Ansty, Wiltshire

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Cottage and Maypole, Ansty
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Location within Wiltshire
Population117 (2011 census) [1]
OS grid reference ST957264
Civil parish
  • Ansty
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district SP3
Dialling code 01747
Police Wiltshire
Fire Dorset and Wiltshire
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°02′13″N2°03′47″W / 51.037°N 2.063°W / 51.037; -2.063 Coordinates: 51°02′13″N2°03′47″W / 51.037°N 2.063°W / 51.037; -2.063

Ansty is a small village and civil parish in southwest Wiltshire, England, about 6 miles (10 km) east of Shaftesbury. The village is just north of the A30 road between Shaftesbury and Salisbury. The parish includes the hamlet of Ansty Coombe.

Wiltshire County of England

Wiltshire is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The county town was originally Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the county town of Trowbridge.

Shaftesbury town and civil parish in Dorset, England

Shaftesbury is a town and civil parish in Dorset, England. It is situated on the A30 road, 20 miles west of Salisbury, near to the border with Wiltshire. It is the only significant hilltop settlement in Dorset, being built about 215 metres (705 ft) above sea level on a greensand hill on the edge of Cranborne Chase.

A30 road Road in England

The A30 is a major road in England, running WSW from London to Land's End. It is 284 miles (457 km) long.



In the southern part of the parish is White Sheet Hill, on which there are Bronze Age barrows including a long barrow. [2]

Bronze Age Britain refers to the period of British history that spanned from c. 2500 until c. 800 BC

Bronze Age Britain is an era of British history that spanned from c. 2500 until c. 800 BC. Lasting for approximately 1,700 years, it was preceded by the era of Neolithic Britain and was in turn followed by the period of Iron Age Britain. Being categorised as the Bronze Age, it was marked by the use of copper and then bronze by the prehistoric Britons, who used such metals to fashion tools. Great Britain in the Bronze Age also saw the widespread adoption of agriculture.

Tumulus Mound of earth and stones raised over graves

A tumulus is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are also known as barrows, burial mounds or kurgans, and may be found throughout much of the world. A cairn, which is a mound of stones built for various purposes, may also originally have been a tumulus.

Long barrow Type of dolmen

Long barrows, also known as chambered tombs, are a style of monument constructed across Western Europe in the fifth and fourth millennia BCE, during the Early Neolithic period. Typically constructed from earth and either timber or stone, those using the latter material represent the oldest widespread tradition of stone construction in the world.

In the eastern part of the parish there is bowl barrow. [2] The barrow may be older than the pagan Saxon burial from the 7th century AD that has been found in it. [3] Grave goods excavated from the burial include a diadem, palm cups, enamelled ironwork and an incense burner. [3]

Bowl barrow Ancient funerary monument, the most numerous form of round barrow

A bowl barrow is a type of burial mound or tumulus. A barrow is a mound of earth used to cover a tomb. The bowl barrow gets its name from its resemblance to an upturned bowl. Related terms include cairn circle, cairn ring, howe, kerb cairn, tump and rotunda grave.

Germanic paganism

Germanic paganism refers to the ethnic religion practiced by the Germanic peoples from the Iron Age until Christianisation during the Middle Ages. From both archaeological remains and literary sources, it is possible to trace a number of common or closely related beliefs throughout the Germanic area into the Middle Ages, when the last pagan areas in Scandinavia were Christianized. Rooted in Proto-Indo-European religion, Proto-Germanic religion expanded during the Migration Period, yielding extensions such as Old Norse religion among the North Germanic peoples, the paganism practiced amid the continental Germanic peoples, and Anglo-Saxon paganism among the Old English-speaking peoples. Germanic religion is best documented in several texts from the 10th and 11th centuries, where they have been best preserved in Scandinavia and Iceland.

Anglo-Saxon England was early medieval England, existing from the 5th to the 11th centuries from the end of Roman Britain until the Norman conquest in 1066. It consisted of various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 927 when it was united as the Kingdom of England by King Æthelstan. It became part of the short-lived North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England, Denmark and Norway in the 11th century.

Parish church

The Church of England parish church of Saint James dates from before 1210 and is Grade II listed. [4] The south wall of the nave may be a survival from that original building, [2] and the font too is Norman. [5] The chancel may have been rebuilt and lengthened in the 14th century. [2] A two-storeyed north porch was added in the 15th century. [2] The windows of the church were replaced in the 16th century. [2] The transepts are Gothic Revival additions. [5] In 1842 the porch was demolished and the north transept and western bell-turret were added. [2] In 1878 the south transept was added. [2] Also in the 19th century the 16th century windows were replaced with ones in a 13th-century style and the arches to the chancel and transept were altered. [2]

Church of England parish church church which acts as the religious centre for the people within the smallest and most basic Church of England administrative region

A parish church in the Church of England is the church which acts as the religious centre for the people within the smallest and most basic Church of England administrative region, the parish – since the 19th century called the ecclesiastical parish to avoid confusion with the civil parish which many towns and villages have.

