The main street and Bybrook River
Castle Combe shown within Wiltshire
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Castle Combe is a small village in Wiltshire, England, with a population of about 350. Ranked number 2 in The Times' 30 best villages, it is renowned for its attractiveness and tranquillity, and for fine buildings including the medieval church. The 14th century market cross, erected when the privilege to hold a weekly market in Castle Combe was granted, is situated where the three principal streets converge. Some small stone steps near the cross were for horse riders to mount and dismount and close by are the remains of the buttercross. The village has twice played host to the Combe Sunday event, a music extravaganza which attracted 4,000 visitors to the village in 2006.
The 4-star Manor House Hotel in the village was built in the 14th century. It has 48 rooms and 365 acres (1.5 km2) of gardens.
The village prospered during the fifteenth century, when it belonged to Millicent, the wife of Sir Stephen Le Scrope and then of Sir John Fastolf (1380–1459), a Norfolk knight who was the effective lord of the manor for fifty years. He promoted the woollen industry, supplying his own troops and others for Henry V's war in France.
Castle Combe is the home of a motor racing venue, Castle Combe Circuit, located on the disused RAF Castle Combe airfield. It was also used as a location for the film musical Doctor Dolittle, but its frequently rainy summer climate, and the residents' irritation at the producers' arbitrary modifications of the area for shooting that was severe enough to incite attempted sabotage, frustrated production. Raymond Austin, director/writer, set the action of his book, Find Me A Spy, Catch me a Traitor in the village and at the Manor. Other productions include "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd", an episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot, and the films Stardust and The Wolfman, and the 1967 motion picture version of Doctor Dolittle. Throughout September 2010, the village was used as a key filming location for Steven Spielberg's production of War Horse.
St. Andrew's church is the home of the Castle Combe Clock, one of the very few English medieval clocks still in use.
- Stephen Cooper, The Real Falstaff, Sir John Fastolf and the Hundred Years War, (Pen & Sword, 2010)
- Harris, Mark. Pictures at A Revolution. Penguin Press, 2008, p. 199-202
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