Tilshead Village History

Tidulfhide Times

Displayed above is the banner of the first issue of the Tidulfhide Times, dated June 1977, published to commemorate The Queen's Silver Jubilee.

Tidulfhide is how Tilshead is spelt in The Domesday Book;  read more about this, in the article reprinted from the Souvenir Publication, later on this page!  We also reproduce the Tilshead Jubilee Programme of Events and the Congratulatory Cable sent, by Tilshead, to The Queen.

The facing sheet carried the headline The Gracious Lady Who Is Our Queen; with three photographs (not reproduced here for copyright reasons).

The main photograph showed The Queen, as the Tidulfhide Times stated, 'posed in royal regalia in the Throne Room of Buckingham Palace, after she had delivered the Queen's speech at the 1976 official State Opening of Parliament'.

The second photograph showed The Queen in a family setting with Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and, of course, a Corgi!

The final photograph, of The Queen and Prince Philip, was, as the Tidulfhide Times stated, 'the delightfully informal picture of the man and his wife, briefly shedding the trappings of majesty for what might be termed a "snap" - taken in the grounds of Balmoral Castle in Scotland'.

On the reverse side, came the Domesday Book story, the Jubilee Programme and the cable sent to The Queen (see all below).

From the Content Administrator: Grateful thanks to Frank Druce for drawing attention to this publication and his agreement to allow some extracts to be shown here.  Appreciation is also offered to the Editor of the Tidulfhide Times and the author of the Domesday Book article; at this time, both names are unknown.

Three questions: (1) Who was the Editor (2) Who wrote the Domesday Book article, and (3) does anyone have a copy of the June 2002 edition?...Do let us know!

From Domesday Book to 1977 - (Tidulfhide Times, June 1977)

As with every other place in England, the first mention of Tilshead occurs in the Domesday Book which states that the place named "Tidulfhide" consisted of the "lands of Odo and other Thanes who held military service under the King."

Thus: "Alwardus holds one hide in Tidulfhide.  Here is one plough-land, which is in demesne, and one furlong in pasture.  It is worth twenty shillings."

In those days, it seems, a "hide" of land was the amount of ground that could be ploughed by one man in one year.

And Aluric Parvus held "two yard-lands and a half in Tidulfhide.  It is worth seven shillings and sixpence."

Alestan held "half a hide of land in Tidulfhide.  It is worth five shillings."

While Almar held "two yard-lands and a half in Tidulfhide.  It is worth five shillings."

Over the centuries the spelling of the place changed from Tidulfhide to Tidulfshide, to Tidolveshed, thence to Tilshead.

But when Henry I gave us a temporary French connection yet another spelling cropped up.  For students of ancient Latin, Henry's grant to the Abbey of the Holy Trinity at Caen in Normandy began: "Henricus Rex Angliae, omnibus fidelibus suis totius Angliae et Normandie, salutem."  "Sciatus me dedisse et concessisse Abbatiae S. Trinatus de Cadomo (Caen) et sanctimonialibus ibidem Deo servientibus, manerim quod vocatur Theolvished in Wiltesire..."

However, in 1317 our Church (and therefore, our Parish) reverted to the Priory of Ederose (now Ivy Church near Salisbury) and in 1529 it came under the Crown.

Written history of Tilshead is scant over the succeeding centuries, although retired farmer Bill Blake must surely be persuaded some day to write a definitive history from his massive knowledge.

But no village history should be without its seamy side and Tilshead and the neighbouring villages still contain citizens with the same surnames as the highwaymen of two centuries or so back who preyed upon those travelling across the (then) wild Salisbury Plain.  And there is a hint of embezzlement with an entry in the Parish Register commencing in 1656 which reads: "That on the 8th day of January, in the year of our Lord 1687, Hugh Cox, of Tilshead, in the county of Wilts, by his last will and testament, gave the use and interest of £10 to the Vicar of Tilshead to preach a sermon in the said Parish Church on the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and to that end he gave £10 to be put to use by the Churchwardens of the said Parish and to remain for the use aforesaid for ever."  Generous of Mr Cox, but nobody knows what happened to the land which was to produce the £10, much less of the £10, and in 1820 Robert Coleman, Churchwarden commented darkly in the Parish Register: "It is a pity this was not seen farther intow!" (sic).

Our present vicar (and for the last 14½ years) the Reverend F.G. Chamberlain commented: "It was certainly lost centuries ago - but, I suppose, if we were to find it the Church Commisioners would probably dock it from my stipend."

In 1825, Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart., in his Modern History of South Wiltshire, said: "Tilshead is situated in a vale, but has no permanent stream.  A windmill and two public houses.  The cottages and garden walls are generally built with mud for want of stone.  No remarkable customs or traditions."

The population is now around 300.  In 1801 it was 327; in 1811 it was 397, and ten years later, 425.

In 1866, the Rev. Joseph Holden, vicar for 60 years, noted one great change during his incumbency - "There are no supertitious practices or customs observed.  Forty years ago there was much intemperance.  In this repect there is a very great improvement."  And he underlined the words "very great".

This century the village boasted four racing stables, but these establishments departed when the then landlord of Tilshead Lodge, Mr R.J. Farqharson sold the "gallops" to the Army in 1934.

And that is a very potted history of a thousand years of Tilshead - once a centre for the shepherds of the Plain and their flocks,then a place where travellers banded together for protection against the Plain's highwaymen and now, much the same size as ever, but relying upon the Ministry of Defence for employment, with only a handful of farmers and a few of the younger men and women travelling into Devizes and Salisbury where employment for skilled labour can be found.  But plans are afoot for the creation of a small industrial plant in Tilshead - the editor of our edition of June 2002 can tell us about that!

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Tilshead Jubilee Programme - (Tidulfhide Times, June 1977)

SATURDAY Children's Sports & Gala    
SUNDAY National Service Church Chapel  
MONDAY 3.30 - 6 Younger Children's Party
6.30   Older Children's Party
4.00   Children's Party
         Presentation Jubilee Souvenirs
Village Hall Mrs F. Cleevely
TUESDAY 9.30 United Service
6.00   Parade/Procession. Present Prizes

7.30   Village Supper
West End to P/Field
Playing Field

Mrs Druce
WEDNESDAY 7.30 Slide Show & Old Photos Village Hall Mr Reed
THURSDAY 6.30 15/19th King's Royal Hussars Band
7.15   Jubilee Whist Drive
Playing Field
Village Hall
Mr S Kyte
FRIDAY 6.30 Pantomime   Mrs Bull
SATURDAY Pantomime   Mrs Bull

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Congratulatory Cable sent in 1977 - (Tidulfhide Times, June 1977)

THE FOLLOWING CABLE has been sent to Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace, London:

"Parishioners of Tilshead, Wilts. send most loyal greetings and every good wish on the occasion of Your Majesty's Silver Jubilee."

The wording faithfully follows that of the cable sent to Her Majesty on Her Coronation.

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