Church Street, Hilperton
|Hilperton shown within Wiltshire|
|Population||4,967 (in 2011)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Dorset and Wiltshire|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Hilperton is a village and civil parish in Wiltshire, England. The village is separated by a few fields (the Hilperton Gap) from the northeastern edge of the town of Trowbridge and is approximately 1.3 miles (2.1 km) from Trowbridge town centre.
South of Hilperton village are large areas of housing constructed from 1997, including Paxcroft Mead, Castle Mead and Lacock Gardens; these districts are sometimes mistaken for suburbs of Trowbridge. To the east are the Devizes Road and Stourton Park housing areas, and Paxcroft, a small industrial hamlet.
In the west of the parish is the village of Hilperton Marsh which is adjacent to the village of Staverton (a separate parish) and the Canal Road Industrial Estate (part of Trowbridge). In the north, beyond the Kennet and Avon Canal, is the rural hamlet of Whaddon.
Settlements with altogether 12 households were recorded at Helprintone or Helperitone in the Domesday Book of 1086. Little is known of Hilperton's history until the 19th century; home-based cloth weaving was a major source of employment but declined during that century.
A school with 100 places was built near the church c. 1840 and replaced with a larger building in 1875, which by 1893 was attended by 122 children on average. All ages attended until 1931, when it was reorganised into an infant school and junior school; it became voluntary controlled in 1948. Responding to the increase in population, a new school was opened in 1970 a short distance to the north, and was attended by 151 in 2004.
A 2016 community governance review extended the Trowbridge boundary northeast into Hilperton, effective April 2017. The area transferred to Trowbridge, lying south of Hilperton Drive, has around 260 houses, The Mead primary school, and a local shopping centre with a Budgens supermarket and the Red Admiral pub.
Church of England
The parish church of St Michael and All Angels was largely rebuilt by T.H. Wyatt in 1852, as the previous 15th-century church had insufficient capacity. Internal changes were made in the 1890s, including relocation of the organ to an enlarged vestry, the addition of stained glass windows, and the installation of the 12th-century font bowl from the church at Whaddon, mounted on a 19th-century shaft and base. Five of the six bells were recast in 1909.
St Mary's church at Hilperton Marsh was built as a chapel of ease in 1889, using prefabricated corrugated iron components. After further funds were raised, a chancel in stone and flint was added in 1899; the church also gained the 19th-century font from St Michael's. Services were influenced by the Anglo-Catholic Oxford Movement. Changes in 1954 created the parish of Staverton with Hilperton Marsh, where St Mary's became the sole church on the closure of the older St Paul's church at Staverton in 2011.
Whaddon's Church of St Mary is from the 12th and 14th centuries; a chapel for the Long family (later of Rood Ashton House) was added in 1770, and the chancel and bellcote were rebuilt in 1879. 12th-century stones survive, although rearranged, in the north (blocked) and south doorways. The church was designated as Grade II* listed in 1988.
Today the two Hilperton churches, together with Whaddon and Semington, comprise the Canalside Benefice.
A Particular Baptist chapel, an offshoot of the Back Street chapel at Trowbridge, was built in Hilperton village in 1806 and enlarged in 1821. The congregation numbered 59 in 1829 and 30 in 1890; the chapel continued in use until the second half of the 20th century, and has been replaced by dwellings. A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in the village in 1819, then rebuilt in 1891 with seating for 300. The chapel closed before the 1990s and is now a private house.
Hilperton is an ancient civil parish with its own elected parish council. It is in the area of Wiltshire Council unitary authority, which is responsible for all significant local government functions. Hilperton electoral ward has the same boundaries as the parish.
Hilperton village has a free house pub, the Lion and Fiddle, on Devizes Road. The post office and general stores closed in 2004, though a petrol station (with a small shop) remains in place. The village hall on Whaddon Lane is the social hub of the older part of Hilperton, and the adjoining football pitch is home to Hilperton United FC. Trowbridge Rugby Football Club, who play in Southern Counties South, have their ground at Paxcroft.
The Kennet and Avon Canal crosses the rural northern section of the parish and forms the western boundary of Hilperton Marsh, where there is a marina.
The village school continues as Hilperton CE Primary School. The south of the parish is served by The Mead Community Primary School at Paxcroft Mead, which was in Hilperton parish when it opened in 2001 but is within the area transferred to Trowbridge in 2017.
Hilperton is home to a mid-18th century limestone village lock-up known as The Blind House, a set of stocks, a green village pump manufactured by Lee Howl, a milestone giving directions to three nearby towns, and two elaborate Paxcroft Mead signs constructed in 1997. There are plaques commemorating a thousand years since Hilperton's entry in the Domesday Book, the village's win as "The Best Kept Village 2012", and a 1994 plaque commemorating the centenary of parish councils. The Paxcroft Mead Country Park is also home to three "People in the Park" benches, one of which commemorates the tenth anniversary of the Paxcroft Mead Community Centre.
- "Wiltshire Community History - Census". Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- Murray, Robin (20 April 2017). "Fears raised after workmen spotted on Hilperton Gap". Wiltshire Times. Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- Hilperton in the Domesday Book
- Pugh, R.B.; Crittall, Elizabeth, eds. (1953). "Victoria County History: Wiltshire: Vol 7 pp86-91 - Parishes: Hilperton". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- Historic England. "Hilperton House (1194189)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- "Hilperton C.of E. V.C. Primary School". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- "Hilperton". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
- "Community Governance Review 2016". Retrieved 21 May 2017.
- Historic England. "Church of St Michael and All Angels (1021792)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
- "Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Hilperton". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
- "St Michael and All Angels, Hilperton". Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture. King's College London. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
- "Hilperton". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
- "Church of St. Mary, Hilperton Marsh". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
- "St Mary Magdalene, Hilperton Marsh". The Canalside Benefice. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
- Church Commissioners (4 August 2015). "Explanatory note re disposal of Staverton St Paul" (PDF).
- "St Mary, Whaddon". Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture. King's College London. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
- Historic England. "Church of St Mary, Whaddon (1262296)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
- "The Benefice". The Canalside Benefice. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
- "Particular Baptist Chapel, Hilperton". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- William, Doel (2005) . Twenty Golden Candlesticks! A history of Baptist Nonconformity in Western Wiltshire. Wiltshire County Council Libraries and Heritage. pp. 142–148. ISBN 0860804941. OCLC 851732456.
- "Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Hilperton". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
Media related to Hilperton at Wikimedia Commons