Wiltshire Journals

A Trip of Discovery Through the Vale of Pewsey

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An October 2007 trip to Wiltshire by GB from Devizes

Vale of Pewsey Photo, Wiltshire, England More Photos
Quote: For 20 miles you encounter nowhere larger than 3000 inhabitants - the Vale is a rural delight of thatched villages, history and wonderful scenery.

A Trip of Discovery Through the Vale of Pewsey

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Overview

Vale of Pewsey Photo, Wiltshire, England
Quote:
The Vale of Pewsey cuts a swathe across the Wiltshire countryside from just northwest of Devizes at Cherhill to the village of Burbage, a distance of around 20 miles. The rich and fertile Vale neatly divides Wiltshire in two between the almost featureless Marlborough Downs to the north and the bleak and desolate Salisbury Plain to the south. The Vale heads almost directly east from Devizes and passes through or close to many interesting and historic villages and small towns, most of which I will detail within this journal.Leaving Devizes behind, I take the unclassified road east to the first villages of distinction, namely Bishops Cannings and All Cannings and from here, continue east to Hon...Read More

Vale of Pewsey

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Story/Tip

Vale of Pewsey Photo, Wiltshire, England
Quote:
Cherhill is the farthest point west of the Vale and it’s here that my trip starts. The village requires a 15-minute drive from Devizes and it is in the opposite direction to everywhere else on the trail today. Take the A361 northeast from Devizes and after two miles you’ll see a turning to the left signed for Calne. Take this to the end where you bear right and follow for 2 miles to Cherhill. The hills will be right in front and they are unmistakable. Cherhill as a village is rustic and charming but there are three sights to the east of the village that I’ve come to seeCherhill has probably the most recognisable skyline in Wiltshire with its striking white-horse hill figure, the Lansdowne Mo...Read More

Vale of Pewsey

Wiltshire, England

Vale of Pewsey

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Story/Tip

Vale of Pewsey Photo, Wiltshire, England
Quote:
These two villages sit 2.5 miles apart with the hamlet of Horton central between them. Bishop’s Cannings boasts the second largest parish in Wiltshire at 8,871 acres with its centrepiece being the magnificent church of St Mary, adjacent to the village pub, The Crown. The church’s spire measures 135 feet tall and it is clearly visible for miles around. The ashlar-built church dates to the late 1100s and its main entrance includes a plaque listing all previous head priests as far back as 1190. The churchyard is full of wildlife and I spot squirrels, rabbits, magpies, crows, and jackdaws; the heaps of earth that litter the yard also hint at another less welcome visitors, these being moles.The y...Read More

Vale of Pewsey

Wiltshire, England

Vale of Pewsey

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Story/Tip

Vale of Pewsey Photo, Wiltshire, England
Quote:
Honey Street - This long, straggly village sits to the right of the Alton Barnes crossroads, surrounded by fields and bisected by the Kennet & Avon canal. The village appears to be in decline; the village shop, the local butchers, and the post office have all closed for the last time over the past couple of years, leaving the villagers no choice but to travel to either Devizes or Pewsey for their groceries and supplies. The canal though is its saving grace although nowadays, this is for activities of a recreational nature rather than commercial . The bridge carries the road across the canal and to the left, are the remains of the Honey Street wharf, where timber from the nearby sawmills would be loade...Read More

Vale of Pewsey

Wiltshire, England

Vale of Pewsey

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Story/Tip

Vale of Pewsey Photo, Wiltshire, England
Quote:
Following the road from the Alton Barnes crossroads towards Pewsey will after 2.5 miles bring you into the peaceful village of Wilcot, arguably the most historic of all those mentioned in this journal. It was originally a Roman settlement along with the neighbouring villages of East Stowell and Oare and was first mentioned in a charter dating to 940 A.D. The first recorded owner of the village was Edward of Salisbury who acquired the place in 1085 and immediately set about the building of a new church. The accompanying manor house was later given as a gift to the Bradenstoke Priory in circa 1150 who retained it until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, instigated by Henry VIII.Between 1572 a...Read More

Vale of Pewsey

Wiltshire, England

Vale of Pewsey

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Story/Tip

Vale of Pewsey Photo, Wiltshire, England
Quote:
This busy town is by far and away the biggest place I have visited today but even so, with a population of around 3000, it is hardly a large place. It boasts 5 pubs, several stores and a rich history that dates back to Saxon times when the town was known as Pevisigge. The town received its charter in 940 A.D. and was mentioned in the Domesday Book by the name of “Pevesie” along with its “46 villagers, 24 tenant farmers, 6 serfs and 7 mills”.Centrepiece in the town at the crossroads sits the statue of King Alfred, erected in 1913 to mark the coronation of one of his descendants, King George V on June 22nd 1911. It seems slightly out-of-place in the town for whilst Alfred reputedly owned many ...Read More

Vale of Pewsey

Wiltshire, England

Vale of Pewsey

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Vale of Pewsey Photo, Wiltshire, England
Quote:
The final stop on my tour of the Vale of Pewsey today sees me in the pretty village of Burbage. The village used to straddle the very busy Marlborough to Salisbury road but was by-passed several years ago, a move which was met with mixed feelings by the locals. The householders were naturally delighted – for years they’d put up with heavy trucks thundering past their front doors relentlessly day and night, but for the local businesses such as pubs, shops and garages, it was a death knell from which they would never recover.The village still sits on the old road which now is deserted but at least this situation allows me to explore without being bowled over by a passing truck. The village is ...Read More

Vale of Pewsey

Wiltshire, England