Kempsford

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Kempsford
Kempsford Manor (geograph 5120337).jpg
Kempsford Manor
Kempsford is located in Gloucestershire
Kempsford
Kempsford
Location within Gloucestershire
Population1,123 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceSU159967
District
Shire county
Region
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townFAIRFORD
Postcode districtGL7
Dialling code01285
PoliceGloucestershire
FireGloucestershire
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
WebsiteParish Council
List of places
UK
England
Gloucestershire
51°40′08″N 1°46′12″W / 51.669°N 1.770°W / 51.669; -1.770Coordinates: 51°40′08″N 1°46′12″W / 51.669°N 1.770°W / 51.669; -1.770

Kempsford is a village and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England, about 2.5 miles (4 km) south of Fairford. RAF Fairford is immediately north of the village. The parish, which includes the hamlets of Whelford, Horcott, and Dunfield,[2] had a population around 1,120 at the 2011 census.[1]

History[edit]

The village was known as Kynemereforde, which translates as the Ford of the Great Marsh.[3]

The Battle of Kempsford occurred on 16 January 800 AD when Æthelmund led a group of Hwiccians from Mercia in a raid against the Wiltsaetas people of Wessex. However Weoxtan led the Wiltsaetas against them, driving them back across the river. Both leaders were slain. There is a field on the banks of the Thames called Battlefield where spearheads were dug up in 1670, encouraging the view that this is where the battle took place.[4][5]

Sir Thomas Thynne (died 1639) built a new country house at Kempsford, demolishing an important fortified house which in the Middle Ages had defended a crossing of the River Thames.[6]

A wharf on the Thames and Severn Canal was built in the 1780s, from which the Wharf House still exists.[7]

The Hannington Bridge over the River Thames was built in 1841.[8] Much of the canal in the parish has been filled in but restoration is being planned.[9]

Airfield[edit]

In 1944 RAF Fairford was built, to serve as an airfield for British and American troop carriers and gliders for the D-Day invasion of Normandy during World War II. The RAF used it to lift British troops for Operation Market Garden during World War II, with part of the site falling within the parish. Its most prominent use in recent years has been as an airfield for United States Air Force B-52s during the 2003 Iraq War, Operation Allied Force in 1999, and the first Gulf War in 1991. It is the US Air Force's only European airfield for heavy bombers.[10] RAF Fairford was the only TransOceanic Abort Landing site for NASA's Space Shuttle in the UK. As well as having a sufficiently long runway for a shuttle landing (the runway is 3,046 m (9,993 ft) long), it also had NASA-trained fire and medical crews stationed on the airfield.[11] RAF Fairford has been the home of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT), an annual air display, since 1985.[12]

Geography[edit]

The Thames and River Coln have deposited alluvial soil on the underlying Oxford Clay. Some of the land was drained with drains being dug possibly starting in the 12th century.[2]

Whelford Meadow is a 1.86-hectare (4.6-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest.[13][14] The site lies on the gravels of the Upper Thames basin. It is of significant importance as it contains two nationally rare plants as well as uncommon plants. It is grassland (as its name implies).[13] Whelford Pools (part of the Cotswold Water Park SSSI) are nearby. These are owned and managed by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve. The meadow is dominated by species such as meadowsweet and common couch. A number of different species of sedge have been record and these include the nationally rare downey-fruited sedge (Carex tomentosa). Orchids present include southern marsh orchid. Adder's tongue flourishes on this site. The meadow supports fritillary which is nationally rare.[13] The margins of the meadow are scrubland and this area provides cover for breeding birds such as warblers.[13]

Religious sites[edit]

The Anglican Church of St Mary the Virgin was built in the 12th century. The chancel was added in the 13th century with further alterations in subsequent centuries. A Victorian restoration was carried out by George Edmund Street around 1858. It is a Grade I listed building.[15] The church has an eight-bay nave, chancel with wagon roof and three-stage tower supported by diagonal buttresses.[15]

Many of the monuments in the churchyard are also listed.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Parish population 2011". Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Kempsford in A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 7 pp96-105". British History Online. Victoria County History. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Kempsford". Visit Thames. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Kempsford, Gloucestershire Heritage Guide". Britain Express. Britain Express. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  5. ^ Mynors, A. B. "Kempsford" (PDF). The Kempsford Website. Kempsford Parish Council. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  6. ^ Anthony Emery, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales, 1300-1500: Southern England, p. 132
  7. ^ "Wharf House". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Hannington Bridge". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Cotswold Canals Restoration - Phase 2". Cotswold Canals. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  10. ^ USAF Yearbook 2000 p.13
  11. ^ "Key Facts About Defence: Did You Know..." Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Looking Back". Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d Natural England SSSI information on the citation
  14. ^ Cotswold District Local Plan, Appendix 1, Sites of Special Scientific Interest
  15. ^ a b "Church of St Mary the Virgin". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  16. ^ "Group of ten monuments about 5m north of chancel in churchyard of Church of St. Mary the Virgin". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  17. ^ "King monument, about 8m north of north porch in churchyard of Church of St. Mary the Virgin". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  18. ^ "Dadge monument, about 5m west of west end in churchyard of Church of St. Mary the Virgin". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  19. ^ "Unidentified monument, about 6.5m west of west end in churchyard of Church of St. Mary the Virgin". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Packer monument, about 2.5m west of west end, in churchyard of Church of st. Mary the Virgin". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  21. ^ "Group of 7 monuments to Iles and Arkell families, immediately south of south nave wall in church- yard of St. Mary the Virgin". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  22. ^ "Pair of Pope monuments, about 8m north-east of Couling monument, in churchyard of Church of St. Mary the Virgin". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  23. ^ "Couling monument, about 8m north- east of north porch in churchyard of Church of St. Mary the Virgin". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Retrieved 1 March 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to Kempsford at Wikimedia Commons