St. Michael's parish church and village green
Aldbourne shown within Wiltshire
|Population||1,833 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|Website||The Aldbourne Net|
Aldbourne is a village and civil parish about 6 miles (10 km) northeast of Marlborough in Wiltshire, England. It is in a valley in the south slope of the Lambourn Downs, part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. From here an unnamed winterbourne flows and joins the River Kennet 4 miles (6.4 km) south near the village of Ramsbury. The 2011 Census recorded the parish population as 1,833.
St Michael's parish church
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2011)|
The Church of England parish church of Saint Michael overlooking the village green is medieval and a Grade I listed building. The nave and aisles were built around 1200, although some earlier Norman arches and other traces remain. There are four arches on the north arcade and three on the south. The chancel is Early English, with north and south chapels, and a sanctuary with lancet windows.
The Perpendicular Gothic three-stage tower was added in 1460. It is ashlar, has angled buttresses and transomed three-light bell openings, with gargoyles above. There are also transepts with three-light windows, a tall south porch – originally two-storey – and a bay between the porch and south transept. There was also formerly a north porch. The external walls are of flint and limestone with some chequer work and sarsen, and are crenellated. The roofs are lead and slate. The interior contains a number of monuments and monumental brasses.
For at least 130 years Aldbourne had a bell foundry. Master-founders at Aldbourne included Robert Cor (active 1694–1724), William Cor (active 1696–1722), Oliver Cor (active 1725–27), John Cor (active 1728–50), John Stares (active 1744–46), Edward Read (active 1751–57), Edne Witts (active 1759–74), Robert I Wells (active 1760–81), Robert II Wells (active 1781–93) and James Wells (active 1792–1826). Bells cast by the Cor and Wells families survive at parish churches including St Peter's, Alvescot, St Mary's, Ashbury, SS Peter and Paul, Church Hanborough; St Nicolas', East Challow; St Peter's, Drayton; All Saints', East Lockinge; All Saints', Faringdon; St Giles', Great Coxwell; St Giles', Horspath; SS Peter and Paul, Lechlade; St Peter's, Marsh Baldon; Holy Cross, Seend; St James the Great, West Hanney and others.
In 1971 BBC Television used Aldbourne extensively as a location for the village of Devil's End in its science fiction drama Doctor Who in a series called The Daemons. St Michael's parish church was destroyed at the climax of the series and one viewer wrote to complain about this wanton piece of destruction for the sake of drama, but the BBC had used a model for this special effect.
Aldbourne is in the Aldbourne and Ramsbury electoral ward, which includes Baydon in the north, Froxfield in the south and Ramsbury to the southwest of Aldbourne. The 2011 Census recorded the ward's population as 5,231.
Aldbourne has two public houses: the Blue Boar and The Crown, and a sports and social club. There is also a Co-Op, a Post Office, an Indian takeaway, a primary school and two pre-schools. Within the Post Office, there is a local produce and general convenience store, delicatessen, wine merchants and cafe offering both sit in and takeaway food and drink.
Next to the Crown Inn is the Heritage Centre which presents a changing array of artifacts and displays chronicling Aldbourne's history from Stone Age flints, through copies of mediaeval documents to an extensive collection of 19th and 20th century photographs. Special attention is paid to the village's bell-founding legacy and the residence of Easy Company of the US Army 101st Airborne Division in the lead up to D-Day.
The Centre is open on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays and on Wednesday afternoons throughout the summer. Visits at other times can be arranged by appointment.
The centre is run by the Aldbourne Community Heritage Group which organises monthly talks and events to encourage the enjoyment of local history.
- "Area: Aldbourne (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
- Historic England. "Details from image database (310499 )". Images of England.
- Dovemaster (25 June 2010). "Bell Founders". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- Pevsner & Cherry 1975, p. 82
- Money, Walter (1881). The First and Second Battles of Newbury and the Siege of Donnington Castle During the Civil War, AD 1643–6. London and Newbury: Simpkin, Marshall and Co. p. 25.
- "Aldbourne". Village Pumps. RK Williams. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- Ambrose, Stephen E. (2001). Band of Brothers. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 43–56. ISBN 0-7432-1638-5.
- Haining, Peter (1983). Doctor Who – A Celebration. London: W.H. Allen. p. 196. ISBN 0-491-03351-6.
- "Aldbourne and Ramsbury (Ward): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- "The Blue Boar". Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- "The Crown". Retrieved 22 May 2015.
- "Aldbourne Brass Band". Aldbourne Brass Band. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
- Singleton, Sarah (September 2010). "The cultured face behind Marlborough's book fair" (PDF). Wiltshire Life (Mavis Cheek). Retrieved 26 November 2014.
Sources and further reading
- Crowley, D.A. (ed.); Baggs, A.P.; Freeman, Jane; Stevenson, Janet H. (1983). A History of the County of Wiltshire. Victoria County History. 12: Ramsbury and Selkey hundreds; the Borough of Marlborough. London: Oxford University Press for The Institute of Historical Research. pp. 67–86. ISBN 978-0197227596.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (revision) (1975) . Wiltshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 81–82. ISBN 0-14-0710-26-4.
- Gandy, Ida (1975). The heart of a village: An intimate history of Aldbourne. Moonraker Press. ISBN 978-0239001481.
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