Lea & Garsdon Primary School
|Population||812 (in 2011)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Dorset and Wiltshire|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Lea is a village in Wiltshire, England, lying approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Malmesbury. It is part of the civil parish of Lea and Cleverton which includes the village of Garsdon and the hamlet of Cleverton. Garsdon was a separate parish until 1934.
The Charlton Stream forms the western boundary of the parish, and joins the River Avon near Cowbridge in the southwest of the parish. The Woodbridge Brook flows east-west across the parish to join the Charlton Stream northwest of Lea village. The southern boundary of the parish follows approximately the B4042 Swindon–Malmesbury road.
An early resident of Lea, in 1340, was Ralph of Combe and his name survives in the name applied to the south west corner of the village of Lea, which is Combe Green (Ordnance Survey spelling), sometimes misspelt as Coombe Green.
A school was built at Lea in 1873, replacing an earlier one-room school. Children of all ages attended until 1954 when older pupils transferred to Malmesbury School; in 1976 the school buildings were extended.
The Domesday Book of 1068 recorded a settlement of 17 households at Gardone, and land held by Malmesbury Abbey. The abbey retained the land until the Dissolution when it was granted to Richard Moody, whose descendants included Sir Henry Moody MP (c.1582–1629).
In 1631, the manor was bought by Sir Lawrence Washington (d. 1643), a Registrar of Chancery; his son, also Lawrence (1622–1662) was elected for Malmesbury in 1661. Garsdon church has Washington family graves and a memorial; members of another branch of the family, headed by Lawrence Washington (1602–1653) are ancestors of George Washington, first President of the United States. The manor passed by marriage to Sir Robert Shirley, later Earl Ferrers, in 1671; his grandson sold it to Paul Methuen in 1758, and in turn his grandson sold it in 1843 to Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire, who also owned the nearby Charlton estate. The Howards sold the manor and farm in the 1930s.
In the late 17th century the main Oxford-Bristol road ran east-west through Garsdon parish, following the ridge in the east of the parish.
The boundary between Lea and Garsdon parishes followed roughly the course of the Woodbridge Brook. Population of the parish peaked at 234 in 1831 and then declined, reaching 119 in 1931. Garsdon was added to Lea parish in 1934.
An early chapel at Lea had been annexed to Garsdon rectory by the mid 16th century. In the earlier 20th century, Garsdon and Lea and Cleverton were considered a united benefice; in 1987 the rectory of Garsdon with Lea and Cleverton was united with Charlton vicarage. Today the churches at Lea and Garsdon are part of the Woodbridge Group of six rural churches.
Primitive Methodists built Jubilee Chapel at Garsdon Heath, northeast of Garsdon village, in 1860. The building remained in use until the late 20th century or early 21st, but by 2012 had become a private house.
Lea & Garsdon CE Primary School serves Lea, Cleverton, Garsdon and Charlton. The village has a public house, the Rose and Crown, and a village hall. Other facilities in the village include a tennis court, a table tennis table and a children's play area.
Lea had a cricket team between 2002 and 2009: the "Lea Lackadasicals". They played around ten friendly matches a year, normally on a Sunday afternoon.
- "Wiltshire Community History - Census". Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
- "'Gargrave - Gatenby', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848)". British History Online. University of London. pp. 279–282. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
- Baggs, A.P.; Freeman, Jane; Stevenson, Janet H (1991). Crowley, D.A., ed. "Victoria County History: Wiltshire: Vol 14, pp89-95: Garsdon". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "Catchment Data Explorer: Charlton Str". Environment Agency. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
- Baggs, A.P.; Freeman, Jane; Stevenson, Janet H (1991). Crowley, D.A., ed. "Victoria County History: Wiltshire: Vol 14 pp119-126 - Parishes: Lea and Cleverton". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
- "OS map of Lea showing Combe Green name". Retrieved February 22, 2014.
- "Lea and Garsdon Church of England Primary School". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- Journals of the House of Lords Volume 93 (1861), p. 5
- Garsdon in the Domesday Book
- "WASHINGTON, Lawrence (1622–62), of Garsdon, Wilts". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
- New-York Life Insurance Co (1884). The Garsdon Branch of the Washington Family. Theo. L. De Vinne & Co. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
- Historic England. "Garsdon Manor, Lea and Cleverton (1022252)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
- "Woodbridge Group of Churches". Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- Historic England. "Church of St Giles (1363898)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- "Church of St. Giles, Lea". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- Historic England. "Church of All Saints (1284841)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- "Zion Methodist Chapel, Lea". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- "Zion Chapel, Lea". Grace Baptist Trust Corporation. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- "Primitive Methodist Chapel, Garsdon". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- Roger Scruton (1 May 2014). "3". Our Church: A Personal History of the Church of England. Atlantic Books. ISBN 978-1-78239-504-1.
- "Primitive Methodist Chapel, Cleverton". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
- "Trinity – Cleverton". North Wiltshire Methodist Circuit. Retrieved 3 February 2018.