Kemble, Gloucestershire

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Cotswold Airport, previously known as Kemble Airport, looking east in 2009

Kemble is a village and civil parish in the Cotswold District of Gloucestershire, England. It lies 4 miles (6.4 km) from Cirencester and is the settlement closest to Thames Head, the source of the River Thames. At the 2011 census it had a population of 1,036.[1]


The village falls in 'Thames Head' electoral ward. This ward starts in the south at Kemble and ends in the north west at Frampton Marshall. The total population of this ward taken at the 2011 census was 1,955.[2]

Church and history[edit]

Kemble was the site of a 7th-century pagan, Anglo-Saxon cemetery. The village church today has a Norman door and a tower dating from 1250, to which a spire was added in 1450. The full restoration in 1872 included bringing the chapel of ease at nearby Ewen here brick by brick to form a new south transept.[3]

Kemble Church is part of the Thameshead benefice, comprising the communities of Kemble, Ewen, Poole Keynes, Somerford Keynes, and Shorncote.[4] The benefice since 2001 also includes Coates, Rodmarton, Sapperton, Tarlton and Frampton Mansell.[5]

Air services[edit]

Cotswold Airport (previously known as Kemble Airport) on the edge of the village hosted the RAF Red Arrows aerobatic display team from 1966 until 1983. After the Red Arrows moved to RAF Scampton, the station was used by the US Air Force as a maintenance facility.[6] The airfield is used by light industry, by flying clubs and by private aircraft owners, for events including two annual air displays, and for scrapping and storage of airliners. Delta Jets rebuild, maintain and fly historic jet aircraft, particularly Hawker Hunters. The Bristol Aero collection had a museum at the airfield until 31 May 2012.

Aston Down airfield, three miles (5 km) to the northwest, formerly belonged to the RAF but is now used for gliding by the Cotswold Gliding Club.

Other facilities[edit]

The railway station has direct trains to Swindon and London Paddington in one direction, and to Gloucester and Cheltenham in the other. Kemble was once an important railway junction. The Golden Valley Line from Swindon to Cheltenham passes through the village, and branch lines from Cirencester and Tetbury met here. Today, although the branch lines were dismantled in the 1960s, Kemble railway station is still important for passengers travelling from Cirencester and Tetbury.

Kemble Primary School has around 100 pupils. The pub, The Tavern, is next to the station. A combined post office and local store provides most essentials.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Area: Kemble (Parish): Key Figures for 2011 Census: Key Statistics". Neighbourhood Statisdtics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Thames Head ward 2011.Retrieved 25 March 2015". 
  3. ^ Christopher Winn: I Never Knew That about the River Thames (London: Ebury Press, 2010), p. 3.
  4. ^ Kemble Church information page
  5. ^ Somerford Keynes church information page
  6. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°41′N 2°01′W / 51.683°N 2.017°W / 51.683; -2.017