Down Ampney

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Down Ampney
Down Ampney (Glos) All Saints Church - - 68217.jpg
All Saints Church, Down Ampney
Down Ampney is located in Gloucestershire
Down Ampney
Down Ampney
Location within Gloucestershire
Population644 (2011 Census)
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townCirencester
Postcode districtGL7
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
51°40′N 1°51′W / 51.667°N 1.850°W / 51.667; -1.850

Down Ampney (pronounced Amney)[1] is a medium-sized village located in Cotswold district in Gloucestershire, in England. The population taken at the 2011 census was 644.[2]

It is off the A417 which runs between Cirencester and Faringdon (in Oxfordshire) on the A420, and about 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Cricklade, which is on the A419 which runs from Cirencester to Swindon, Wiltshire.


Down Ampney was notable in medieval times as one of the seats of the powerful Hungerford family, whose principal family seat was at Farleigh Hungerford, Somerset. The Down Ampney estate later passed from the Hungerford family to the Earls of St German (the Eliot Family).[3]

Vaughan Williams[edit]

The Old Vicarage in Down Ampney was the birthplace of the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1872, whose father, the Reverend Arthur Vaughan Williams (1834–1875) was vicar of All Saints. In 1906, Ralph Vaughan Williams composed a tune for the hymn "Come Down, O Love Divine" which he titled "Down Ampney" in honour of his birthplace.[4][5]

RAF Down Ampney[edit]

During the Second World War, the RAF Down Ampney airfield was a base for Dakota aircraft seeing active service in the war. The airfield played an important role in the Battle of Arnhem, 1944.[6][7]

All Saints' Church[edit]

All Saints' Church is an ancient building that was founded by the Knights Templar in 1265. It lies on the edge of the village; its peripheral location was brought about when the centre of the village shifted north due to the effects of the bubonic plague.[3][7]

Its prominent spire dates from the 14th century, although much of the church fabric seen today is the product of Victorian restoration work carried out in 1863.

The church contains a number of elaborate monuments to the Hungerford family,[3] including a 1637 Renaissance-style monument to Sir John and Sir Anthony Hungerford. Among the medieval memorials are two recumbent effigy tombs of Sir Nicholas de Valers (d.1300) and Lady Margaret de Valers (d.1320). The wooden fittings in the church, including the pulpit, reredos, and rood screen were designed in 1898 by Charles Ponting. Another screen in the north transept screen dates from 1900 and incorporating painted Jacobean panels displaying the coat of arms of Sir Anthony Hungerford. Today the church is a Grade I listed building. [8] There is also a 20th-century stained-glass window in commemoration of 271 Sqn and the R.A.S.C who flew in the Dakota aircraft from the airfield for the Battle of Arnhem in 1944. The church holds an annual Arnhem Service in memory of the wartime operation.[3] Another stained-glass is dedicated to the memory of Rev, Arthur Vaughan Williams who is buried in the churchyard.[5]

The church featured in the 2017 Channel 4 television programme Penelope Keith's Hidden Villages.[3]


Aside from the airfield, a school older than 150 years, a multi-use games area for younger residents, a tennis club, a village hall, a small village shop, and the church mentioned above, which evidently dates back to before the bubonic plague, are also present in the current arrangement of the village.[citation needed]

The Down Ampney estate, comprising almost all of the farm land in the parish, is now owned by the Co-operative Group.[9]


  1. ^ Cummings, Mark (24 February 2011). "I say say Oooover". BBC. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Down Ampney Village, History". Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  4. ^ Bradley, Ian (2006). Daily Telegraph Book of Hymns. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-8264-8282-2. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Down Ampney Village, Ralph Vaughan Williams". Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  6. ^ Cooper, Alan W. (2012). Air Battle for Arnhem. Pen and Sword. ISBN 978-1-4738-1168-3. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Down Ampney Village, Church". Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  8. ^ Historic England. "Church of All Saints, Down Ampney (1089941)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  9. ^ Statutory Declaration of D. N. Humphreys

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°40′N 1°51′W / 51.667°N 1.850°W / 51.667; -1.850