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Welcome to Aldbourne
FOR hundreds of years, Aldbourne was known as a
bell foundry. The Cor family started the Aldbourne Foundry in the late 17th Century and it changed hands many times until the early part of this century.
It was once said that there were few places in Wiltshire that were out of earshot of a bell cast in Aldbourne, with 562 bells cast in the village in churches in Wiltshire and beyond. Aldbourne is a very vibrant community and, unlike many picturesque villages, it is not a dormitory for people who work elsewhere. There are a lot of thriving businesses and a very good local economy. People in the village frequent its three pubs, restaurant, butcher, convenience store, post office, hotel and numerous other businesses. There is also a primary school, Wiltshire's smallest public library and a wealth of groups from sports' societies to music groups.
A church has stood in Aldbourne since the 11th century. St Michael's church is recorded in the Doomsday book. The ancient building has been added to over the centuries, mainly in the Gothic style. The nave dates from the 13th century. The roof above the nave is 15th century as are the tower, vestry and porch. St Michael's Church was restored in the 1860s by the eminent Victorian architect William Butterfield. Between 1988 and 1990, major redecoration took place, with much of the work being undertaken by parishioners.
- The name of the village stems from the Saxon Bourne meaning stream. The prefix Ald is thought to derive from a Saxon chief called Alder who settled in the area. The village, which lies five miles from Swindon, has a population of 2,500.
- Villagers call themselves Dabchicks, which stems from a local folk tale about a strange bird found in the village pond. The village holds an annual carnival that draws hundreds of visitors and, every 10 years, the village stages a themed festival.
- Although small, Aldbourne has attracted its fair share of glamour. In 1971 the Blue Boar pub featured in an episode of BBC TV drama, Dr Who. It was also used in a dramatisation of Great Expectations in 1988.
- Famous former residents of the village include glamour model Melinda Messenger and the late wildlife presenter Johnny Morris.