Laverstock and Ford is a parish council serving the civil parish of Laverstock, on the northeast and eastern outskirts of Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. The parish is an odd shape, like a figure 7, and incorporates the villages of Laverstock and Ford, the former manor of Milford, the ancient settlement of Old Sarum, and the Hampton Park district to the north of Salisbury.
Laverstock is the site of a settlement since the 6th century and there is evidence that it was occupied much earlier. It lies on the east bank of the River Bourne with rising downland on its eastern boundary.
Flint mines and signs of barrows have been discovered on Burrough's Hill, indicating settlement back to Neolithic time. There is also evidence of settlement during the Iron and Bronze Age. A Roman cemetery and settlement has been found on Cocky's Hill. Laverstock has two entries in the Domesday Book which indicate the settlement was then owned by Wilton Abbey with some parts owned by officers of the king.
Milford Mill Bridge, linking the parish with Salisbury over the Bourne, dates from the 14th century and is Grade I listed.
St Thomas's Bridge to the north was named for Thomas a Becket who walked an ancient route through the settlement. It was built around 1700 and widened in 1900.
Laverstock once boasted a number of large houses: Laverstock Hall, Laverstock House, Laverstock Hill and Burroughs Hill. Laverstock House was a large and noted private licensed madhouse from the 18th to the 20th century, owned by the Finch family. It closed in 1955 and has since been demolished as have Laverstock Hill and Laverstock Hall to provide modern residential development.
Milford was an ancient manor, recorded in 1275 as belonging to the Bishop of Salisbury.
In 1835 part of Milford which bordered the city of Salisbury became the civil parish of Milford Within. In 1904 the city became a single civil parish and more land, extending as far as the Bourne, was transferred to the city. The eastern part of Milford became the parish of Milford Without in 1894, then in 1904 was divided between Salisbury and Laverstock parish.
The parish falls within the Laverstock, Ford and Old Sarum electoral ward. The population of the ward taken at the 2011 census was 4,092.
In 1847 a railway between Eastleigh and Salisbury was built with a terminus at Milford. However, this station was damaged by fire in 1858 and it was decided to dig a tunnel to access Fisherton which was closer to the city. In 1858 a line between London (Waterloo) was built which joined the older line at Laverstock Junction to access the station at Fisherton.
In 1917 part of Ford Farm in the north of the parish was bought by the government to provide a site for the developing Royal Flying Corps, initially known as Ford Farm it quickly adopted the name of Old Sarum Airfield from the nearby ancient fortification of Old Sarum and is still in civilian use as of 2015.
It is unclear whether a Saxon church existed but there was a Norman church that was appropriated together with its income by Bishop Poore to provide offerings to priests in the new cathedral. In 1410 the church was completely destroyed together with the priest's house and nearby buildings. It was later rebuilt but by 1853 was reported to be in poor condition. The church was demolished and a new one, designed by TH Wyatt, was built from 1858 at a cost of £2,353. The south and west windows contain fragments of grisaille glass from Salisbury Cathedral, collected by Canon Stanley Baker from the street ditches in Salisbury where it had been thrown after its removal from the cathedral by James Wyatt in 1788. Canon Baker is buried in the churchyard. The church has no bells.
The first school in Laverstock was built in the 1830s and endowed by Bishop Burgess. The building served as a National School and a Sunday School until 1888 when the accommodation was built for the present school. Within the parish Laverstock has three primary schools:St. Andrews Church of England Primary School. Laverstock village
Old Sarum Primary School, Old Sarum.
Greentrees Primary School, Bishopdown.
Laverstock also hosts three secondary schools, separate, but on the same site and with wide catchment areas:St Joseph's Catholic School.
St Edmund's Girls' School.
Wyvern College, a Church of England college for boys
Cockey Down, a grassy hill to the east of Laverstock, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a protected area that has interesting flora and fauna.