Christian Malford

The village of Christian Malford lies in the Hundred of North Damerham. Until 1319 the parish lay in Startley Hundred. In 1319 the Abbots of Glastonbury, who were the chief landowners arranged for their severance from Startley Hundred into the new North Damerham Hundred. An earlier record shows that Christian Malford was granted by King Edmund to Glastonbury Abbey in the year 940.

The village is near the river Avon and the name translates as ford by the cross. As the village is only 6 miles north east of Chippenham all of its agricultural production was linked to the markets in the main town. The geology is made up of alluvium around the river with spreads of gravel and large areas of Oxford clay. The village grew up around the ford and the cross on the high ground above the rivers.

There is good evidence of Prehistoric settlement along the gravels with finds of Neolithic and Mesolithic flint tools and Bronze Age weapons. In the Doomsday survey of 1086 much of the area was under the control of the monks of Glastonbury Abbey and the population was probably around 140 people. After the dissolution of the monasteries Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, acquired the manors. In the 19th century the principle landowner in the parish was the Earl of Carnarvon with lesser areas owned by the Marquis of Lansdowne. In 1875 Sir Henry Meux, who lived at Dauntsey Manor House became the principle landowner of the parish. Whilst the production of wheat was the main agricultural staple in the 19th century there was also a brick maker, haulier, three shoemakers, wheelwright, carpenter, tailor, three bakers, butcher, beer retailer, pig dealer, cabinet maker and three shopkeepers.

The construction of the Great Western Railway in the 1840s and in the 20th century, and the building of the M4 motorway opened up the parish with new buildings in the village and surrounding areas.