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Ansty is a beautiful village containing a medieval manor, church and pond fed by a spring. Ansty Water flows through the area and joins the Nadder at Tisbury. The manor was owned by the Turberville family, who gave it to the Order of Knights Hospitallers in 1211. The order remained in Ansty for three hundred years, and cared for pilgrims, quarrymen and masons associated with the building of Salisbury Cathedral, as well as royal keepers and huntsmen of Cranborne Chase. Ansty is indirectly mentioned in Thomas Hardy’s book Tess of the d’Urbevilles, inspired by the aforementioned family.
The Maypole in the village was once the tallest in England, and on the 1st of May every year the local children dance round it as part of the May Day celebrations. The maypole is replaced approximately every twenty years, and traditionally must be in place between sunrise and sunset of one day, lest the right to have it in the road be lost!
Alvediston lies at the head of the Ebble Valley, about 8 miles east of Shaftesbury. The lands, which later formed Alvediston Manor, were among 100 small dwellings granted to the nuns of Wilton by King Eadwig (Edwy) in 955.
The Church of St Mary was probably founded in the 12th century; the later 17th century church now on the site was extensively remodelled in 1886 and according to the church guide the font is large enough to immerse a baby! In the churchyard, with a fine memorial, is the grave of Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, who served as Prime Minster from 1955 to 1957. His last home was Alvediston Manor; an 18th century house located not far from the church.
Norrington Manor in the hills above Alvediston is believed to have been built during the reign of Richard II by John Gawen, who purchased the land in 1377. One of the oldest English families, the Gawens had links to Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table. Norrington Manor underwent rebuilding work in the mid 1600s but the 14th century hall and vaulted undercroft survive as well as a vaulted porch and doorway with a king’s head corbel.
Barford St Martin
A small picturesque village whose history can be traced back to the 11th Century. Referred to as Bereford in the Domesday Book of 1086 which is thought to have originated from Barleyford-a river crossing carrying wagons laden with barley; at one time a characteristic crop in the area. The villagers of Barford formerly enjoyed the same forest rights as the villagers of Great Wishford, and were able to gather wood from Grovely Wood on Oak Apple Day (29th May). Today, the Ceremony is only observed in Great Wishford.
A small tranquil hamlet tucked away off the Dinton-Salisbury road.
The Church of Saint Edith in Baverstock. is well worth a visit. Dedicated to Saint Edith of Wilton who died in 984, she was an English nun and the illegitimate daughter of the 10th Century Saxon King Edgar. Part of the Church is 14th Century and in the charming country churchyard, you will find 32 WW1 graves.
Berwick St John
Nestled in the chalk downs at the head of the Ebble Valley, six miles east of Shaftesbury, is the village of Berwick St John. To the north White Sheet Hill marks the steep descent down from the pre-turnpike route running westwards along the downs from Salisbury, whilst to the south-east lies the early Iron Age hill fort of Winklebury Hill, also known as Vespasian’s Camp. On a lofty ridge 260m above sea level the hill fort commands an extensive view stretching as far as the Isle of Wight on a clear day.
There is a great deal of evidence of prehistoric activity in the area and many of the parish’s sites were excavated by Lieutenant-General Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers, widely considered to by the father of modern archaeology, who lived at nearby Rushcombe House.
The village church of St John the Baptist was restored in 1861, it contains a number of monuments to local families of distinction and two interesting effigies of knights.
The parish of Bishopstone is 5 miles south west of Salisbury with the River Ebble flowing west to east through the middle. The parish contains six ancient townships, each running back from the river, Bishopstone, Netton and Flamston lie to the north of the river, and Throope, Faulston and Croucheston opposite them to the south.
Once part of a larger area, the parish took the name Bishopstone in the later Middle Ages, the name means ‘Bishop’s Farm’ as at one time the manor belonged to the Bishop of Winchester.
Grim’s Ditch, a territorial earthworks built by Iron Age peoples c 300BC, forms the whole of the southern boundary of the parish. The Roman Road from Dorchester to Old Sarum runs through the parish, it enters Bishopstone from Knighton High Wood and is clearly visible for one mile.
The church of St John the Baptist was built during the 12th century and extensively altered in the mid 14th century, it is a large cruciform church with a perpendicular central tower and several interesting monuments. It also boasts a stained glass Saint with two left feet and bullet holes in the West door – a remnant of the Civil War!
