The main street and Bybrook River
Castle Combe shown within Wiltshire
|Population||344 (in 2011)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
|UK Parliament||North Wiltshire|
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, beside which is one of Castle Combe's two village pumps. 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 prospered during the 15th 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.
St. Andrew's Church is the home of the Castle Combe Clock, one of the very few English medieval clocks still in use.
The village has twice played host to the Combe Sunday event, a music extravaganza which attracted 4,000 visitors to the village in 2006.
In popular culture
The village was a location for the 1967 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. Throughout September 2010, the village was used as a key filming location for Steven Spielberg's production of War Horse. The house of Alice Cartalet in the manga and anime series Kiniro Mosaic was based on Fosse Farmhouse, a guesthouse near Castle Combe.
There had been plans to film outdoors scenes from Wings of the Eagle in Castle Combe and nearby Lacock in 2015, but these plans were scrapped by BBC producers due to lack of public funding.
Castle Combe has a car park at the top of the hill, as well as toilet facilities over the bridge at the bottom of the village.
The 5-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. During World War II, the New Zealand Forestry Officers had the Manor House as their headquarters. Following World War II, in 1947, the owner of the Castle Combe estate sold the houses of the estate. The Manor House became a country club. After 18 months the club left the premises, and the Manor House was shortly thereafter sold to Bobbie Allen, an amateur hotelier, and her husband. Over time, they established the Manor House as a premier country hotel, run almost as a club. A quite glamorous clientele ensued. Certain of the London hotels would refer guests in search of authentic England to the Manor House. Mrs. Allen was a noted horsewoman, and the grounds of the Manor House were known for their suitability for riding. Mrs. Allen was from Lancashire, and quite direct. She wrote a charming book of her experiences, From Claridge's to Castle Combe (The Mendip Press, 1968), which reflects this directness. After many years, the Allens sold the Manor House to Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Clegg, who sold it to the present owners.
Castle Combe Clock in the church
- "Wiltshire Community History - Census". Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
- Allen, Bobbie (1968). From Claridge's to Castle Combe. Bath: The Mendip Press.
- Harris, Mark. Pictures at A Revolution. Penguin Press, 2008, p. 199-202
- "On location at Fosse Farm - Alice Cartalet's house from Kinmoza". Otaku News. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
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