Teffont Evias

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Teffont Evias
Teffont Evias - geograph.org.uk - 1134969.jpg
Church and Manor House, Teffont Evias
Teffont Evias is located in Wiltshire
Teffont Evias
Teffont Evias
Teffont Evias shown within Wiltshire
OS grid reference ST993312
Civil parish
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Salisbury
Postcode district SP3
Dialling code 01722
Police Wiltshire
Fire Dorset and Wiltshire
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°04′54″N 2°00′54″W / 51.0816°N 2.015°W / 51.0816; -2.015Coordinates: 51°04′54″N 2°00′54″W / 51.0816°N 2.015°W / 51.0816; -2.015

Teffont Evias, also Teffont Ewyas, past alternative spellings including Tevont Evias, is a small village and former civil parish in the south of Wiltshire, England. Edric Holmes described the village as "most delightfully situated",[1] and Maurice Hewlett included Teffont in his list of the half dozen most beautiful villages in England.[2] The present buildings are mostly of local stone, and several are thatched. With their immediate environs the older buildings are protected as a site of special building restraint.

The civil parish came to an end in 1934 and was combined with neighbouring Teffont Magna to form a united Teffont.[3]


Teffont Evias lies six miles (10 km) south-west of Wilton and eight miles (13 km) from the cathedral city of Salisbury, in the valley of the River Nadder.[4]


Fossil fish, Purbeck beds, Blackfurlong, DF7 1769

The Purbeck Limestone underlies almost all of the parish, with a ridge of Cretaceous Upper Greensand. The Teffont Evias Quarry / Lane Cutting is protected as a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest. Fossils include some of the best Purbeck fish, with crocodile, turtle, and insect remains.[5] The Chilmark Quarries extend under Teffont and some of the disused entrances are within Teffont parish.

In the 13th century, the quarries at the southern end of the former parish were the source of much of the freestone used in the building of Salisbury Cathedral.[6]


A silver stater of the pre-Roman Durotriges tribe has been found in Teffont[7] which may have been near the boundary of Durotrigian territory. The modern name derives from "Teo", an old Germanic word meaning a boundary, and the Late Latin word "fontana", meaning a spring of water. The perennial stream rises at Spring Head at the north end of Teffont Magna, and flows some 2.5 km south to its debouchment into the River Nadder.

Enamelled Roman trumpet brooch, Upper Holt, Teffont Evias

Early Saxon remains have not been found to the west of the stream, and the original boundary may have separated the Romano-British from the Anglo-Saxons.[8] The "Ewyas" element derives from Ewyas Harold in Herefordshire's Golden Valley, the main seat of Teffont's lord at the time of Domesday Book. From Saxon times the village has been generally on the valley bottom along the course of the stream; the Teffont Archaeology Project has found remains of Roman settlement, possibly a sacred site, on higher ground.[9]

The River Nadder at the site of Teffont Mill

For administration, including punishment of misconduct, the village formed part of Dunworth Hundred; in 1502 its tithingman was presented to the hundred court for not carrying a staff as precedent required.[10]

According to Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870–1872):

TEFFONT-EVIAS, a parish in Tisbury district, Wilts; 1¼ mile W of Dinton r. station, and 6½ W of Wilton. It has a post-office, of the name of Teffont, under Salisbury. Acres, 742. Rated property, £1,177. Pop., 163. Houses, 32. The property is all in one estate. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £240.* Patron, W. F. De Salis, Esq. The church is good.[11]


Teffont Manor in 1870

These are scattered along the valley of the south-flowing stream and the road, in irregular clumps giving views of the woods and fields. The manor house (listed grade II)[12] and its adjoining church date largely from the 15th century, with significant embellishments and extensions especially in the 19th century.[3] There are several workers' cottages in vernacular styles, some with carved dates in the 1600s. A few other more substantial dwellings show later work, mostly from the 19th century. The Old Rectory, built in 1842, was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

The church[edit]

The Church of England parish church is called St Michael's[13] Sir Walter Raleigh mentions the church of "Tevont Evias" in his Discoverie of Guiana (1596), in connexion with the Ley family.[14] The chancel contains a notable monument in the form of three horizontal male figures, representing 16th century members of the Ley family, which owned the manor of Teffont Evias from 1545 until 1652.[6] The church's parish registers survive in the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre for the following dates: Christenings 1684–1991, Marriages 1701–1994, burials 1683–1991.[4]