Like the neighbouring parishes historically residents of Bishopstone worked in farming, however shoe making began in the village in the early 19th century when Thomas Barter set up a business in a cottage. His business soon expanded and by 1869 he had 17 cottages for his workers. His son Isaac continued to develop the business until there was a shop and boot factory making agricultural boots for a wide area around Salisbury, but the business closed in 1918.
Reputedly Wiltshire’s most haunted village, Bowerchalke is recorded in the Domesday Book as part of the manor of Chalke, which included the neighbouring village of Broad Chalke. During Henry VIII’s reign the area came into the ownership of the Earl of Pembroke, whose descendants continued in ownership until part of the family’s estates were sold off at the end of World War One.
Close to the Dorset and Hampshire borders, 9 miles south west of Salisbury, the village is at the source of the River Chalke, which flows down into the River Ebble. The Bowerchalke Downs, consisting of Woodminton Down, Marleycombe Down and Knowle Down, are a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to their species-rich chalk grassland.
The village Church of the Holy Trinity dates from the 13th century, Nobel Prize winning novelist William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies, lived in the village and is buried in the churchyard.
The village has had a number of other notable residents including internationally renowned violinist Iona Brown, scientist and environmentalist Dr James Lovelock and First World War poet Siegfried Sassoon. Perhaps a more ‘infamous’ character, William Thick was born and raised in the village before moving to the capital to join the Metropolitan Police in 1868. In 1888 he was based in Whitechapel and was involved in the investigations of the notorious Whitechapel Murders. During the investigation Sergeant Thick himself was falsely named as the likely murderer known as Jack the Ripper!
Broad Chalke, or Broadchalke, is halfway along the Chalke Valley where the River Chalke flows in the River Ebble. The village sits on the banks of the river Ebble, which feeds the watercress beds for which Broad Chalke is noted. The parish includes the neighbouring hamlets of Stoke Farthing and Knighton to the east and Little London, Mount Sorrel and Gurston to the west. The latter is the site of a ‘hill climb’ a compelling motorsport event with cars competing to climb the downs in the fastest time.
The village is listed in the Domesday Book as part of Chelche. The greater part of the parish was granted to the nuns of Wilton Abbey in 955 by Saxon King Eadwig and remained with them until the reformation, when King Henry VIII rewarded his loyal supporter the Earl of Pembroke with large tracts of land, including the Manors of the Chalke Valley. Along with neighbouring Bowerchalke, Broad Chalke remained in their ownership until just after the First World War.
At the heart of the village is an award-winning café and stores, in a converted chapel, and All Saints Church dating from the 13th century.
Famous photographer, film and theatre costume designer Cecil Beaton, who resided at Reddish House in the village, is buried in the churchyard.
In 1980 Reddish House was bought from Cecil Beaton’s estate by Ursula von Pannwitz, once styled the Countess of Chichester from her first marriage to the 8th Earl of Chichester, she kept macaws which flew freely around the village stripping bark from trees. The house was also home to singer Toyah Wilcox and her husband musician Robert Fripp. Author Sir Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) was a former resident of the village.
Burcombe Without is the civil parish that encompasses the village of Burcombe and the hamlet of Ugford with a total population of 160. Ugford is situated on the A30 on the western boundary of Wilton. It comprises of 11 properties and a farm.
Burcombe is a small village nestled in the beautiful Nadder valley, just four miles west of the cathedral city of Salisbury and a mile west of Wilton. The main part of the village is just off the A30. The entire village lies within the Cranbourne Chase AONB and the downland is SSSI. The farms are tenanted farms of Wilton Estate. Wilton Estate also manage and let the recently developed offices. Burcombe is a pretty village with several pleasant walks, the land alongside the river is in private ownership and there is no public access along the river bank. A walk to the top of the down shows breathtaking views of the surrounding area including Salisbury Cathedral spire.
The village hall is the old village school and sits within its own garden making it a popular venue particularly for childrens parties. The hall has undergone recent refurbishment and now boasts a modern loo block and well equipped kitchen. You will often see people spending their lunch hour in the village hall garden.
