About Netheravon

Netheravon is a village and civil parish on the River Avon, about 4 miles (6.4 km) north of the town of Amesbury in Wiltshire. Netheravon was one of two important Saxon estates on the river Avon that were given the name Avon, which is Celtic for river. The upper settlement became Upavon and the lower one Netheravon.


The village has always had close links with the communities of Haxton and Fittleton, on the eastern bank of the river, especially from the 18th century. The bridge to Haxton has existed from at least the Middle Ages. Until 1855 West Chisenbury was in Netheravon parish but it was transferred to Enford in that year.


The writer Frank Sawyer (1906-1980), although born in Bulford, spent most of his life in Netheravon as river keeper on the River Avon and died on the banks of the river near the Parish Church. He developed the Pheasant Tail Nymph for fly fishing and wrote the books Keeper of the Stream and Nymphs and the Trout.


NETHERAVON is mentioned in the Domesday Survey under the name NIGRAVE, probably derived from Nigrum Arvum, the Black Heath, which name occurs to-day as a description of some down land, not far from Netheravon.


The holder in the time of King Edward the Confessor (1042-1066) was SPIRTES, a Priest. At the time of the Domesday Survey it is recorded that "Nigel, the Physician, holds the Church of this Manor." He is also spoken of as "Presbyter". The Church is described as being in a ruinous condition, and so much out of repair that it is almost tumbling down. (It is possible that the present tower dates from this period, and is part of the old original building referred to.)


The Church was given by charter to the Cathedral by Henry I in 1131. The names of the Prebends of Netheravon can be traced back without a break to 1226: those of the Vicars during these early centuries have been mostly lost.




Netheravon census figures


1801 = 479, 1811 = 403, 1821 = 464, 1831 = 508, 1841 = 505, 1851 = 551, 1861 = 546, 1871 = 557, 1881 = 582, 1891 = 505, 1901 = 440, 1911 = 741, 1921 = 728, 1931 = 769, 1951 = 1,032, 1961 = 1,075, 1971 = 1,107, 1981 = 944, 1991 = 1,146, 2001 = 1,064, 2011 = 1,060


NETHERAVON, Wiltshire - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868


[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]


"NETHERAVON, a parish in the hundred of Elstub, county Wilts, 5 miles N.W. of Amesbury, its post town. The village, which is of small extent, is situated on the river Avon, and is chiefly agricultural. The parish includes the tything of Chisenbury-de-la-Folly, and the well-wooded park of Netheravon. The soil is fertile. The tithes were commuted for corn-rents, under an Enclosure Act in 1788. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Sarum, value £131, in the patronage of the Bishop of Salisbury.


The church, dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient edifice, with a square embattled and pinnacled tower. It has been recently repaired and restored. The parochial charities are £7 yearly. There is a National school. The Baptists and Primitive Methodists have each a place of worship. Netheravon House, formerly a seat of the Duke of Beaufort, is a brick mansion, now the residence of Sir M. E. H. Beach, Bart, who is lord of the manor."


Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]


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