Laverstock and Ford Local History Group

Laverstock and Ford parish has continued to maintain a separate identity over time and has resisted absorption by Salisbury. Sandwiched between that city on one side, and the medieval palace of Clarendon on the other, it lies on the edge of other people’s history. Yet the parish does have a history of its own:
• The village is included in the Domesday survey.
• In the Middle Ages the prestigious Laverstock potteries supplied both city and palace.
• From the 1780s to the 1950s, there was a ‘lunatic asylum’ in the village, one that was ahead of its time in terms of its enlightened care regime.

The rich history which exists within our boundaries is appreciated and we wish to share this more widely fostering a sense of historical awareness and community.
The parish includes the village of Laverstock, the hamlet of Ford, parts of Milford, and several more recent residential developments – Bishopdown Farm, Hampton Park, Riverdown Park, Old Sarum, Longhedge.

Map showing Laverstock and Ford Parish

The Group was formed in 2014 by interested residents following successful excavations in the old St Andrew’s churchyard during 2008-9, enjoyed by enthusiastic villagers working with a small team of professional archaeologists led by Alex Langlands.
The aim initially was to harness this enthusiasm by promoting a local history group within the parish. Members could come together to listen to a wide variety of talks, to share their reminiscences about the village or to further research their own local interests.

From this developed a smaller research group which produced a successful book on Laverstock and Ford published in 2019. Further details can be found on the Publications page.

Laverstock Village, The Clump, now The Green, c1910 (private collection)

Meetings are held at St Andrew’s Church, Church Road, Laverstock SP1 1QX, either in the Curtis Room (vestry) or in the Church as appropriate, on the fourth Thursday of every alternate month. Further details can be found on the Events page

A sample of previous talks and speakers is available on the Past Talks page

The Group is a member of the British Association for Local History (BALH):

Some useful websites and contacts:

Friends of Clarendon Palace (email: clarendon850@btinternet.com)

Laverstock & Ford Parish Newsletter

Sarum Chronicle

The Salisbury Museum

Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre

Wiltshire Museum, Devizes

Laverstock Pots; a group of glazed medieval jugs from the pottery kilns at Laverstock © The Salisbury Museum, by kind permission