Redlynch & District Local History Society

Princes Hill c.1900

The Society was founded in 1996 by Pat Millington to promote interest in local history in Redlynch and its surrounding villages.  It has monthly meetings with speakers on a wide variety of topics. These meetings are held 7.30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at Morgan’s Vale and Woodfalls village hall.  New members and visitors are always welcome. Subscriptions are £9 for yearly membership and £3 for guests per meeting.  The Society also arranges a local visit for its June meeting.  In addition the Society undertakes a variety of local projects. The most recent involved recording the gravestones in St Mary’s churchyard (see below).   Also the Society holds an Annual Exhibition when its resources are put on display and made available to anyone interested in our local history.  In 2019 the theme for our Annual Exhibition was ‘Our Village School and its Place in the Community’ which celebrated the 150th anniversary of Morgans Vale and Woodfalls Village School.

Ruth Butler, Heritage Education Officer at Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre gave us an on-line talk about Extraordinary Wiltshire Women. We learnt about several very different women starting in the 12th century and finishing in the 20th century. They all made their mark in a world often dominated by men.
Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke (1561 -1621)Mary  had an extensive education and was taught scripture and classics, trained in rhetoric, was fluent in French, Italian and Latin and knew some Greek and Hebrew.  In 1577 she married Henry Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke. At Wilton she established an “academy of literature” and many poets and playwrights visited including her brother Sir Philip Sidney and Shakespeare and Ben Johnson. MORE

March Video Talk: The Mysterious Death of William Rufus
Andy Skinner of Southampton Museums gave us an on-line talk on The Mysterious Death of William Rufus (William II) 1057-1100. William 1st and his family were Norsemen in origin and are described as violent and not particularly cultured. William Rufus is described as being well set, very strong, yellow hair, a florid complexion (which maybe the source of his name Rufus), different coloured eyes, loutish, uncouth and fond of bad language. He never married and was not particularly godly. This latter aspect may have affected the records which were mostly written by clerics. MORE

February Video Talk: Bramshaw Telegraph and Toll Gate (Secret Forest)
Two Committee members Georgina Babey and Peter Roberts prepared a You Tube video for members in place of their proposed talk on the Franchises Lodge ‘Secret Forest’. This 30 minute presentation showed something of the history and memories of people who have lived and worked on the new RSPB site. The talk covered the former Bramshaw Telegraph and Toll Gate, being adjacent areas whose workers lives and tales were intermingled with those of the various keepers and woodmen who were at the nearby Lodge and Cottage. One family, who spent nearly twenty years at the isolated Franchise Cottage, described the difficult conditions that were endured without mains power, electricity or water let alone telephone, before, during and after the war. It was little wonder that they choose to emigrate to Australia. This cottage, now being renovated as Cameron’s Cottage for the Cameron Bespolka Trust, will bring new young life to appreciate the woodlands and wildlife. MORE

Please visit The News Forest Remembers website. The Society has been closely involved and produced one of the panels which depicts Redlynch during World War I and some of the men who served or died. Finally the Society actively supports other local organisations, such as its two churches and two halls, by mounting exhibitions and displays.  Click the image on the left to view the Society’s Redlynch Trail. For more information about the Society visit its own website:


The Society’s Graveyard Records project has been completed and will be updated as and when necessary. The records can be seen by making an appointment with the Chair, Carolyn Birch (Tel. 01725 511583), to meet at Morgan’s Vale & Woodfalls Village Hall. 


Carolyn Birch (Chair), Jenny Bowman (Vice-Ch), Annette Jack (Vice-Ch), Peter Roberts (Vice-Ch), Bob Inns (Secretary), Kate Crouch (Treasurer), Georgina Babey, Jenny Bowman, Simon Lewis, Michael Peace, Maureen Staley, Steve Western.