The church, located to the north of the A30, closed in 2005 and was sold in 2007, the churchyard is still in use but under the control of Barford and Burcombe PCC. Parishioners now use the church in Barford St Martin, the two brass war memorials which were displayed in Burcombe Church have been returned to the village and are hung in the village hall.
The Ship Inn is the village pub, although it is currently closed so please check prior to making a visit. There are many businesses in the village following the development of the farm buildings behind the butchers shop. The butchers shop has been established for many years and attracts customers from a wide area. Whilst there is no grocery shop in the village there are shops within a mile at Wilton and Barford, the bus service runs along the A30 but rarely used as most residents have private cars.
There is more information available on the
The A303 which runs through the village started life as a downland road between Amesbury and Mere , called the London road in 1601 and 1705. It was turnpiked as part of a London-Exeter road in 1761 and continues to bear much of the traffic between London and south-west England. Not withstanding the proximity of the A303 Chicklade is a charming hamlet. The manor of Chicklade has Medieval roots and was held by a Norman, Hugh de Milleville, from whom it was taken by King John after Normandy was lost in 1204.
Mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, the village would have belonged to the Abbess of Wilton until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 by Henry VIII. However, there is evidence of earlier settlement dating back to the Bronze Age and Roman period. There is an interesting connection with Chilmark, a township in Massachusetts in America with Thomas Macey, one of Chilmark’s sons and his cousin Thomas Mayhew from Tisbury, who bought island development rights there. The Macey family name still lives on in America today as the owners of the famous Macy stores in New York. The 13th Century church dedicated to St. Margaret of Antioch and built of fine Chilmark stone, is worth a visit. To the north west of the church in fields, great sheep fairs were held in the 17th and 18th Centuries.
Chilmark Quarries. Chilmark is very well known for its stone used in the building of world famous Salisbury Cathedral 12 miles away. Quarries for extracting stone were even in existence during the Roman era. During the Middle Ages, most of the men of the Parish would have worked in near darkness in the quarries often suffering injury or even death. In 1936, the quarries were taken over by the MOD and used for storage. Today, there is still some quarrying of the stone in nearby Chicksgrove Quarry.
The name ‘Compton Abbas’ derives from the Saxon ‘cumb-ton’ which means ‘village in a narrow valley’ and ‘abbas’ after Shaftesbury Abbey a few miles to the north.
Compton Abbas is a scattered village consisting of three hamlets, East and West Compton, and Twyford with outlying farmstead. The Comptons lie in a south west facing valley bounded to the east by an arc of chalk downland with Melbury Beacon (863ft) to the north, and Fontmell Down to the southwest.
The area near St Mary’s Church on the A350 has a phone box with free wifi and some suggested village walks. These walks and more information on the history of the village can be found on the Parish Council website.
Mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and of all the Nadder Valley villages, one which has changed little over the years. During the First World War, thousands of Australian and Canadian troops encamped in the fields below the chalk escarpment before being shipped out to France. Compton Park and its great house was once the home of Colonel John Penruddock, an English Cavalier who led a Royalist uprising to overthrow Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians and take Salisbury during the Civil War, but was executed for the attempt in 1655. It is surrounded by Compton Park, a Medieval deer park.
Coombe Bissett and Homington
Coombe Bissett is fortunate to have a village shop and post office. The two parishes of Coombe Bissett and Homington combined in 1934 to form a single civil parish. Before this their individual histories followed separate paths.
Cranborne and Edmondsham
Cranborne village lies at the centre of the Cranborne Estate. It was once an important market town and has a long history – it is the ‘Chaseborough’ of Thomas Hardy’s Wessex novel and was also featured in a poem by Rupert Brookes. King John was a regular visitor to Cranborne who enjoyed hunting on Cranborne Chase.
Edmondsham has a small but pretty church which was dedicated to St Nicolas in 1644. St Nicolas became part of the Quintet Group of Churches which include the villages of Woodlands, Wimborne St Giles, and Cranborne with Boverage, the first encumbrance being the Rev Robert Prance.
Edmondsham House is a fine Tudor Manor House with Georgian additions which has been within the ownership of the same family since the 16th Century. It is built on the site of a former Manor mentioned in the Doomsday Book.
The Damerham community website including monthly PDF downloads of ‘The Village Pump’.
Dinton is a small thriving village, which nestles on the river Nadder in the south of Wiltshire. The Parish of Dinton contains the hamlets of Baverstock to the east and Marshwood to the north.