In 1914 the Reverend Sir Douglas Edward Scott, 7th Baronet, was appointed as the parish's rector. Shortly afterwards he was declared bankrupt and his rectorship terminated.[15] Four years later, he was convicted of bigamy, and imprisoned.[15]


The ancient parish of Teffont Evias formed part of the Dunworth hundred of Wiltshire.[3]

The village of Teffont Evias is now part of the parish of Teffont, which has a parish council and is in the area of the Wiltshire Council unitary authority, which is responsible for almost all significant local government functions. It forms part of the Salisbury parliamentary constituency, and the serving Member of Parliament is John Glen.

Proprietors of the Manor[edit]

In 1522 the estate was inherited by Walter Hungerford, 1st Baron Hungerford of Heytesbury; in 1540 he was attainted by act of parliament and executed for treason, sorcery, and offences forbidden by the Buggery Act 1533.[16]

The Ley family owned the manor of Teffont Evias from 1545 until 1652, when they sold it to the Ash family.[3]

Emily-Harriet Mayne (1816–96), Mrs Fane De Salis from 1859, was the eldest daughter of John Thomas Mayne, FRS (1818), of Teffont Evias (1792–1843) by Sarah Fulcher (died 1871), daughter of John Start of Halstead, Essex. Emily was in charge of Teffont from 1852 to 1896. This portrait was made by Camille Silvy, on 30 April 1861, when Emily was 44 or 45.

Since 1679, the estate of Teffont Evias has passed in the same local family, the Maynes (to 1907) and the Keatinges (to the present). Christopher Mayne (1655–1701), descendant of a prosperous though plebeian Exeter family, bought it in 1679 for £12,000 and moved there in 1692. The manor passed to his descendant John Thomas Mayne, FRS, FSA, (1792–1843), of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple (2 Harcourt Buildings). A Gentleman well versed in various branches of natural knowledge, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society on 29 January 1818. In response to the severe distress of the labouring population and the ensuing riots, he became an "indefatigable reformer", circulating a petition for parliamentary reform and reduced expenditure which was signed by over 14,000 inhabitants of the county, and presented to Parliament on 10 February 1831.[17] With friends he enlarged Teffont Evias Church and gave it its present tower and steeple, and he extended and remodelled the Manor house.[3] He also improved his family tree; he included in it connections (which he could not document) to two West Country clergymen, the Catholic (now Saint) Cuthbert Mayne and the Anglican Jasper Mayne, and he spent many days researching and copying the documents of the aristocratic, extinct Mayne family of Kent, then claiming them (and some of their portraits, still in Teffont) as his own ancestors.[18]

From 1852 until her death in 1896 J. T. Mayne's eldest daughter Emily, and her husband, William Fane De Salis, were in command. They built the present service court and water tower of the Manor house. Their marriage was childless, so on Emily's death in 1896 the house and estate passed on to her next unmarried sister Margaret (d.1905), then to the youngest sister Ellen-Flora (1829–1907), Mrs. Maurice Keatinge, and thence to Ellen's eldest son Richard Keatinge. He sold it to his younger brothers Maurice Walter and Gerald Francis (1872–1965),[19] who shared the advowson of the benefice of Teffont Evias with the patrons of the church of Dinton.[20] Maurice died childless and Gerald passed the estate to his son Edgar in 1947. In 1957 the advowson was transferred to the Bishop of Salisbury.

Notable people[edit]

In the church is this Tarsia panel by Baron Henry de Triqueti (1803–1874), dated 1863, photo circa 1870. (Marriage of Triqueti as described in the New Monthly Magazine, 1834: 'At the Hotel of His Excellency Earl Granville, in Paris, by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Luscombe, Henry de Triqueti, son of the Baronne de Salis de Triqueti, to Julia Philippina, youngest daughter of the late Rev. Edward Foster, Chaplain of the British Embassy at the Court of France.[21])


