Biddestone

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Biddestone
TheGreenAtBiddestone(PhilWilliams)Sep2005.jpg
Biddestone's large village green
Biddestone is located in Wiltshire
Biddestone
Biddestone
Location within Wiltshire
Population498 (in 2011)[1]
OS grid referenceST863735
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townCHIPPENHAM
Postcode districtSN14
Dialling code01249
PoliceWiltshire
FireDorset and Wiltshire
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
WebsiteParish Council
List of places
UK
England
Wiltshire
51°27′36″N 2°11′53″W / 51.460°N 2.198°W / 51.460; -2.198Coordinates: 51°27′36″N 2°11′53″W / 51.460°N 2.198°W / 51.460; -2.198

Biddestone is a village and civil parish in northwest Wiltshire, England, about 3 miles (5 km) west of Chippenham and 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Corsham. The parish includes the smaller settlement of Slaughterford.

Geography[edit]

The Bybrook River forms the western boundary of the parish, while the northern boundary follows approximately the Bristol to Chippenham road, now the A420.

The parish is just inside the eastern boundary of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Sites of Special Scientific Interest include Honeybrook Farm and Colerne Park and Monk's Wood, both near Slaughterford.

History[edit]

A settlement at Bedestone, with four households, was recorded in Domesday Book in 1086.[2]

The Manor House (at the south-east entrance to the village, Grade II* listed)[3] and Manor Farmhouse[4] are from the 17th century, as are Pool Farmhouse[5] and Elm Cottage[6] (both south of the village green). Willow House, north of the green, is dated 1730: a three-storey house with a formal five-bay south front.[7]

Local government[edit]

The civil parish elects a parish council. It is in the area of Wiltshire Council unitary authority, which is responsible for all significant local government functions.

Religious sites[edit]

Parish church[edit]

St Nicholas' Church

The Church of England parish church of St Nicholas is Grade I listed.[8]

It was built in the 12th century in rubble stone, on the foundations of an older church;[9] the south door (with a pair of columns, and a cross in the tympanum) and two windows in the chancel survive from that period, while the rest of the building dates from the 13th and 14th centuries.[10] The east gable of the nave has a 13th-century bell-turret described as "remarkable" by Nikolaus Pevsner.[11][8]

Apart from changes to the windows and the 15th-century rebuilding of the chancel arch and addition of a short octagonal stone spire to the bell-turret, the church was unaltered until the mid-19th century. Then the roofs were renewed and stone from the demolition of St Peter's church was used to extend the chancel to form a sanctuary.[9] The nave was restored in 1900.[9]

The stone font with zigzag decoration is from the 12th century, and the eroded or defaced heads at the corners of its base may be 13th-century.[10] The panelled west gallery on thin iron columns is from the late 17th century, and the box pews are from c.1800.[8]

Sometime before 1953, the benefice was united with Slaughterford.[12] Today the parish is part of the Bybrook Benefice, a group of ten rural parishes.[13]

Others[edit]

South door of St Nicholas' Church

A church of St Peter, on the eastern side of the village, was demolished in 1846. Possibly of Saxon origin and larger than St Nicholas', it had been rebuilt in 1430.[14] Its bell-cote was acquired by G. P. Scrope and made into a garden seat at his house, Castle Combe Manor.[15]

Biddestone Baptist chapel, dated 1832 and formerly known as Ebenezer Chapel, is Grade II listed.[16] By 2009 it had fallen into disuse.

A small Methodist chapel stands at the northern extreme of the village, at the junction with Slaughterford Road. By 2009 this too was disused; records survive for the period 1960–1979.[17]

Slaughterford has its own church, also dedicated to St Nicholas, and had a Quaker meeting house.

Amenities[edit]

Sports facilities include a cricket club who play in the Gloucestershire & Wiltshire division of the West of England Premier League.[18] There is also a tennis club and a football club, Biddestone F.C., which played in the Western League until 2007.

The village has one pub, the White Horse. The Crown Inn at Giddeahall on the A420 is just outside the parish.

There is no primary school; most children travel to By Brook Valley CE Primary School in nearby Yatton Keynell, which was built to amalgamate the small primary schools in Biddestone, Yatton Keynell, Castle Combe and Nettleton. The school at Biddestone, which also served Slaughterford, was built in 1844 and enlarged in 1875, and took children of all ages until 1945. It was closed in 1998 owing to falling pupil numbers.[19]

Honeybrook Farm, in the Bybrook valley in the west of the parish, is a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest.[20]

Film location[edit]

Biddestone was a filming location for the TV film Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death (2014),[21] and for The Christmas Candle (2013).[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wiltshire Community History - Census". Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  2. ^ Biddestone in the Domesday Book
  3. ^ Historic England. "The Manor House and barn, Chippenham Lane, Biddestone (1363596)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Manor Farmhouse, Corsham Road, Biddestone (1198858)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  5. ^ Historic England. "Pool Farmhouse, The Green, Biddestone (1022837)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  6. ^ Historic England. "Elm Cottage, The Green, Biddestone (1283626)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  7. ^ Historic England. "Willow House with gate piers and walls (1022836)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  8. ^ a b c Historic England. "Church of St Nicholas, Biddestone (1198839)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  9. ^ a b c "St Nicholas' Church, Biddestone". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  10. ^ a b "St Nicholas, Biddestone, Wiltshire". The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland. King's College London. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  11. ^ Orbach, Julian; Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (2021). Wiltshire. The Buildings Of England. New Haven, US and London: Yale University Press. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-300-25120-3. OCLC 1201298091.
  12. ^ "No. 39747". The London Gazette. 6 January 1953. p. 171.
  13. ^ "St Nicholas, Biddestone". Bybrook Benefice. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  14. ^ "St Peter's Church, Biddestone". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  15. ^ Historic England. "Bellcote to east side of Italian Garden of Manor House Hotel (1283574)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  16. ^ Historic England. "Biddestone Baptist Chapel (1363601)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  17. ^ "Biddestone Methodist Chapel - 1960-1979: trustees' meeting minute book". The National Archives. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  18. ^ "Glos/Wilts 2015". West of England Premier Cricket League. England and Wales Cricket Board. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  19. ^ "Biddestone Church of England School". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Honeybrook Farm SSSI". Natural England. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  21. ^ "Agatha Raisin filming in Biddestone". The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  22. ^ "Village of Biddestone enjoys Hollywood moment". Wiltshire Times. 15 March 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]