Wootton Rivers

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Wootton Rivers
Wootton Rivers Church.JPG
St Andrew's church
Wootton Rivers is located in Wiltshire
Wootton Rivers
Wootton Rivers
Wootton Rivers shown within Wiltshire
Population 228 (in 2011)[1]
OS grid reference SU197631
Civil parish
  • Wootton Rivers
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Marlborough
Postcode district SN8
Dialling code 01672
Police Wiltshire
Fire Dorset and Wiltshire
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
List of places
51°22′01″N 1°43′05″W / 51.367°N 1.718°W / 51.367; -1.718Coordinates: 51°22′01″N 1°43′05″W / 51.367°N 1.718°W / 51.367; -1.718

Wootton Rivers is a small village and civil parish in the Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire, England. The village is about 3 miles (5 km) northeast of Pewsey and 4 miles (6 km) south of Marlborough. During the 20th century its population halved and most of its facilities closed.

The parish includes the hamlet of Cuckoo's Knob.


The name Wootton Rivers was in use in the 14th century.[2] 'Wootton' meant 'farm by the wood' and 'Rivers' was the surname of the lords of the manor.[3]

The population of the parish peaked at 470 in 1841, and has remained below 300 since 1921.[1] A gazeteer of 1872 mentioned that there was then a post-office, an iron foundry and an agricultural implement factory in the village and that the church ran a national school.[4] The school opened in 1845 and closed in 1979 owing to falling numbers of pupils.[5]

Most of the village was designated a conservation area in 1975 and contains some 25 buildings dating from before 1800.[6] Remaining amenities include a village hall[7] and a pub, the Royal Oak, housed in a 16th-century building.[8]

Notable buildings[edit]

The Church of England parish church of St Andrew is Grade II* listed.[9][10] The building dates from the 14th century and was restored in 1861 by G.E. Street.

The church has a wooden steeple with an unusual clock made by a local craftsman in 1911 to commemorate the coronation of George V.[3] One of its three faces has the letters GLORY.BE.TO.GOD instead of numerals. Its chiming mechanism is like that of a musical box and plays six distinct tunes.[11]

The Manor House (15th century)[12] and Brimslade Farmhouse (16th century)[13] are also Grade II* listed. The tithing of Brimslade was transferred to the parish from Savernake in 1987.[2]

Canal and railway[edit]

The Kennet and Avon Canal was built close to the southern end of Wootton Rivers village around 1807 and was opened fully in 1810. Wootton Rivers Lock had a keeper's house and an associated wharf. The canal was restored in the 1970s and the lock was reopened in 1973. In 1988 the lock was part of the location for a BBC television comedy series, The River.[14]

The Reading to Taunton railway was built to the south of the canal in 1862; the nearest station is Pewsey. In 1928 a small station, Wootton Rivers Halt, was built near the road bridge at the southern end of the village. The station was closed in 1966 when local services on the line were withdrawn.


  1. ^ a b "Wiltshire Community History - Census". Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Victoria County History - Wiltshire - Vol 16 pp229-236 - Wootton Rivers". British History Online. University of London. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Wootton Rivers". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Quoted in visionofbritain.org.uk History of Wootton Rivers
  5. ^ "Wootton Rivers C. of E. School". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Further details are online, drawn from A History of the County of Wiltshire, Volume 16: Kinwardstone Hundred (1999), pp. 229-236
  7. ^ Leighton, Barry (6 December 2012). "Devizes MP Claire Perry joins celebrations with Sixties theme". This is Wiltshire. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "The Royal Oak at Wootton Rivers". Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  9. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Andrew, Wootton Rivers (1193633)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Church of St. Andrew, Wootton Rivers". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  11. ^ Lovelock, Yann, "Clock Watching with the Family", Lovelock Lines #7, October 2008, pp.9-11
  12. ^ Historic England. "Manor Farmhouse (1035779)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  13. ^ Historic England. "Brimslade Farmhouse (1035724)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 
  14. ^ Stuart Fisher, The Canals of Britain: The Comprehensive Guide

External links[edit]

Media related to Wootton Rivers at Wikimedia Commons