clyffe Pypard. After 1066 this may have been held by William FitzOsbern, Earl of Hereford, and may have passed to William’s son Roger, Earl of Hereford, who forfeited his lands in 1074. By 1086 Gilbert de Breteuil certainly held the estate, which may be identified with the later main manor of CLYFFE PYPARD, of the king. At the time of the Domesday Survey Ansfrid held 11 hides of the estate of Gilbert.
At an unknown date the overlordship of the estate apparently passed to the Reviers family, whose founder, Richard, was a kinsman of William (Fitz Osbern), Earl of Hereford. In 1242 Baldwin (de Reviers), Earl de Lisle (d. 1245), held the estate, reckoned at 1½ knight’s fee, in chief. In 1242 the estate was held of Baldwin, Lord de Lisle by Walter Marshal, Earl of Pembroke and Marshal of England (d. 1245). Either he or his successors subsequently became overlords. Thereafter the estate at Clyffe apparently descended in the same way as that of Hampstead Marshall (Berks.), the chief manor of the Marshals of England. The last mention of the overlordship occurs in 1428 when Clyffe Pypard was held by Queen Joan (d. 1437), consort of Henry IV.
Matthew Columbers held the estate of the Earl de Lisle in 1242, and Richard Pipard held of Matthew Columbers at the same date. Before his death in 1300 John de Cobham apparently conveyed Clyffe Pypard to Roger de Cobham, his third son. Roger was described as lord of Clyffe Pypard. He must have died soon afterwards, however, and the manor reverted to his eldest brother Henry (cr. Lord Cobham 1335–6), second husband of Maud Columbers. In 1306 Henry granted the manor, on terms that are not clear, to a younger son Thomas, who was founder of the Beluncle (Hoo, St. Werburgh, Kent) branch of the Cobham family. The date of Thomas’s death is unknown, but he was still living in 1343 when he presented to the church (see below). Henry, Lord Cobham died in 1339 and was followed by a son (d. 1355), and grandson (d. 1408), both called John. John, Lord Cobham, the grandson, was impeached in 1397, at which date yet another John Cobham, who was styled ‘esquire’, possibly a son or grandson of Thomas was holding the manor. The fee simple of the manor, however, was found to rest with John, Lord Cobham at the time of his impeachment and was claimed by the Crown. The keepership of Clyffe Pypard was then granted by the king to Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester, who was executed for treason in 1403. John, Lord Cobham was pardoned in 1399, but he died in 1408 without surviving issue and Clyffe Pypard continued to be held by the Beluncle branch of the family, the descendants of Thomas mentioned above. A John Cobham, possibly the same as the John Cobham of 1397 (see above), held it in 1428. In 1510 William Cobham, whose relationship is not known, held the manor and in 1525 Edward Cobham, presumably his son, sold it to William Dauntsey.
In 1530 William Dauntsey sold the manor to John Goddard of Aldbourne (d. 1542), who was succeeded by his son John Goddard the younger. On his death in 1567 John the younger was succeeded by his son Thomas (d. 1610). Thomas Goddard’s heir was his son Francis, upon whose death in 1652 Clyffe Pypard passed to his son Edward Goddard (d. 1684), who in turn was succeeded by his son and heir Francis (II) Goddard. On his death in 1724, Francis (II)’s son and heir Edward (II) Goddard was a minor and until 1742 his estate was supervised by George Goddard, Francis’s bastard son, who lived at Clyffe Pypard. Edward (II) Goddard died in 1791 and was succeeded by his son Edward (III) Goddard, upon whose death in 1839 the estate passed to his son and heir Horatio Nelson Goddard (d. 1900). He was succeeded by his daughter and heir Frances, the wife of William Wilson. On the death of Frances Wilson in 1940, Clyffe Pypard passed to her son and heir William Werden Wilson (d. 1950), who was in turn succeeded by his son Mr. Peter Werden Wilson, who held the manor in 1968.
After the sale of their Standen Hussey (Berks.) estate in 1719, the Goddards apparently lived at Clyffe Pypard. The present (1968) manor house, a gabled building of brick, lies in a secluded position just to the north of the church. It was largely rebuilt by H. N. Goddard soon after he succeeded to the manor in 1839. During the rebuilding of the front in 1840 some timber framing of an earlier house was discovered. Information sourced from http://www.british-history.ac.uk
Parish of Clyffe Pypard
According to the 2011 census for Clyffe Pypard Parish, there are 120 households and approx 290 people (45 Children, 190 Adults of working age and 55 Adults aged 65+).
Parish of Lyneham & Bradenstoke
Data collected for Wiltshire as a whole, showed that 86% are ‘Satisfied with the local area as a place to live”, 63% “I belong to the neighbourhood” and 85% (Aged 65+) indicated that they were “satisfied with both home and neighbourhood”
*Source Census 2011
For more details on local community heritage please visit
Wiltshire Council’s website: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/artsheritageandlibraries
A History of the County of Wiltshire: www.british-history.ac.uk