Blunsdon

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Coordinates: 51°37′N 1°47′W / 51.61°N 1.79°W / 51.61; -1.79

Blunsdon
Fred C Palmer Chapel Hill Blunsdon 1920.jpg
Chapel Hill, Blunsdon ca.1920
Blunsdon is located in Wiltshire
Blunsdon
Blunsdon
 Blunsdon shown within Wiltshire
Population 5,641 
OS grid reference SU1490
Civil parish Blunsdon St Andrew
Unitary authority Swindon
Ceremonial county Wiltshire
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Swindon
Postcode district SN25, SN26
Dialling code 01793
Police Wiltshire
Fire Wiltshire
Ambulance Great Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament North Swindon
Website Blunsdon St Andrew Parish Council
List of places
UK
England
Wiltshire

Broad Blunsdon is a village in the Borough of Swindon, England, about 1 mile (1.6 km) north of Swindon itself.

Together with the nearby villages of Blunsdon St Andrew and adjoining Lower Blunsdon, the settlement is usually known simply as Blunsdon. The A419 dual carriageway divides Blunsdon into Blunsdon St Andrew to the west and Broad Blunsdon to the east.

Overview[edit]

During the 2001 census 2250 dwellings were registered in the civil parish of Blunsdon St Andrew, though not all of these dwellings exist in the village of Blunsdon as the parish also includes the nearby developments of St Andrews Ridge, Ash Brake, Oakhurst, Redhouse and Groundwell West which part of the town of Swindon.

The village of Blunsdon St Andrew includes the ruins of Blunsdon Abbey, the Victorian mansion which was destroyed by fire in 1904. Although the property was insured, the death of Louisa Thomas, the mansion's owner, later that year, put an end to hopes of rebuilding. Among the items destroyed was a unique collection of Welsh Manuscripts assembled by Rachel Thomas, mother of David Alfred Thomas, later Viscount Rhondda It has now been converted into a caravan park. The nearby large-scale development on the edge of Swindon was named Abbey Meads after Blunsdon Abbey. In addition, a former manor house and listed building stood nearby, known as The Grange. This has recently been converted into apartments.

History[edit]

Blunsdon dates from Roman times: it was discovered that a Roman travellers’ resting place existed on the site of the present-day Cold Harbour public house. The main road (A419) lies on the course of a Roman road known as Ermin Street that linked the historic Roman towns of Gloucester (Glevum) and Silchester (Calleva Atrebatum) via Cirencester (Corinium). In 1086 it appears in the Domesday Book as Bluntesdone.

Sport[edit]

Blunsdon's Abbey Stadium is the home of speedway team the Swindon Robins. The Robins compete in the Elite League, with matches regularly televised live on Sky Sports. However, this was under threat in 2006 due to plans by local developers to demolish the stadium and replace it with houses. The initial proposal was to build a smaller greyhound racing stadium elsewhere, not large enough to accommodate the highly popular speedway racing. A campaign led by the local media and supported by the people of Swindon and Speedway supporters across the world persuaded the developers to include a speedway track, enabling the Robins to continue racing in Blunsdon.

The plans were at first recommended for refusal by the Council Officers due to various problems, mainly pertaining to housing. The developers agreed to take the plans away for adjustment and in May 2008 planning inspectors approved the new plans. It is hoped that the new venue, which includes plans for 450 houses, as well as office space, will be ready at the beginning of 2010.[1]

The village has its own football team, Blunsdon FC which has a large number of youth development squads as well as the Senior men's side playing in the Wiltshire League.

Parish Council[edit]

Chapel Hill in 2011

The Parish Council usually meets on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month to discuss issues that affect the parish and its parishioners. The Parish Council also publishes a regular newsletter which is available to download from the website, as well as a monthly 'Parish Magazine' delivered to the majority of residents in the village.

Village Shop[edit]

After the last privately owned shop in the village closed in 2002 a village public meeting convened and agreed to open a new community shop. In 2003, a committee of volunteers secured enough funding and donations to open a new shop.[2] Located in the car park of the village hall, the shop was originally based inside a second hand site office cabin; but in 2009 this was replaced by a brand new structure. After securing funding from various charitable trusts, the shop installed cedar cladding, CCTV and a touchscreen till system.

Run mainly by volunteers, in 2010 the shop won third place for 'Best Village Shop' at the Wiltshire Life Magazine Awards [3]

Transport[edit]

Further information: Transport in Swindon

The Swindon and Cricklade Railway has rebuilt Blunsdon railway station, although this is located just outside the parish boundary.

A419 Bypass[edit]

A bypass was built starting in the autumn of 2006, completed in spring 2009 and has facilitated the eventual re-unification of the village.

References[edit]