Upavon shown within Wiltshire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Upavon is a rural village in the English County of Wiltshire, England. As its name suggests, it is on the upper portions of the River Avon which runs from the north to the south through the village. It is situated about 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Pewsey, about 10 miles (16 km) southeast of the market town of Devizes, and about 20 miles (32 km) north of the cathedral city; Salisbury. The A345 and A342 roads run through the village. Most of Upavon is between 90 and 100 metres above sea level.
The occupation of Upavon dates back to the Iron Age settlement at Casterley Camp which lies approximately 1.5 miles west of the current village. The first mention of Upavon itself is in the Domesday Book as 'Oppavrene'; though there are no details it can be estimated that the village supported some 200 to 250 people The Iron Age settlement of Chisenbury Camp also lies close by to the southeast.
The village prospered during the 12th and 13th centuries and started to develop features that are recognisable today. A large Norman church replaced the previous Saxon one, a manor house was built in the south of the village and a market square developed west of the church in the area that now lies between the two village pubs.
All significant local government services are provided by Wiltshire Council, with its headquarters in Trowbridge, and the parish is represented there by Paul Oatway, who succeeded Brigadier Robert Hall in 2013. Its Member of Parliament is Claire Perry, Member for Devizes.
The village has two public houses, corner shop, petrol station and garage, doctors surgery, a small hairdressers salon, a fine church, and a village hall. The village has a primary school, but as of 2009 it has been closed, the nearest school now being Rushall.
British Military Establishment
Upavon airfield, now officially called Trenchard Lines, and previously RAF Upavon, is situated about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Upavon village. The site was originally constructed around 1912 as a Royal Flying Corps (RFC) base, and became the home of the RFC Central Flying School on 19 June 1912, later to be the RAF Central Flying School upon formation of the Royal Air Force. Upavon is referred to as the birthplace where the Royal Air Force was formed.
In recent years the main function of the military base has changed, and it is now largely an MoD administrative centre, and home to admin HQs of the British Army. Today the airfield is still used by the RAF from time to time but is now most frequently associated with regular glider activity. With the only permanent RAF unit based there being No. 622 Volunteer Gliding Squadron, providing glider training to members of the Air Cadet Organisation.
The Army Gliding Club also uses the airfield in co-operation with 622 VGS.
No. 622 Volunteer Gliding Squadron
- Crittall, Elizabeth (ed.); Baggs, A. P.; Crowley, D. A.; Pugh, Ralph B.; Tomlinson, Margaret (1975). Victoria County History: A History of the County of Wiltshire, Volume 10: Swanborough hundred; the borough of Devizes.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (revision) (1975). The Buildings of England: Wiltshire. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. ISBN 0 14 0710-26 4.
- "Upavon Census Information". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire County Council. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
- "Upavon History". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire County Council. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Upavon.|
- Upavon Parish Council website
- History of Upavon on Wiltshire County Council website - accessed 26 May 2007
- No. 622 Volunteer Gliding Squadron