This dig will take place on 50+ acres of grazed pasture/cut and baled.
Lots of history in this area, with Corsley being only 3 miles from Frome and 5 from Warminster.
At the making of Domesday Book most of Corsley was included within the great royal manor of Warminster, and even after it had been granted away by Henry II the church of Corsley was parochially dependent on Warminster until the 15th century. The common fields of Cley and Chedlanger were shared by the tenants of Corsley and Warminster until their inclosure in 1783, while the rectorial tithes of Corsley, which formed the endowment of a prebend in Wells Cathedral, included those of lands in Thoulstone in Upton Scudamore and Bugley in Warminster.
The parocial affiliations of Thoulstone and Norridge were not firmly made with Upton Scudamore until the 16th century, and even then certain parts of Norridge were regarded as extra-parochial. In agriculture and manorial custom Little Corsley and Norridge were closely linked. It is thus not surprising that the eastern boundary of Corsley was not formally defined until the inclosure of 1783. The other boundaries were presumably already ancient; that to the north existed in 1235, when Corsley included Chapmanslade ‘under the road’.
The ancient parish as finally defined in 1783 was an irregular rectangle, its western boundary being also the county boundary with Somerset. Three small detached pieces of Corsley, two locally in Warminster near the Bath road, and one containing the buildings of Thoulstone Farm in Upton Scudamore, were added to the parishes which surrounded them under the Divided Parishes Act of 1882. The detached part of Norton Bavant adjoining Corsley on the south was added to the parish at the same time, so that its area was increased from 2,580 a. to 3,056 a. In 1934 the northern part of the parish was united with parts of Dilton Marsh and Upton Scudamore to form the civil parish of Chapmanslade. At the same time Corsley received a large addition on the south by the transfer to it of the northern part of Longleat park and woods, previously in Warminster. These changes increased the area of the parish to 3,585 a.
The parish occupies the western part of a shelf of greensand which extends from the north-western scarp of Salisbury Plain near Warminster across the Somerset border to the valley of the Frome. The shelf is generally some 400 ft. above sea level, but is diversified here by the prominent chalk outlier of Cley Hill, rising to 784 ft., in the southwest corner of the parish. On it are two barrows and a univallate hill-fort. Adjoining Cley Hill to the north is Little Cley Hill; this has given rise to the traditional rhyme,
‘Big Cley Hill do wear a hat Little Cley Hill do laugh at that’.
Two small streams rise in the lower slopes of Cley Hill and cross the parish from east to west. Rodden Brook, the northernmost of the two, runs in a fairly broad valley to join the River Frome, but the other, which gave its name to the hamlets of Whitbourne, has a narrower valley. Corsley lay within the bounds of Selwood Forest in the Middle Ages, and much of the parish must have consisted of woodland which was only gradually cleared. This has left its mark on the pattern of settlement. Apart from the village of Chapmanslade, of which the southern side of the street lay in Corsley until the boundary changes of 1934 the parish contains only small hamlets and isolated farms. Some of the hamlets, such as Huntenhull, Corsley, and the three Whitbournes, are of early origin, while Longhedge, Corsley Heath and Lane End are all groups of cottages built on former common land, probably from the 16th century onwards. In spite of this Corsley was clearly well populated in the 14th century. In 1334 the assessment of the vill was 130s., higher than any other in the hundred except Warminster, while a further 26s. 8d. was assessed on Whitbourne. In 1377 there were 128 poll-tax payers in Corsley, the third largest number in the hundred, and 49 at Whitbourne. In the 16th century the parish was apparently well-populated and prosperous. The population of 1,412 in 1801 increased to 1,729 by 1831, in spite of the emigration of 200 people to America since 1821. After that it declined steadily, owing to the decay of the cloth industry and to the increasing preponderance of dairy-farming, to 729 in 1931. In 1934 194 people lived in the part of Corsley transferred to the new parish of Chapmanslade, while only 49 lived in the area gained from Warminster. In spite of that the population had risen to 745 by 1951.
If you would like to attend this dig, please register below. No catering on this event, lease bring drinks/packed lunches. Arrival after 07:30: briefing at 08:55, digging commences at 09:00.
Warminster/Frome (Corsley) Dig
Registration opens at 06-06-2018 15:51
Registration closes at 23-06-2018 23:51