Churchwardens' Accounts Database - Volunteering Opportunity

on Friday, 21 April 2017.

Volunteers needed - Can you help?

Churchwardens’ accounts are an important resource for historians and genealogists and we are seeking volunteers to help collect data from all surviving pre-1850 churchwardens’ accounts.  This important National Database, although not yet complete, will go ‘live’ shortly and will be updated regularly. The Database will be freely available to all here.

The data we are collecting is:-
• The year of each surviving account.
• The total expenditure for each surviving year.

It is not necessary to have experience of churchwardens’ accounts; training will be provided together with information and guidance notes to help you.

We are (ideally) looking for people who can spare some time on a regular basis, for approximately six months, in their Local Record Office.  If you already have this information for one or more parishes or you are willing to collect it from just one or two parishes that is fine. All help will be gratefully received and acknowledged.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in volunteering, and we will set up some initial training led by Dr Valerie Hitchman.

Changes to Search Room Security and Document Production from June 2017

on Wednesday, 12 April 2017.

The preservation of archives for future generations is core to the role of Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. Central to preservation are appropriate security measures to prevent loss, theft or damage.

Please note that from 6 June 2017 we will be improving the security of our unique archives by the following measures:

• Researchers should pre-order their documents in advance as much as they are able to (this may be done by telephoning 01249 705500 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

• Each researcher may order as many documents as they need but will only be issued with ONE item (which may be a box, a volume, a printed book, a bundle or a single document depending on numbering) at a time.


• Maps accompanied by a survey book will still be produced together, on the map table.

• Researchers wishing to use more than one document at a time (eg to compare handwriting or for some other legitimate purpose) should speak to the duty archivist in advance of ordering, and will need to sit in close proximity to the help desk to use their items.

• Researchers may if they wish to, indicate the priority of documents at the time of ordering to help with allocating this e.g. if you are ordering a deed and a will, but you wish to view the deed first, put ‘Top priority’ on the order slip

• The researcher should return documents to the search room trolley. Staff retrieving these can then issue the next document to the researcher’s table.

It is recommended that elderly/infirm customers sit close to the returns trolley.

• When there is only one document production assistant working, e.g. Saturdays and lunch times, production times may increase.

We are aware that these changes may slow down the speed of accessing documents slightly but we feel confident that we can still meet our target, which is to provide customers with their first document within 20 minutes from the time of ordering.
Pre-ordering of documents will assist in enabling our staff to continue to provide an excellent service to researchers.

Any concerns or queries about these revised procedures should be addressed to the Principal Archivist – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 01249 705510

Thank you

Some Ordnance Survey Maps Temporarily Unavailable

on Friday, 17 March 2017.

Update: Ordnance survey maps are now all available again as normal

Please note that:

OS 25” sheets 8.15 (1886), 10.11 (1941), 23.2, 23.3, 24.1 (c1910), 30.14 (1911 + 1924), 32.12 (c1924) 49.2, 52.3, 52.4, 59.14, 62.7, 62.8 (c1910)
65.5 (c1924) 65.13, 68.16, 72.11, 76.3, 77.4, 77.8 (c1910)

Plus town plans 20.14.18 (Chippenham) and 38.7.9 + 15 (Trowbridge)
are being temporarily withdrawn for digitisation, the week beginning 20th March. This should be complete by end of March 2017.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Know Your Place coming to Chippenham

on Wednesday, 22 February 2017.

6th March – 28th April at the  Yelde Hall

A cutting edge display is coming to Chippenham as the final stop on a tour of 12 venues across the West of England.

It features images from archives, museums and heritage collections from across the West (including us at the History Centre) and gives a unique insight into the history of the places where we live, work and visit.

It will be on display in the Yelde Hall, Chippenham from 6th March – 28th April alongside objects that explore the long history of Chippenham’s medieval Yelde Hall.

The exhibition is part of ‘Know Your Place – West of England’ digital mapping project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

We’ll be posting about some of the stories from the exhibition on our social media channels throughout the period of the exhibition, so keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

We’re also hosting a FREE maps workshop on Saturday 10 June called ‘Know Your Place: Putting Wiltshire on the Map’. Claire Skinner will help you find out more about using maps for local history and also demonstrate how you can contribute their knowledge of local heritage to the Know Your Place West of England website. Book your place now on 01249 705500.

For anyone interested, there will also be a walking tour of Chippenham at 2 pm the same day led by Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre which will be advertised in due course at: A cost may apply for the walk.

Documents Temporarily Unavailable

on Tuesday, 31 January 2017.

* UPDATE 13 Feb 2017. The documents are now available again as normal.

We apologise that due to faulty shelving, document references 348 through to 628/29/5 are currently unavailable. This includes some large and popular collections so please ensure you double check your document references before travelling to see us.

The collections affected include (not a comprehensive list):

348 Society of Genealogists

374 Mullings, Ellett & Co. Solicitors of Cirencester.

383 Stourhead

413 Benett of Pythouse, Tetbury

415 Keary, Stokes and White. Solicitors of Chippenham

445 Sir Michael Peto

451 Salisbury Diocesan Registry

473 Goldney of Chippenham

490 Earl of Radnor

540 Phipps Family of Leighton and Chalcot in Westbury

574 Awdry, Douglas, and Bailey

628 Farnfield and Nicholls. Solicitors of Warminster (unavailable up to ref 628/29/5)

An engineer has been informed and we will make the material available again as soon as possible. Apologies for any inconvenience.

<<  1 2 3 4 [56 7 8 9  >>  


Accredited Archive Service