Dilton Marsh

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Dilton Marsh
Dilton Marsh.jpg
Village centre
Dilton Marsh is located in Wiltshire
Dilton Marsh
Dilton Marsh
Dilton Marsh shown within Wiltshire
Population 1,934 (in 2011)[1]
OS grid reference ST850498
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WESTBURY
Postcode district BA13
Dialling code 01373
Police Wiltshire
Fire Dorset and Wiltshire
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
Website Parish
List of places
51°14′56″N 2°12′50″W / 51.249°N 2.214°W / 51.249; -2.214Coordinates: 51°14′56″N 2°12′50″W / 51.249°N 2.214°W / 51.249; -2.214

Dilton Marsh is a village and civil parish in the county of Wiltshire, in the southwest of England. The village is about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) southwest of the centre of the town of Westbury; expansion of the town has brought its Westbury Leigh suburb almost to the parish boundary.

The parish is on the county border with Somerset. It includes the small settlements of Penknap (east of Dilton Marsh village); Stormore (now contiguous with the west of the village); Clearwood (a little further west); and the rural hamlets of Fairwood (north) and Hisomley (southwest).


To the west is the Somerset town of Frome, the garrison town of Warminster is to the southeast, and Wiltshire's county town of Trowbridge is to the north. The Somerset border is some 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the west of Dilton Marsh village.


The original settlement, Old Dilton, is some 34 mi (1.2 km) southeast of the present village centre at grid reference ST860490, on the banks of the Biss Brook. It now consists of a couple of farm houses and the ancient St Mary's Church. As fewer workers were needed in the local woollen industry after the introduction of greater mechanisation, many moved to the common land of the drained marsh on the northern side of the ridge.[2] By the early 19th century, Dilton Marsh had outgrown the older settlement.

Dilton Marsh was a tithing of the ancient parish of Westbury, and the church at Dilton (now Old Dilton) was a chapelry of the parish church at Westbury. Dilton Marsh civil parish was created in 1894, bounded on the east by the Biss Brook and on the west by the county boundary; the southern extent of the new parish was reduced in 1934 when Chapmanslade civil parish was created.[3]

Chalcot House, a Grade II* listed country house, stands in Chalcot Park in the south of the parish. The house was built in the early 18th century on the site of an older one, extensively altered in 1872 by James Piers St Aubyn, and restored in the 1970s.[4]

Dilton Marsh had two schools in the 19th century. A British School was built in 1866, enlarged in 1884 and 1895, and became a County school 1906. A National School was built next to the new church c. 1848, and became a County school in 1904, when it was known as the Church of England school. The schools took children of all ages until the 1930s, when those over 11 transferred to the secondary school at Westbury. In 1938 the sites were reorganised into an Infants' school at the former British School, and a Junior school at the church school.[5][6]

Religious sites[edit]

St Mary's Church, Old Dilton is from the 14th century, with later work in the 15th and 17th; its interior is little changed since the 18th. Regular services ceased in 1900 after the building of Holy Trinity at Dilton Marsh, and the church was declared redundant in 1973. A Grade I listed building, it is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

Holy Trinity Church, Dilton Marsh

Holy Trinity Church was built in the centre of the village in 1844, to designs of T.H. Wyatt in Romanesque style, largely at the expense of Thomas Phipps of Chalcot. The building is Grade II* listed.[7][8] Holy Trinity is today part of the White Horse Team Ministry.[9]

Providence Baptist Church at Penknap was built in 1810, after a dispute at Westbury Leigh Baptist Church. The building was enlarged in 1835 and continues in use.[10] Stormore Chapel was built in 1844 as an offshoot of the Westbury Leigh Church, replacing a smaller building of 1839 which was provided owing to the distance from Penknap and Westbury. This too continues in use.[11]


The village High Street is 2 km (2187 yd) long. The village has a public house (the Prince of Wales), a post office, grocery shop, fish & chip shop and farm shop/garden centre & cafe (Fairfield Farm College). The village school continues as Dilton Marsh Church of England Primary School, in new accommodation built in 1988 behind the former church school.[12]


The village forms part of Ethandune electoral division of Wiltshire Council. This almost encircles Westbury, taking in Heywood, Bratton, Edington, and Coulston. The total population of Ethandune as at the 2011 census was 4,526.[13]


At the eastern end of the village is Dilton Marsh Railway Station, a simple railway platform on the regional line. It is the subject of the John Betjeman poem Dilton Marsh Halt. This is a request stop which means you have to ask the conductor to stop there, and when you want to get on a train you hold your hand as if hailing a taxi; you will have to pay on board as there are no facilities to pay at the platform.

In the past passengers were directed to the seventh house up the hill, Holmdale, where tickets could be bought from Mrs H. Roberts acting as a ticket agent for British Rail. [14]


  1. ^ "Wiltshire Community History - Census". Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Victoria County History - Wiltshire - Vol 8 pp168-172 - Westbury: Industry and trade". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 5 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "Victoria County History - Wiltshire - Vol 8 pp139-148 - Westbury: Introduction". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Historic England. "Chalcot House (1021468)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "County School, Dilton Marsh". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Church of England School, Dilton Marsh". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "Holy Trinity Church, Dilton Marsh". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Historic England. "Church of Holy Trinity (1021473)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  9. ^ "White Horse Team Ministry". Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  10. ^ "Providence Baptist Church & Ebenezer Baptist Church". Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  11. ^ "Stormore Baptist Church". Retrieved 6 June 2016. 
  12. ^ "Dilton Marsh School". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  13. ^ "Ethandune ward 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2015". 
  14. ^ "Tickets "Up the Hill"". Railway Magazine. 115 (821): 517. September 1969. 

External links[edit]