Alton, Wiltshire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alton Barnes
The Church of St Mary, Alton Barnes - - 1428665.jpg
St Mary the Virgin parish church, Alton Barnes
Alton Barnes is located in Wiltshire
Alton Barnes
Alton Barnes
 Alton Barnes shown within Wiltshire
Population 249 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SU1062
Civil parish Alton
Unitary authority Wiltshire
Ceremonial county Wiltshire
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Marlborough
Postcode district SN8
Dialling code 01672
Police Wiltshire
Fire Wiltshire
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Devizes
Website Alton Barnes, Alton Priors and Honeystreet Village website
List of places

Coordinates: 51°21′32″N 1°50′46″W / 51.359°N 1.846°W / 51.359; -1.846

Alton Barnes and Priors is a civil parish in Wiltshire, England. It includes the twin villages of Alton Barnes and Alton Priors and the nearby hamlet of Honeystreet on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The United Kingdom Census 2001 recorded a parish population of 229,[1] increasing to 249 at the 2011 census.[2]

Local government[edit]

Alton is a civil parish with an elected parish council. It is in the area of the Wiltshire Council unitary authority, which is responsible for all significant local government functions, and is represented in the council by Paul Oatway, who succeeded Brigadier Robert Hall in 2013.

Parish churches[edit]

The redundant All Saints' parish church, Alton Priors

Each of the two villages has a Church of England parish church. The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in Alton Barnes is partly Saxon,[3] built in the 10th and 11th centuries.[4] The nave has characteristic Anglo-Saxon features: typically tall, narrow proportions and (visible at the west end) long-and-short quoins.[3] The south door was added in the 14th century.[4] The original chancel was as wide as the nave, but it demolished and replaced with a brick one in 1748.[3] There was a Saxon chancel arch but this was removed in 1832.[3] There was a Victorian restoration in 1875 and a further restoration in 1904 directed by the local architect Charles Ponting.[3] What survives is a Grade I listed building.[4]

All Saints Church, Alton Priors was built in the 12th century and retains its original Norman chancel arch.[5][6] The nave has two 14th-century ogee-headed windows, and the west window is 15th-century.[5] As at Alton Priors, the original chancel has been demolished and replaced with one built of brick.[6] There is also an unusual brass plaque to local landowner William Button, with a complex inscription. It has been speculated that the message on the plaque, and Sarsen stones may be connected with the nearby Milk Hill.[7] All Saints is a redundant church in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.[5][8] All Saints is a Grade II* listed building.[5]

Alton Barnes White Horse[edit]

The Alton Barnes White Horse
Aerial photo of the Alton Barnes white horse.

There is a chalk hill figure of a horse dating from 1812, a little more than 1000 m north of Alton. It is based on another white horse hill figure in Wiltshire, the Cherhill White Horse.

The figure is the third largest white horse in Wiltshire. The Pewsey White Horse can be seen from Milk Hill (the location of the horse). The figure is featured in Staying Out for the Summer (a music video for a song of the same name by Dodgy).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Area selected: Kennet (Non-Metropolitan District)". Neighbourhood Statistics: Full Dataset View. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "Parish population 2011.Retrieved 14 March 2015". 
  3. ^ a b c d e Pevsner & Cherry 1975, p. 87
  4. ^ a b c "Church of St Mary". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. 27 May 1964. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Church of All Saints". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. 27 May 1964. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Pevsner & Cherry 1975, p. 88
  7. ^ "The mystery plaque of Alton priors". Crop circle wisdom. Archived from the original on 6 October 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2010. 
  8. ^ "All Saints, Alton Priors". Churches Conservation Trust. Retrieved 26 September 2010. 

Sources and further reading[edit]

External links[edit]