Conservatory front of Teffont Manor, late nineteenth century.
A faun by Henri de Triqueti, in Emily Mayne/Mrs William Fane de Salis' collection.
  1. ^ Wanderings in Wessex. An Exploration of the Southern Realm from Itchen to Otter https://www.gutenberg.org/files/11410/11410.txt accessed 29 March 2014
  2. ^ Poorhouse to Paradise. By Lyall Ford. p3. Taipan Press, Queensland, 2001. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=VIA17Vecpq8C&pg=PA3&lpg=PA3#v=onepage&q&f=false accessed 29 March 2014
  3. ^ a b c d e 'Parishes: Teffont Evias', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 13: South-west Wiltshire: Chalke and Dunworth hundreds (1987), pp. 185–195. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  4. ^ a b Teffont Evias at genuki.org.uk. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  5. ^ Needham John E. (2011) Forests of the Dinosaurs. Wiltshire's Jurassic Finale. s.v. Teffont. ISBN 978-1-906978-01-3, Hobnob Press, East Knoyle
  6. ^ a b Sylvanus Urban, wd., The Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle (1830), p. 105 online at books.google.com
  7. ^ https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/737410 accessed 26 February 2017
  8. ^ Bruce Eagles, in Roman Wiltshire and After: Papers in Honour of Ken Annable, ed. Peter Ellis. Publisher: Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Society. Date September 2001. ISBN 0-947723-08-0, ISBN 978-0-947723-08-8
  9. ^ Teffont Archaeology Project 2012 http://www.teffont.org.uk/the-site/roman-settlement-site/ accessed 8 June 2012
  10. ^ Jane Freeman and Janet H Stevenson, 'Dunworth hundred', in A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 13, South-West Wiltshire: Chalke and Dunworth Hundreds, ed. D A Crowley (London, 1987), pp. 89–92 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/wilts/vol13/pp89-92 [accessed 27 March 2015].
  11. ^ Teffont Evias at visionofbritain.org.uk
  12. ^ Teffont Manor with Two Attached Follies, Teffont. British Listed Buildings. Data from English Heritage. http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-320397-flats-1-2-and-3-with-two-attached-follie accessed 6 January 2014
  13. ^ Teffont Evias St Michael at achurchnearyou.com. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  14. ^ Joyce Lorimer, ed., Sir Walter Ralegh's Discoverie of Guiana, p. 308 online at books.google.com
  15. ^ a b Allen, Peter (10 June 2011). Great Barr Observer: 8.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Parliament Roll, 31 & 32 Henry VIII, m. 42. In Harrison, William Jerome (1891). "Hungerford, Walter (1503–1540)". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 28. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 259–261.
  17. ^ The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820–1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009. http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1820-1832/constituencies/wiltshire
  18. ^ Soldiers, Saints, and Scallywags. David Gore. Wiltshire Family History Society 1997, http://issuu.com/wiltshirefhs/docs/65_-_april_1997, pp.15–18. Published by the author, 2009. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2_ZstVBZSfIC&lpg=PA1&pg=PA72 accessed 18 March 2014
  19. ^ Audrey McBain and Lynette Nelson, The Bounding Spring (Black Horse Press, 2003, ISBN 1-904377-26-2)
  20. ^ 'Teffont Magna', in A History of the County of Wiltshire, Volume 8: Warminster, Westbury and Whorwellsdown Hundreds (1965), pp. 74–78, accessed 7 July 2011.
  21. ^ New Monthly Magazine, London, 1834
  22. ^ Anthony Wood, Athenae Oxoniensis, vol. 2 (1692), p. 487 online
  23. ^ Samuel Lewis, A topographical dictionary of England, vol. 4 (1835), p. 282
  24. ^ Lesley Bates. Three-year story of village where 'much has happened'. Salisbury Journal. 4 March 2004. page 31.
Recent (2009) photograph of the eastern end of St. Michael's church showing a countly armorial of circa 1870.
Detail of a portrait of Count William Fane De Salis by Ouless, 1880.

Further reading[edit]

  • A detailed history of the parish was published in 1987 by the Wiltshire Victoria County History and is available online.
  • A social history of the village was published in 2003, entitled "The Bounding Spring" (Audrey McBain and Lynette Nelson. ISBN 1-904377-26-2. Black Horse Press, 2003. Summary at http://www.teffont.com/index.php/local-history)
  • Elizabeth Darby, "A French Sculptor in Wiltshire: Henri de Triqueti's Panel in the Church of St Michael & All Angels, Teffont Evias", The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, Vol. 95 (2002).
Church and corner of the manor house, circa 1870, (from an album belonging to Emily Fane De Salis)

External links[edit]

Media related to Teffont Evias at Wikimedia Commons