Former church, Braydon
|Braydon shown within Wiltshire|
|Population||43 (in 2011)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Dorset and Wiltshire|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Braydon is a civil parish in north Wiltshire, England, about 6 miles (10 km) northwest of Swindon. A thinly-populated farming area with no settlements apart from the farms, it is best known for sharing its name with Braydon Forest. The population of the parish was 48 in 1881 and was little changed in 2011, at 43.
In the Middle Ages, Braydon was a tithing of Purton and belonged to the Duchy of Lancaster, giving rise to the name of Duchy Wood, and passed to the Crown with the rest of the Duchy. Red Lodge was a royal hunting lodge until the land was developed in the 17th century. In 1826, the Crown exchanged Braydon for other land and it thus came into the ownership of the 3rd Earl of Clarendon, who had previously leased it. In 1829 the estate was sold to Joseph Neeld of Grittleton, at which time it consisted of 1,357 acres (5.49 km2) divided into several farms, called Battle Lake, Cock's Hill, Duchy, Maple Sale, Park Gate with Roebuck, Pound House, Raven's Roost, Red Lodge, and White Lodge. In 1901 the Neeld estate was broken up, and by 1910 about half of Braydon belonged to Mr J. E. Ward, whose granddaughter Elizabeth Ward owned Red Lodge, Pound and Coxhill farms in 2007.
In 1887 Braydon was said to be "occupied chiefly by squatters, who led a wretched life".
At its greatest extent, Braydon Forest covered about a third of the area of Wiltshire, but over the centuries most of it was slowly cleared.
With its tiny population, Braydon is considered too small to merit a parish council and has instead a parish meeting. Most significant local government functions are now carried out by the Wiltshire Council unitary authority. At the parliamentary level, the parish is part of the North Wiltshire county constituency and the current member of parliament is James Gray (Conservative).
- "Wiltshire Community History - Census". Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Swanton, M. 2000 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (London: Phoenix Press)
- "Braydon". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- "Braydon" (PDf). englandspastforeveryone.org.uk.
- "National School, Braydon". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine, XXIII, p. 164
- "Anglican church, Braydon". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- "Upper Thames circuit: Braydon". The Methodist Church. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- "Tin chapel grows in popularity". BBC Wiltshire. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- S. E. Kelly (ed.) (2005). Charters of Malmesbury Abbey, Anglo-Saxon Charters 11. Oxford University Press for the British Academy. Oxford: trin.cam.ac.uk. p. S 234.
- "Braydon: a study of settlement in a parish-edge forest", Paul Pattison, David Field, Stewart Ainsworth, Patterns of the past: essays in landscape archaeology for Christopher Taylor (1999)
Media related to Braydon at Wikimedia Commons