Langley Burrell

The parish village of Langley Burrell is only 2 miles north east of Chippenham and includes Kellaways and Maud Heath's causeway between Wick hill and Chippenham. The name Langley means a long clearing or wood, whilst the name Burrell appears to have come from Peter Burel who comes from the Borel family, who held the estate in 1086.


 

Archaeologically there are finds and occupation throughout the parish. The earliest finds date from the Palaeolithic with flint implements. There are also good collections of flint from Peckingell farm and Kellaways farm. Near Birdsmarsh Wood there is both Iron Age and Roman occupation. There was probably Anglo-Saxon settlement and, in the Doomsday survey of 1086 it refers to acres of meadow and woodland with a population of around 100 people.

The Borel family held the manor up to 1304 when it was then owned by Sir John Delamare, later it passed to the Earl of March, Roger D Mortimer and came down into the ownership of Thomas, 2nd Lord Berkeley, through marriage it then passed to Sir Reginald de Cobham in 1343.

The parish contains the well-known causeway, which was funded by a Deed of Covenant by Maud Heath, who owned land and houses in the village. The 4.5 mile causeway allowed the people of the village to get to the market in Chippenham without passing through mud and water.

Langley House was lived in by Joseph Ashe and was a reconstruction in 1711. The parish is associated with Robert Kilvert, Rector of Langley Burrell, who was related through his wife to the Ashe family. His diary is still in print and gives excellent descriptions and a good social history of the population around the village and into Chippenham.