Bowerhill

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Bowerhill
Bowerhill, Melksham.jpg
Falcon Way
Bowerhill is located in Wiltshire
Bowerhill
Bowerhill
Bowerhill shown within Wiltshire
OS grid reference ST914621
Civil parish
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Melksham
Postcode district SN12
Dialling code 01225
Police Wiltshire
Fire Dorset and Wiltshire
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
List of places
UK
England
Wiltshire
51°21′29″N 2°07′30″W / 51.358°N 2.125°W / 51.358; -2.125Coordinates: 51°21′29″N 2°07′30″W / 51.358°N 2.125°W / 51.358; -2.125

Bowerhill is an outer suburb of Melksham, Wiltshire, England, belonging to the civil parish of Melksham Without. Central Bowerhill is approximately 1.75 miles (2.75 km) south of Melksham town centre.

Bowerhill has a sizable industrial estate to the west of its residential area. This industrial area had been developed from a former Royal Air Force training school, and is home to the Wiltshire Gymnastics Centre and the Christie Miller Leisure Centre. The German engineering company Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems (formerly Westinghouse Rail Systems) established large modern offices in Bowerhill in 2009, and in 2015 Herman Miller, American office furniture manufacturer, opened a factory and offices in a building designed by Sir Nicholas Grimshaw.[1]

Bowerhill has a population of approximately 3,000 inhabitants and is effectively a small satellite town of Melksham. In the first decade of the 21st century, residential developments such as Hunter's Meadow boosted Bowerhill's population further.

History[edit]

Bowerhill was a rural area until early in 1940 when work began on a new RAF station. In July the RAF School of Instrument Training moved here from Cranwell and later a branch of the RAF Armament School also moved here. In the following years other courses were run and in 1942 the Armament School moved out and was replaced by the RAF Electrical School from Hereford. Towards the end of the Second World War a large number of Royal Naval Air Service mechanics were trained here and many transport drivers also received instruction. After the war, RAF Melksham resumed its Electrical and Instrument courses and continued with these and other education programmes until the early 1970s.[2]

After the departure of the RAF, the site saw a mixture of industrial, commercial and residential use, with much development in the 1980s. Its history is remembered in the area's street names, many of which are taken from historical aircraft. These include Falcon Way, Lancaster Road and Fulmar Close. The local pub is called The Pilot, and was formerly named The Harrier.

The village was bounded to the south by the GWR's Devizes Branch Line until its closure in 1966. The land formerly occupied by the railway began to be developed for new buildings in 2007.

Notable buildings[edit]

Woolmore farmhouse carries a date of 1631 and is Grade II* listed.[3]

Amenities[edit]

Bowerhill has a primary school and a village hall. Bowerhill Sports Field (5.34 hectares) was part of the RAF training school.[4] Melksham's secondary school, Melksham Oak, is close to Bowerhill on the other side of the A365 Melksham-Seend road.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yilmaz, Tanya (10 July 2015). "Herman Miller unveils multi-million pound Melksham factory". Wiltshire Times. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "Melksham Without". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Historic England. "Woolmore Farmhouse, Bowerhill (1021762)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  4. ^ "Bowerhill". Melksham Without Parish Council. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Bowerhill at Wikimedia Commons