Kington Langley

The parish of Kington Langley was formed out of the parish of Kington St Michael in 1865. The original hamlet was known as Langley Fitzurze in medieval times. The village is situated on high ground 2 miles north of Chippenham and is separated from Kington St Michael by the main Chippenham to Malmesbury road.

The geology of the parish is most of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods on a high water table with soils composed of sand and Oxford clay. The village plan is of the 'squared village types' with three greens. The common/village green of 30 acres was the focal point of the village and was used for pasturing animals.

Early records in 940 AD suggest that there were 30 households in the village for the King's officer Wilfric on behalf of the King who owned the land. Further holdings of the village were of the monks at Glastonbury Abbey. At the dissolution of the monasteries large parts of these estates at Langley were enclosed for the first time.

Many of the houses in the village are built of local rubble stone and roofed with slates. Some of the more high class buildings have ashlar dressings and reflect classical architectural styles.

Kington Langley was without a church for many years though the population had use of a chapel of ease which was later turned into cottages in 1670. The new St Peter's church was built further up the road in 1856 by Mr Miller of Seagry, it was designed in the early English style.

Trade directories from 1875 list the primary occupations in Kington Langley which were shop keeper, baker and maltster, blacksmith, butcher and farmer, beer retailer and wheelwright. By 1901 the village had a post office along with the occupations of plasterers, carpenters, masons, farmers, a horse breaker and dealer and a haulage firm. By 1920 there was also a physician and surgeon, baker and beer retailer, florist and nurseryman, timber merchant, laundry and dressmaker, boot and shoe dealer.

The village was also home to Robin and Heather Tanner from 1931, he was an artist and etcher born in 1904. Later in life, after a innovative life in education, he developed his etchings of many villages and local scenes around the area. Both he and his wife were lifelong Quakers and his wife, Heather, was a leading member of CND.