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Detail from Andrews’ & Drury map of Wiltshire 1810 © Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham

The Ham History Project

Current researches began in 2009 and the group concentrated on finding resources of information.  Interests range from family trees to social history, legal records to old documents and maps, church records to school and parish minutes - it’s an all encompassing journey back through time.

We have enjoyed an informative talk on the early history of the church and so far, one book has been published:  Ham - the story of a Wiltshire village by Robin Buchanan-Dunlop which has already had a second reprint.

The drafting of these pages for the village website takes us into new territory, one which we hope will steadily grow as a sharing resource for further research.

Credits have been given wherever possible but apologies if we have missed any.



The origin of the manor or parish of Ham is a grant of land by King AE thelstan to his thane Wulfgar in 931.  Wulfgar, whose name meant ‘wolf spear’ in Old English, owned other lands in the area, including Inkpen where he lived.  It is doubtful whether a village as such existed at Ham in 931, but 150 years later Domesday Book confirms that by then there was a village of 50 or 60 inhabitants.

The name Ham derives from the Old English hamme, a piece of enclosed land.  Commonly this was associated with land enclosed by a bend in the river, but here it is land enclosed bya fold in the downs.