There are several interesting historic buildings in Dinton Village. This includes the 13th Century church of St Mary’s. The properties of Little Clarendon and Lawes Cottage are next to each other near the Village Shop. Little Clarendon is a delightful 15th Century Tudor stone farmhouse once owned by George Engleheart, a famous horticulturist in the early 1900s who grew daffodils, and Lawes Cottage is believed to have been the home of Henry Lawes, an outstanding 17th Century composer
Philipps House and Dinton Park. The house is an early 19th Century Georgian mansion built of local Chilmark stone presiding over its picturesque parkland. It was built in 1816 by William Wyndham and called Dinton House. Interestingly, it was renamed Philipps House by new owner Betram Philipps in 1916 who named it after himself! It was then granted to the National Trust in 1943. As well as being owned by wealthy landowners, it was used by the US Army during the Second World War and as a Christian Women’s retreat. There are many interesting walks around the estate and from a clear day, the Spire of Salisbury Cathedral can be seen from the highest point. On the ridge behind the house, is Wick Ball Camp, an Iron Age Hill Fort and Dinton’s ancient settlement site.
East Knoyle is the birthplace of Sir Christopher Wren, one of the most highly acclaimed British architects in history who rebuilt over 50 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666 including his masterpiece St. Paul’s Cathedral. Knoyle Rectory, now called Knoyle Place, was the former home of the Wren family and lived in by Sir Christopher Wren’s parents. However, when a fire broke out, the family moved to Haslam’s Shop (a former Draper’s shop) on the corner of Wise Lane opposite the village shop where Sir Christopher Wren was born. The building was demolished in 1878 due to road widening but a plinth marks the spot where he was born.
The village is home to a pub and a thriving community shop.
The Church of St. Marys in East Knoyle. This church has been at the heart of East Knoyle village for over 1,000 years. The plasterwork in the chancel is unique and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren’s father who was appointed Rector in 1623.
Ebbesbourne Wake is a small village tucked away near the head of the valley of the River Ebble, its parish church is dedicated to St John Baptist, which for local residents is conveniently located near to the village inn!
The village is noted in the Domesday Book (1086) as Eblesborne and although history does not recall how or why, Hereward the Wake’s coat of arms today can be seen on the church tower. By 1249 it was known as Ebbelburn Wak and by 1785 had become Ebbesbourne Wake.
Ebbesbourne Wake now plays host each June to the Chalke Valley History Festival, the largest festival dedicated entirely to History in the UK. Offering a unique blend of talks, discussions and debates with eminent speakers, alongside a vast living history through-the-ages encampment and stunning air show, it is a celebration of history like no other.
A hamlet rather than a village, and no longer a separate parish, Fifield Bavant deserves a mention as it boasts the smallest church in Wiltshire and reputedly the second smallest in England.
The name of Fifield Bavant has evolved over the centuries; the Domesday Book records the manor as Fifehide (probably derived from five hides, a hide being an area of land that would support a household). By 1264 if was called Fifield Scudamore after lord of the manor Peter de Scudamore, this changed in the mid 1400s to Fiffehyde Beaufaunt when ownership passed to the Beaufaunt family, whose name was later spelt Bavant.
A separate parish for eight centuries it was gradually subsumed into neighbouring Bowerchalke and then extinguished when the remaining acres were annexed to Ebbesbourne Wake.
The delightful church of St Martin of Tours was erected in the 13thcentury and the flint and stone walls are almost entirely original, as are the stone cross on the east gable and the lancet window at the north end of the chancel. The turret was added in the early part of the 20th century, replacing an earlier one.
A charming village with many historic buildings. The village is close to Fonthill Gifford, where William Thomas Beckford built Fonthill Abbey. The estate now belongs to Lord Margadale. All Saints’ Church, Fonthill Bishop, is an Early English 13th-century church with a crossing tower, restored by Thomas Henry Wyatt in 1879. The tower has bell-openings.
The Fonthill Arch, just past the Riverbarn, is a splendid archway, which would have been the gatehouse and entrance to the different mansions and abbey and is believed to be the work of original Palladian architect Inigo Jones.
