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Potterne centre.JPG
Village centre
Grid reference: ST995584
Location: 51°19’30"N, 2°-0’32"W
Population: 1,622  (2011)
Post town: Devizes
Postcode: SN10
Dialling code: 01380
Local Government
Council: Wiltshire
Website: Potterne Parish Council

Potterne is a village in Wiltshire, two miles south of Devizes on the A360, the road which links Devizes to Salisbury. The civil parish includes the hamlet of Potterne Wick.


The Domesday Book of 1086 recorded three landholdings at Poterne, with six mills and a large population of 107 households.[1]

The ancient parish consisted of the tithings of Potterne, Worton, and Marston. Worton and Marston were made into a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1852.[2]

Parish church

St Mary's Church

A priest, and land held by the Bishop of Salisbury, was recorded at Potterne in Domesday Book of 1086.[1] The parish church, St Mary, was built in the 13th century and has survived with little change, beyond work to the tower in the 15th century and restoration by Ewan Christian.

Pevsner describes the church as "An Early English parish church of exceptional purity and indeed classicity" and linked this to the Bishops' ownership of the manor.[3]

The church is cruciform, with a substantial tower over the crossing, and original lancet windows. It is built of rubble stone, with ashlar to the upper tower. The south porch was added in the 14th century, and in the 15th the tower was made higher and given an elaborate battlement.[4] Restoration in 1870–2 included re-roofing and the removal of galleries,[5] and the stained glass is from various dates in that century.[6]

The tower has six bells, the oldest cast by William I Purdue c. 1580.[7] The octagonal font and most of the oak pulpit are from the 15th century;[6] A 10th-century font was found during the 1872 restoration and now stands at the west end of the nave.[5] The organ was built in 1723 by Jordan of London and recased in 1938.[8] The church is a Grade I listed building.[6]

Since the 11th century, the church has been linked to All Saints at West Lavington as tithes from both churches endowed a prebendary at Salisbury Cathedral.[4] From 1967 the benefice was held in plurality with Worton[9] and since 2017 the parish has been part of the Wellsprings benefice, which extends to Seend, Bulkington and Poulshot.[10]

About the village

  • Porch House is a timber-framed house on the High Street, built c.1480. Bought in 1870 by artist George Richmond, who restored it with advice from Ewan Christian. Grade I listed.[11] "Remarkably well preserved" (Pevsner).[3]
  • The Red House, c.1700, a two-storey garden building for Walter Grubbe MP at Eastwell House, Grade II*.[12]
  • Whistley House, c.1730, a country house northwest of the village, Grade II*.[13]

Blount's Court

A mediæval part of what is now Potterne was the manor of Blount's Court, which probably originated in the 13th century. By 1953, the house and property now known as Blount's Court had been owned by the Stancomb family since 1809, when William Stancomb started building the house, for which he revived the ancient name. His son William died in 1941 at the age of 90. Blount's Court, which is now divided into flats, is a large 19th Century 'gothic' building with a porch carried up as a battlemented tower. The centre block is of three stories, the wings are of two. The windows are square-headed, mullioned, and transomed, the parapets battlemented.[4] Blount's Court is also the name given to the suburban public street, of about 100 houses, leading up to the private property surrounding the block of flats.


There is one village pub, the George & Dragon.[14]

The village has a shop with a post office, a village hall, a youth club,[15] a playing field and a park.

Society and sport

Wiltshire Scouts have their Wiltshire Scout Centre, with six campgrounds, near Potterne Wick.[16]

Potterne Cricket Club, founded as part of the village sports team in 1936, play in the West of England Premier League and Wiltshire County Cricket League.[17]

The Potterne Mummers

The village is home to the Potterne Mummers, who re-enact performances of a traditional mummers play during the week before Christmas in pubs around the Devizes area and ending each year with a performance at the George and Dragon and Potterne social club on Christmas Eve.[18] The Mummers were founded in 1953 by Bernard Baker, a local schoolteacher, who brought together a group to perform a local mummer's play which he had found from an archive report from the late nineteenth century. The initial revival of the play only lasted one year; it was performed by Potterne teenagers under the direction of Bernard Baker. In 1976 the cast included Nigel Weeks as Valiant Soldier, and it was next performed in 1972, with a cast which included Mick Hiscock. It has been performed every year since and is a firm annual tradition and the cast, still including Mick Hiscock, put on their tatter coats and tour the pubs collecting money for various charities including the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

The Potterne Mummers were presented to Prince Philip in 2012 at the Queen's Jubilee event at Salisbury Cathedral and were shortlisted for a Community Service award in 2014.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Potterne)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Potterne in the Domesday Book
  2. London Gazette: no. 21329, p. 1711, 18 June 1852.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Nikolaus Pevsner: The Buildings of England: Wiltshire, 1963; 1975 Penguin Books ISBN 978-0-300-09659-0
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 A History of the County of Wiltshire - Volume 7 pp207-217: Parishes: Potterne (Victoria County History)
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Church of St. Mary, Potterne". Wiltshire Council. https://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getchurch.php?id=876. Retrieved 16 November 2019. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 National Heritage List 1258968: Church of St Mary (Grade I listing)
  7. "Potterne, S Mary V". http://dove.cccbr.org.uk/detail.php?DoveID=POTTERNE. Retrieved 16 November 2019. 
  8. "Wiltshire Potterne, St. Mary the Virgin". https://npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N08276. Retrieved 16 November 2019. 
  9. London Gazette: no. 44310, p. 5344, 12 May 1967.
  10. "Wellsprings Benefice". https://www.wellspringsbenefice.co.uk/. Retrieved 16 November 2019. 
  11. National Heritage List 1273182: Porch House, High Street, Potterne (Grade I listing)
  12. National Heritage List 1258775: The Red House at Eastwell House, Potterne (Grade II* listing)
  13. National Heritage List 1243109: Whistley House, Potterne (Grade II* listing)
  14. "The George & Dragon". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20150402101605/http://www.george-and-dragon.co.uk/. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  15. "Potterne Youth Club". http://www.potterneyouthclub.co.uk/. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  16. "Wiltshire Scout Centre" (in en-US). http://wiltshirescouts.org.uk/wiltshire-scout-centre/. 
  17. "Potterne Cricket Club". http://www.potternecc.org.uk/. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  18. "The Potterne Mummers". http://www.kennet-communityweb.com/site/Potterne-Mummers/. Retrieved 31 March 2015.