The catalogue of the wills in the collection is now available to search online! Please click here to go to the catalogue site for further details.
The outstanding Salisbury Diocesan Probate collection contains 105,000 wills and inventories dating from Tudor to Victorian times (1540-1858). This unique collection covers the whole of Wiltshire and Berkshire, parts of Dorset and Uffculme in Devon. The collection is one of the finest in the country, and an invaluable source for historians.
The Wiltshire Wills Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund , has made sure the documents are cared for better than ever in the future. They have all been catalogued onto a computer database, and they are being flattened and re-packaged, repaired where necessary, and digitised. A state of the art "leaf-casting" machine is being used to repair damaged documents. A paper pulp mixture is drained through the holes in the will. The pulp fills in the gaps and, as it dries, paper patches form in the document. More information about the preservation of the wills can be found on the conservation team's pages.
We hope that after reading about the wills and seeing the examples you'll agree that they deserve the special care the Wiltshire Wills Project is giving them.