Shrouded in woodland like an alpine estate, it was previously a small hamlet known as Stop in the 13th Century and almost certainly included Stop Farm, a farmhouse of stone and thatch built in the 17th Century. It was still called Stop in the 18th Century, but from about 1773 or earlier, it became known as Fonthill Gifford.
Fonthill Estate and Fonthill Abbey. Covering over 9,000 acres of outstanding beauty in the heart of Wiltshire. The Estate has a fascinating architectural history and a series of grand country mansions have been built over the centuries. Perhaps the most famous and extravagant of buildings was Fonthill Abbey. This was an immense Gothic revival house with the grandeur of the finest cathedrals, built on Hinkley Hill in the heart of Fonthill Abbey Wood by super rich author William Beckford Junior, but which later collapsed due to faulty workmanship destroying most of the building. A small fragment remains today but this is hidden from public view.
Fonthill Lake and Fonthill Arch also form part of the Estate. The lake is over 1 mile in length and was used as a film location for romance film Chocolat staring Johnny Depp in 2000.
The church of St George is at the north end of the village. Dating from the 13C, it is constructed largely of local Chilmark stone. The tower contains a peal of 6 bells. The oldest from the 15C, four from the 19C and one from the 20C.
Originally with three public houses, an unusual occurrence in a small village, Fovant has one functioning pub, The Pembroke Arms, which has changed ownership a number of times in recent years. Fovant also has a village playing field and playground.
Fovant has a post office (closed April 2011 but re-opened in the village shop), village shop and a doctor’s surgery all at the south end of the village. There is also a stream that runs through the village.
The post office used to be locally well known for having vehicles crash into its front wall, mostly at night as the road bends round in an unexpected manner at the bottom of the hill.
Just before the outbreak of World War I, Fovant Camp was set up. After the outbreak, the area either side of the A30 was filled with huts, roads, firing ranges and parade grounds. It was almost a self-sufficient community, with shops, tearooms, a church, chapel, cinema, canteens, Post Office, and installations to generate electricity and pump water. A railway line was built from Dinton and a station, marshalling yard and engine houses were created.
The Fovant Badges
Fovant is famous for it’s badges – the first of which was cut in 1916 by the London Rifle Brigade. By the end of the war approximately 20 badges had been cut into the hillside.
In 1963 the Fovant Badges Society was formed, a group that is still active today.
Visit the Fovant Badges Society Website
A pretty Medieval village of fine Chilmark stone houses. In the 13th Century, it was a prosperous centre for country fairs and weekly markets and a lot of the houses were occupied by artisans and craftspeople. However, by 1754, a great fire had broken out which destroyed over 140 houses along the High Street. The village soon recovered and by the mid 18th Century, it had become a popular centre for mail coaches and travellers with a staggering 14 inns and public houses, most of which kept horses and had facilities for stabling.Iits own market, fair, and thirteen public houses.
In 1800, The Lamb Inn was said to have kept 300 horses used for the mail coaches. Today, there are just two Inns remaining, but there remain visible signs of its great coaching history. Can you spot them? The Angel Inn (formerly known as Grosvenors Arms) still bears the words ‘Grosvenors Arms good stall stableing and lock up coach houses’. There are also large arched entrances and cobbled courtyards along the High Street where former pubs have been converted to houses.
Ludwell and Ferne Estate
Ludwell and Ferne Estate. The name Ludwell is of late Medieval origin. The village was first recorded as Ludewell in 1194. For Centuries, shepherds tended their sheep on the hills around the village and would bring them to the sheepwash at Ludwell which was a great attraction for all the villagers. The 16th Century coaching inn of The Grove Arms is named after the Grove family, wealthy landowners dating back to William the Conqueror. From 1563 to the end of the 19th Century, they owned Ferne Park estate and mansion below Win Green, as well as a fine town house in Shaftesbury. The Grove Arms still carries the family crest as the pub’s logo.
Maiden Bradley with Yarnfield
Includes links to the excellent monthly Maiden Bradley parish news.
The Mere parish website has links to ‘Mere Matters’ – their monthly newsletter. It includes an extensive archive so you can always catch up on anything you might have missed.
The village of Nunton grew up in Saxon times around a farmstead whose occupants grew pulses and corn on 12 hectares of land. Its early history was tied in with Downton, where the moderately luxurious villa was the centre of a typical Roman farmstead until it was superseded by Saxon settlement on sites nearer the river, and was deserted.
