In Castle Combe where about a dozen low-lying homes were up to two foot of water last night they are praying that no further rainfall happens.

Adrian Bishop, vice chairman of the parish council, said that an emergency flooding exercise plan they had amended in 2011 had worked well, with the emergency services providing a fast and effective response.

“The fire service was here in the middle of the night pumping out homes and providing sandbags.”

Most of the homes were empty holiday cottages or owned by absent landlords, but villagers rallied round to help those that were occupied with one family given refuge at the Castle Combe Hotel, which also found its grounds were under inches of water.

Coun Bishop said the emergency services had been in the village all day and insurance assesors were already on the scene to help those affected.

He said: “The situation is under control as long as there is no more rain overnight. The village has not seen flooding for 40 years, but the last few days and last night’s deluge has been unprecidented.”