Melksham is a town located on the banks of the River Avon in Wiltshire, England. It is situated approximately 4.5 miles northeast of Trowbridge and 6 miles south of Chippenham. The town of Melksham evolved around a ford that crossed the River Avon, and its name is believed to originate from the Old English words "meolc," meaning milk, and "ham," denoting a village. Historical maps, such as John Speed's map of Wiltshire from 1611, depict the name spelled as both Melkesam (referring to the hundred) and Milsham (representing the town itself). Additionally, the name Melksham was also used to designate the Royal forest that encompassed the surrounding area during the Middle Ages.
This camera was installed and is maintained by theEnvironment Agency and can be viewed here.
All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
In 1539, the prioress and nuns of Amesbury relinquished their Melksham estates to the king after having held them for approximately 250 years. These properties, comprising the Lordship of the Manor and Hundred, were subsequently granted to Sir Thomas Seymour in 1541. Seymour later sold the estates to Henry Brouncker, who had already acquired real estate in the vicinity. Around 1550, Brouncker constructed a residence known as Place House on the site of a previous mansion. The architectural style of Place House reflected the status of a wealthy lord who resided there. Three generations of the Brouncker family lived in the house: Henry Brouncker the founder (d. 1569), his son Sir William, and his grandson Henry. When the last Henry Brouncker passed away around 1600, it became evident that the Brouncker estate was burdened with heavy debts. Over the next two or three decades, all the property was sold off, except for Erlestoke, where William Brouncker, the heir, retired with his wife Anne, daughter of Sir John Dauntesey.Subsequently, Place House was occupied for a period by Henry Brouncker's widow and her second husband, Ambrose Dauntesey. After their deaths in 1612, the house appears to have been occupied by the steward before being conveyed to Sir John Danvers, who married into the Brouncker family, in 1634. Sir John Danvers passed away in 1655, and the lordship of Melksham was inherited by his son, who then transferred the estate to Walter Long the Younger of Whaddon. The Long family, descendants of the first Henry Brouncker, retained ownership of the lordship until the early 20th century, eventually passing it to the 1st Viscount Long of Wraxall.