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Orcheston is located in Wiltshire
 Orcheston shown within Wiltshire
Population 130 
OS grid reference SU059448
Ceremonial county Wiltshire
Region South West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Salisbury
Postcode district SP3
Dialling code 01980
Police Wiltshire
Fire Wiltshire
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Salisbury
List of places

Coordinates: 51°12′25″N 1°55′12″W / 51.207°N 1.92°W / 51.207; -1.92

Orcheston is a civil parish and village in Wiltshire, England, lying on Salisbury Plain less than a mile north-west of neighbouring Shrewton. The present day village combines the two former parishes of Orcheston St Mary and Orcheston St George.

History and description[edit]

The village is recorded in the Domesday Book, with the spelling Orchestone.[1][2]

The two civil parishes of Orcheston, based on the two Church of England parish churches of St Mary and St George, were united into a single civil parish in 1934 and into a single ecclesiastical parish in 1971.[3] St George's Church was built in the 13th century. It has been designated as a Grade II* listed building[4] and is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.[5] The church is built of flint and has a Norman north door. The windows in the nave and Early English chancel and low tower also date from the 13th century.[5] The church was restored in 1833[6] during which the roof of nave was raised.[4]

Orcheston now contains about sixty-five houses, of which twenty-six are listed buildings, and has a single parish council.[7] It is close to the source of the River Till.

Almost all local government services are provided by the new Wiltshire Council unitary authority.

The parish gives its name to the 'Orcheston long grass' (Agrostis stolonifera), also called 'Creeping Bent', the most commonly used species of Agrostis.[8][9][10] The Rough-Stalked Meadow Grass (Poa trivialis), is also called Orcheston Grass,[11] and in the early 19th century there was something of a controversy among botanists as to which was the true Orcheston Grass.[12][13]

Mick Channon, the footballer and racehorse trainer, was born in the village.


  • 'Orcheston St Mary', in A History of the County of Wiltshire, Volume XV (1995)
  • 'Orcheston St George' in A History of the County of Wiltshire, Volume XIX (work in progress)
  • Peter Daniels, Around Amesbury in old photographs (1990)


  1. ^ Richard Tomkins, Wiltshire Place Names (1983), p. 79
  2. ^ Orcheston at probertencyclopaedia.com
  3. ^ Frederic A. Youngs, Guide to the local administrative units of England (1980), page 546
  4. ^ a b "Church of St. George". Images of England. English Heritage. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "St George, Orcheston". Churches Conservation Trust. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  6. ^ "Orby - Ormskirk". A Topographical Dictionary of England. British History Online. 1848. pp. 479–483. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Orcheston at wiltshire.gov.uk
  8. ^ William George Maton, Observations on the Orcheston long grass in Transactions of the Linnean Society, v. 5 (1800), pp. 28-31
  9. ^ William Bingley, Useful knowledge: or, A familiar account of the various productions of nature (1831) page 33 online at books.google.com
  10. ^ William Withering, An arrangement of British plants (1796) page 144 at books.google.com
  11. ^ Martin John Sutton, Permanent and Temporary Pastures (1929), p. 60
  12. ^ 'An Account of the Grasses and Produce of the Orcheston Meadow in Wiltshire, by Mr Tanner', in The Farmer's Magazine (1813)
  13. ^ 'Fiorin Grass', in Retrospect of philosophical, mechanical, chemical, and agricultural discoveries (volume for 1815) page 174 at books.google.com

External links[edit]