Dilton Marsh: A families memories

Written by David Applegate (59yrs) assisted by Hubert Applegate (84yrs) of Brisbane Australia

Line of Descent

Stephen Applegate  
Walter Henry Applegate 18461899
Walter Valentine Applegate18861972
Hubert Stanley Applegate 1916 
David Stanley Applegate 1940 
Stuart David Applegate1969  

Much of our family history is centred around Dilton Marsh and surrounding villages during the late 18th and early 19th century.

Information at hand shows a direct ancestral line to Stephen Applegate, mentioned on this web site.

Family information on Stephen is sketchy but records from the Penknap Baptist Chapel which were viewed by my father, Hubert, in 1982 indicate a Thomas Applegate was admitted to the Chapel on 12/4/1810, who eventually became Trustee and Superintendent in later years. Also in that era we have records of a Mrs Applegate (no other names) who died in 1860 and a D. Applegate no further details.

The graves of all three were recorded as
Stephen Applegate Grave 2 Row 4
Thomas Applegate ? Row 6
D. Applegate ? Row 6 Died Dec 6th 1860

Information on relationships for these Applegates would be welcome from readers

Stephen Applegate
Stephen Applegate is noted in other records on this site as having donated the land on which the current Penknap Chapel was built. Stephen was a baker by trade, operating a bakehouse in Doggets Lane in the nearby town of Westbury. A small loaf of bread baked on the 1st day of January 1836 is still preserved and was in family possession until recent years when it was presented to the Westbury museum and was on display in 1996 when I visited Westbury. The loaf is signed and dated by Stephen and was apparently given to his grand daughter Lillian (Lil) Applegate. The reason for this has been lost in time. Stephen is also noted for having made a donation to the Zion Chapel in Trowbridge in 1863 the reason for which is also unknown.

Information regarding the circumstances, which caused a breakaway from the Westbury Leigh Baptist movement, is recorded elsewhere on this web site. Family information has it that the new Chapel at Penknap was built in 17 weeks during which time no rain fell at all a remarkable passage of weather for this part of England if true. Stephen Applegate was apparently one of the influential people who was involved in the breakaway from the Westbury Leigh Chapel and he became a Trustee and Deacon of that chapel some time later.

No information of where Stephen Applegate and his family actually lived in the area is available. It is known that he had at least one son Walter Henry Applegate, my great grandfather, who lived for some time at Sandy Lane, Westbury Leigh (opposite the Phipps Arms hotel)

Walter Henry Applegate 1846-1899.
Also had strong connections with the Penknap Chapel in Dilton Marsh. A carpenter by trade, he was responsible, assisted by his son Valentine it would appear, for the construction and donation of the communion table currently in use in the Chapel. An original document signed by Walter is in our possession and reads.

I, Walter Henry Applegate Do hereby agree to present an English oak table 5ft x 2ft 6 (about) designed & made by myself with Trachy work on either sides and ends with mouaam (?) and on carried side. PCP (Providence Chapel Penknap 1810. On the other side WHA Walter Henry Applegate 1845. On the following conditions.

First, that this table be the sole property of the Church worshipping at Providence Chapel Penknap and keep by the Deacons of the offsended(?) church and used in Communion on remembrance (?) Table in the Chapel from this the time forth sugeest (?) to no change.

Second. Nothing but the fermented juice of the grapes and bread made from the wheaten flour only at each and every sacrament celebrated upon it.

Third, that access to the table be permitted to the donor with a friend from time to time within reasonable hours.

Dated Sep 16 1895 to Mr Albert Ingram
(signed) W H Applegate"

Note: Some of the words appear strange and others have been partially lost due to age or deterioration of the folded paper

Walter Henry Applegate 1846-1899.
Baptised at Penknap Chapel 5th July 1873
Buried at Penknap Chapel March 26th 1899 Grave: W.17-81

Walter Henry married Ann Russell and had five children

Annie, who later married Albert Frank Ingram (possibly the person referred to above) Kate, who was known to run a grocery shop in the hamlet of Chalford near Westbury Obidhia, early railway worker probably for the Great Western Railway company Lillian, referred to in the item on the loaf of bread. Remained a spinster all her life. Walter Valentine, my grandfather.

Walter Henry, was known to live in Sandy Lane, Westbury Leigh at some stage with his family. A relatively short life, he was only 53 when he died in 1899. A carpenter by trade, he was employed for most of his life at the Tanning Works of Case & Sons in Dilton Marsh (or Westbury Leigh??) as was his son Walter Valentine.

Walter Valentine Applegate 1886-1972.
Born Feb 14th 1886
Baptised July 5th 1893 Penknap Baptist Church
Died May 9th 1972 buried Penknap Baptist Church grave 24-134

Walter Valentine (Val as he was known), married Bertha Squires (a glove maker of Chalford) in 1904 and lived to a ripe age of 94yrs. He had 5 children.

Ivy Winifred, married Gilbert Dredge in1932 and lived all her life in West Wiltshire area,
Walter Henry, married Joyce Dyer in 1940 and lived all his working life in West Wiltshire area.
Hilda Beatrice, married Raymond Spragg in 1936, lived in Wiltshire and Dorset area
Hubert Stanley, married Dorothy Smith in 1938, lived most of his life in Wiltshire, now in Australia
Graham Eric, married Mary Cracknell in 1950, spent his life in the armed services.

All the family, with the exception of Graham Eric, were employed in the high profile gloving industry centred in the West Wiltshire and Somerset area at that time.

Bertha Squires died in 1932 at an early age of 48yrs from cancer. Three years later Walter married a 2nd cousin, May Wilson, a descendant of the Applegate family (Annie Applegate) and set up home at 3, Bowyers Terrace, Dilton Marsh. There were no children from this marriage.

Walter Valentines early home was at Clivey, a hamlet on the north side of Dilton Marsh. During this time he was employed as a gardener at Standerwick Court near Frome, Somerset. He later resided at North Bradley for some time during which time he took employment as a carpenter with Ushers Brewery of Trowbridge and then Parsons and Sons, Builders of Westbury before the death of his wife and his move back to Dilton Marsh. At this time he took up final occupation with Case & Sons of Dilton Marsh.

memories from that era


The Villages of Dilton and Dilton Marsh