Aldbourne is a village and parish located in the north-east corner of Wiltshire, England.
Situated within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the village lies in a valley within the chalk, clay and flint landscape of the Lambourn Downs.
The stream from which the village gets its name (from the Saxon word “Bourne”) rises to the north-west of the Parish, and flows in a south-easterly direction, eventually joining the River Kennet. The springs which feed it only produce a continuous flow when the water table is high, or during exceptionally heavy rainfalls.
A sizeable village of just under 2000 inhabitants, Aldbourne is a known for its vibrant and active community and, unlike many picturesque villages, it is not a dormitory for people who work elsewhere. There are many thriving businesses and a strong local economy.
From the picture-postcard village green, via our small but well-loved library, to the busy Post Office Deli & Cafe, there are amenities and entertainment for all generations. There are two public houses, both of which serve food, two churches, Anglican and Methodist, and numerous clubs, activities and organisations.
There are real facilities, such as the Co-op, the BMX jumps and the cricket nets, and virtual ones, such as this, and many other village related websites. Young and old are catered for, with the Community Junction and the Heritage Centre alongside each other in the Square.
Simple pleasures are also accounted for, as any walk into the surrounding, ancient landscape of Wessex will attest. In touching distance of Silbury Hill and Avebury, a stone circle that knocks Stonehenge into a cocked hat, there are treasures all around, waiting to be explored.
Aldbourne’s history is colourful too. There’s the heritage of bell-making and other industries; the lost settlements at Snap and elsewhere; the skirmishes and battles of the English Civil War; the blood, sweat and tears of two World Wars (and the recent fame of the locally stationed Easy Company of ‘Band of Brothers’ fame), amongst other things.
Crossing all of time, of course, is the Doctor (“Doctor Who?” you ask), who arrived in Aldbourne, or its alter ego ‘Devil’s End’, in 1971 to film the episode The Daemons. Despite exploding our church, and renaming our pub, the Time Lord is remembered affectionately. It makes for a heady mix of re-enactors on the village green. Even more so when the Morris Dancers turn up.
Talking of dressing up, the village holds an annual carnival, including an exuberant concluding parade that draws hundreds of visitors and, every 10 years, the village stages a themed festival. Rural life is more varied than you might expect. Sure, many villages have a Memorial Hall, as we do (and it’s a fine one), but not many villages have a bin in the shape of a Tardis.
Education and childcare are well provided for, with the flourishing village primary school, pre-school and excellent wrap around care. This makes the village a sought after place to live, for young and old alike.
Villagers call themselves “Dabchicks”, which stems from a local folk tale about a strange bird found in the village pond. Others say this is said to have begun as an insult by the residents of nearby Ramsbury, but it has been adopted as a badge of pride. This may sound like we’re blowing our own trumpet, but we think we’re allowed, especially so given the success of our very own Aldbourne Band!
Aldbourne Website Group
Mrs Karen Clay (Parish Clerk)
3 Skinner’s Close, Hannington, Swindon, SN6 7RR
Telephone: 01793 861404