Nunton’s lands reached back from the Ebble some 4 miles to the Wiltshire-Hampshire border beyond Grim’s ditch. The parish church of St Andrew is beautifully situated, the present building dates from 1854-55 and consists of a nave, chancel, south aisle, Lady Chapel and short tower. The church stands on the site of an earlier church believed to date to Saxon times, the only remains of which are the pillars of the chancel arch, the west arch of the chapel and opposite wall.
There are a number of earthworks in the woods around the village of Odstock, and the meaning of the name is probably from Odo’s stockade. Odstock Hospital (now Salisbury District Hospital) was originally set up by the Government in the Second World War, from 1943 it was used by the United States 5th Army Medical Corps and provided support for the Normandy landings in 1944. Today the hospital is famous for its specialist burns and spinal units.
The church of St Mary comprises a three-bay nave, chancel, west tower and north porch. The chancel is believed to date from the 12th century, remodelled in the 13th, the font and nave also 13th century. A gravestone in the churchyard marks the burial place of Joshua Scamp, a gypsy who, to protect his daughter, took the blame for his son-in-law’s theft of a horse and was hanged. Legend has it that after Joshua’s death a gypsy curse was put on the church.
A great resource for all things connected with the beautiful village of Pimperne in the heart of North Dorset.
The village derives its name from the River Sem which meets the River Nadder near the village. It is a tranquil village largely untouched by time with immense charm. Associated with dairy farming, most villagers at one time or other kept cows-even the vicar and pub landlord! The village even had own railway station and milk depot which distributed an endless supply of milk on a daily basis to the London market. The station closed in 1966 after just over 100 years of operation but some of the former buildings and Dairies Depot (now an Antique Shop) can be found along Station Road which has now become an antiques hub with its antique shops and auction house. It also has over a mile of common land, one of the last remaining areas in the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
There is an excellent community stores and café serving home made produce, and a pub, the grade II listed Benett Arms.
Semley Common. Over 300 acres in size, Semley Common stretches for the best part of 1 mile in most directions from the Church. The land was gifted by Queen Elizabeth I to the Arundell family in 1572 who were major landowners and their descendents still retain the freehold over it. Over the Centuries, commoners have grazed an assortment of animals including cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, even geese! There were once numerous gates on the common’s lanes and roads to prevent the animals from straying, however all were removed by the Army during WWII to improve access. By the 1950s, the sight of livestock on Semley Common was a becoming a thing of the past. Today, it can be enjoyed by people for recreation and by wildlife such as great spotted woodpecker, bullfinch and the nationally rare willow tit.
The Church of St. Leonard in Semley. Built to 19th Century designs by Thomas Wyatt, a highly acclaimed Irish/British architect. In the Lady Chapel, there is a beautiful stained glass window in remembrance to a local girl WPC Yvonne Fletcher who was shot and killed in the Libyan Siege in London in 1984. In the churchyard, is an impressive bronze soldier on horse-back. It is a touching memorial to Lieutenant George Dewrance Irving who died in the first World War aged 36.
The village of Stratford Tony lies on the River Ebble, near the line of the ancient Roman Road Icknield Street. The impressionist painter Wilfrid de Glehn lived at the Manor House from 1942 until his death in 1951.
The parish church of St Mary & St Lawrence was built in the 13th century, it is a Grade I listed building and is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. The medieval church is reached down a narrow lane, over a footpath across a stream and up a steep back, making the journey to reach it part of the adventure!
Set on the banks of the River Ebble, externally the church is a patchwork of lichens on brick, stone and flint, creating an idyllic rural picture. Internally the church is also a delight, furnished with handsome box pews with colonnaded tops, a 14th century font and lovely stained glass window installed by the studio of Charles Eamer Kempe in 1884. There is a large Yew tree in the churchyard with a girth of over 11 feet.
Sutton Mandeville & Chicksgrove
Sutton Mandeville & Chicksgrove are situated in the parish of Sutton Mandeville.The landscape is a largely low-lying patchwork of pastures and meadows, fringed by chalk downland. The Parish is first mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086 as Sudtone (South Town) and was given to the de Mandeville family as part of a grant of land under the reign of Henry I.
