About Keevil

Keevil is a small civil parish in the heart of Wiltshire, situated just under six miles east of Trowbridge, two miles north east of Steeple Ashton and three miles south east of Semington. The parish was once three miles long and one and a half wide, but was reduced in the 1880s when Bulkington, a tithing in the east, was granted civil parish status; it remained ecclesiastically part of Keevil until 1969. The parish consists of 974 acres and in 2001 there were 432 people living there. This population has remained fairly steady over the years; in 1801 there were 466 people living in Keevil and 357 in 1901.

The boundaries which define the parish do not run along the lines of, for example, rivers, as is often the case. Its western boundaries run extremely close to Great Hinton and Steeple Ashton, and the village of Keevil is in the very centre of the parish, while the eastern boundaries approach the edge of the small village of Bulkington. Keevil lies on clay and is generally flat. Semington Brook is the main stream which runs through the parish.

Several small lanes criss-cross the parish; the main road is Main Street, which runs through the village and then fragments into Butts Lane and Martins Road. Main Street has also been known as Keevil Street and High Street. The main Trowbridge to Devizes roads runs through the very north of the parish. Here lies the small hamlet of The Strand, which was once known as Horseshoes. The pub that stands here is thought to once be called Horseshoes – hence the old name – and then was The Carpenters Arms in 1768. It is now known as The Lamb on the Strand.

The majority of the houses standing in Keevil today are centred on Main Street. To the west of Keevil can be found a group of timber framed house with the most impressive being Talboys, built in the late 14th century. In the early 19th century much of this house had fallen into disrepair but in 1876 a major enlargement and restoration took place. It is now a Grade I listed building.

The economic history of Keevil, like so many rural parishes, is centred on farming. There was no real common in Keevil in 1600 and the common fields were enclosed in 1795. Only 44 acres of the Beach property was farmed by copyholders; this was mainly wheat and beans. Much of the other land and smallholdings had been brought together to form Westwood Farm, Longleaze Farm and Manor Farm. 1801 there were 400 acres of acres of arable fields in the parish. By 1914 nearly all the farm land was dedicated to dairy farming and that is still the case today.

To the south of the parish lies RAF Keevil; a former World War Two airfield still used occasionally for training by the Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force.

Reference:- The History of Keevil by Raymond Ward click here