Listed building Protected historic structure in the United Kingdom

A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, Cadw in Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in Northern Ireland.

Nave main body of a church

The nave is the central part of a church, stretching from the main entrance or rear wall, to the transepts, or in a church without transepts, to the chancel. When a church contains side aisles, as in a basilica-type building, the strict definition of the term "nave" is restricted to the central aisle. In a broader, more colloquial sense, the nave includes all areas available for the lay worshippers, including the side-aisles and transepts. Either way, the nave is distinct from the area reserved for the choir and clergy.


In 1210 or 1211 Walter de Turberville granted the manor of Ansty to the Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem, [6] who founded a preceptory in the parish. The order was not formally suppressed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries but Henry VIII confiscated its properties in England because the order opposed his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Mary I after her accession in 1553 restored the order in England and returned all its property, including that of the preceptory of Ansty. [6] Mary was succeeded in 1558 by Elizabeth I who suppressed the Order. The commandry was demolished in her reign but the guest house survived until it burned down in 1927. [6] A surviving building in the village with several early 16th-century windows may be the former preceptory's hospice. [3]

Knights Hospitaller Western Christian military order

The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, commonly known as the Knights Hospitaller or the Order of Saint John, was a medieval and early modern Catholic military order. It was headquartered in the Kingdom of Jerusalem until 1291, on the island of Rhodes from 1310 until 1522, in Malta from 1530 until 1798 and at Saint Petersburg from 1799 until 1801. Today several organizations continue the Hospitaller tradition, most importantly the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

Dissolution of the Monasteries legal event which disbanded religious residences in England, Wales and Ireland

The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland, appropriated their income, disposed of their assets, and provided for their former personnel and functions. Although the policy was originally envisaged as increasing the regular income of the Crown, much former monastic property was sold off to fund Henry's military campaigns in the 1540s. He was given the authority to do this in England and Wales by the Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534, which made him Supreme Head of the Church in England, thus separating England from Papal authority, and by the First Suppression Act (1535) and the Second Suppression Act (1539).

Henry VIII of England 16th-century King of England

Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. He was the second Tudor monarch, succeeding his father Henry VII. Henry is best known for his six marriages, in particular his efforts to have his first marriage annulled. His disagreement with the Pope on the question of such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated. Henry is also known as "the father of the Royal Navy"; he invested heavily in the Navy, increasing its size greatly from a few to more than 50 ships.

Manor House

The Manor House originates from the 16th century and is Grade II* listed. [7] From 1546 the manor was granted to John Zouche (later Sir John). His son Francis sold the manor to Sir Matthew Arundell and it remained in the Arundell family until the 20th century. [8]

John Zouche, of Ansty, Wiltshire, was an English politician.

Matthew Arundell English gentleman

Sir Matthew Arundell of Wardour Castle in Wiltshire, known between 1552 and 1554 as Matthew Howard and after his death sometimes called Matthew Arundell-Howard, was an English gentleman, landowner, and member of parliament in the West of England.

Arundell family Cornish nobility

The Arundell family of Cornwall are amongst the few Cornish families of Norman origin, and there are still fewer of French extraction who have for so long a period as at least five or six centuries been, like them, traceable in that county.

A Grade II* building from 1570–80 near the manor may be a former banquet hall. [9]


Ansty has a polo club [10] and a "Pick Your Own" farm shop.

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  1. "Area selected: Salisbury (Non-Metropolitan District)". Neighbourhood Statistics: Full Dataset View. Office for National Statistics . Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Freeman & Stevenson 1987 , pp. 93–100
  3. 1 2 3 Pevsner & Cherry 1975 , p. 94
  4. Historic England. "Church of St James, Ansty (1130713)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  5. 1 2 Pevsner & Cherry 1975 , p. 93
  6. 1 2 3 Pugh & Crittall 1956 , pp. 328–329
  7. Historic England. "Manor House, Ansty (1300354)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  8. "Victoria County History – Wiltshire – Vol 13 pp93-100 – Parishes: Ansty". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  9. Historic England. "Banqueting House, now workshop, Ansty (1318675)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  10. "Ansty". Nadder Valley Focus. Archived from the original on 9 November 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015.


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