It’s not so clear where the name Chicksgrove derives from, there are many variations recorded (Chichesgrave, Chikes Grove, Chekesgrave & Cheesgrove among them), the earliest being Chiknesgrava. It may be direct from Chicke which appears independently in the 14th Century as a reduced form of chicken or it may have originated as a nickname used as a surname. Sutton passed to the Pembrokes after the Reformation and then in 1689 both the Sutton and Chicksgrove estates were purchased by the Wyndham family of Dinton House (now Philipps House). The Estates were both put up for auction on 17th July 1917 and many of the sitting tenants purchased the farms and properties.
Sutton Veny lies in the beautiful Wylye Valley in Wiltshire between Salisbury and Bath, and is approximately 2 miles from the town of Warminster. Longleat House and Safari Park are close by as well as Centre Parcs.
The village is steeped in history and was a concentration area during the 1st World War for units going to and from France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has a Cemetery beside St Johns Church with Australian soldiers who died mainly from the influenza epidemic in 1918. The 1st World War Picture Gallery on the Sutton Veny website contains some wonderful postcards and photographs of the period.
The parish is located on the A350 between Shaftesbury and Blandford in Dorset. Set in a very beautiful conservation area, Sutton Waldron is a village with no local pub or shop; however, what it lacks in facilities is more than made up by the energy, enthusiasm and community spirit of the villagers themselves.
Sutton Seasons is the Parish Newsletter and is published four times a year.
The charming village of Swallowcliffe nestles on the south side of the Nadder valley. The Anglo-Saxon word is Swealewan Cif. Its name was first recorded in an Anglo-Saxon Charter of AD940 where there is reference to King Edmund giving land to a place which country folk jokingly called ‘the cliff of the swallow’.
Teffont Evias and Teffont Magna
Pretty Nadder Valley villages with an air of timelessness about them. The name Teffont is derived from their stream location along The Teff which rises from its spring in Teffont Magna. The name Evias comes from Harold Ewyas of Hereford, powerful lord of the area in the 13th Century. St Edwards Church in Teffont Magna has a simple dignity about it and is believed to be late 13th Century and much older than St. Michael and All Angels Church in neighbouring Teffont Evias; built of Chilmark stone. It is named after Edward, King of the Saxons who reigned for just 3 years from the age of 13 before being murdered at Corfe Castle in Dorset by his stepmother Queen Elfrida in AD 978.
Tisbury nestles in the south west corner of Wiltshire close to the county of Dorset. The picturesque village of Tisbury has an air of timelessness about it. It is the largest village in the Nadder Valley and Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and was first settled in Saxon times possibly with a monastery. Its name is derived from the Saxon name Tysse’s Burgh, meaning ‘the stronghold of Tysse’s people’. A village however, may have existed as far back as the Bronze Age 3-4,000 years ago with its very own henge monument or stone circle near Place Farm. The Stone circle has long gone but the last 3 central stones were used to construct the grotto at Old Wardour Castle. It is an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding countryside and AONB. Wander along its friendly High Street browsing in the assortment of gift and craft shops.
Tisbury Railway Station. Constructed in 1859. Currently managed by South West Trains and on the London Waterloo to Exeter Line. Salisbury is only about 10 minutes away via train.
St John the Baptist Church. The parents of famous author Rudyard Kipling are buried in the churchyard of this 12th Century church. There is also a giant yew tree believed to be over 4,000 years old and one of the oldest in Britain.
The Medieval Village of Wyck. A field of rough grass crossed by tracks and a footpath overlooking the Nadder Valley on the South West edge of Tisbury along Monmouth Road is all that remains of the ancient lost village of Wyck.
The Upper Deverills are three small rural villages, Brixton Deverill, Kingston Deverill and Monkton Deverill. The villages lie along the beautiful valley of the river Deverill. There are 154 households with a population of 331 people (2014)
The Upper Deverills are in an area of Higher Archaeological Potential containing several Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Scheduled Ancient Monuments.
The valley has been continually inhabited by farming people since 3500 BC. It was important in Roman times. Two Roman roads join at the ford on the boundary between Kingston Deverill and Monkton Deverill and there were Roman settlements at Cold Kitchen Hill and Whitecliff Down.
Wilton Town Council
Wilton is a quintessential English market town with a history spanning more than 2,000 years. Wilton lies three miles west of Salisbury, nestling in the junction of the Wylye and Nadder river valleys.