Aldbourne Heritage Centre

It’s impossible to consider the recent history of Aldbourne without the 101st Airborne. We have a separate page about the 101st.

1839 A National school with two schoolrooms was built
1840 Cottages in West Street were converted into a Primitive Methodist chapel

Wesleyan chapel , West St

1841 Cottages in Back Lane were converted into Little Zoar chapel
Vicar recorded population as 1556, with 323 houses
1844 Wesleyan Methodist chapel Lottage Rd
1846 Baptist chapel built in Back Lane
1848 The pupils were taught by two masters and two mistresses
1851 or before The windmill, built beside Baydon Street, it was still working in 1880, but was demolished in 1900
1851 Population  circa 1622(parish) 1233 (village)

Afternoon and evening services there on Census Sunday in 1851 were each attended by c. 250 people (Wesleyan)

Primitive methodist afternoon and evening services were held; the average congregation numbered 160

On Census Sunday in 1851 there was a Strict Baptist afternoon service attended by 87 people and an evening service attended by 40 people

Bell founding in Aldbourne finally ceases when the last founder, James Bridgeman, falls when rehanging a church bell and is too badly injured to continue in the trade.

1855 Queen Inn becomes Queen Vic, closed 1970

Chapel School at Woodsend is opened by the Rural Dean

1856 The schoolrooms were extended or replaced by a brick and flint building in Gothic style to which a master’s house was attached
1858 Village school built on land donated by W. Brown
1867 Restoration of the Church by William Butterfield a more steeply pitched roof was placed over the nave and chancel, the 15th-century roof being retained as a ceiling. A north porch was apparently removed, as was the stair turret from the south porch, the east window was replaced by three lancets, and the south windows of the south chancel chapel were altered

Chair making commences

1868 New Zoar chapel built
1870 Ambrose Goddard buys the near-derelict Upham House
1873 A schoolroom for infants was added
1875 Lordship of the manor, the copyhold land, and East Leaze farm had been sold
1878 An early steam plough was in use in the parish but there is no evidence that its introduction led to the extension of arable lands

Canon Greenwell excavates the Bronze Age Barrows to the North of the village. His finds include the Aldbourne Cup now in the British Museum

1880 A man named Woodley is the last drunk, to be locked up in the Blind
1887 A new Church Clock is installed to celebrate the Jubilee
1888 Court Leet & Lord of Manor abolished
1892 Lapse of title of Lord of the Manor

William Brown gives the Green to the village as his Manor Court is replaced by the Parish Council

1900 Windmill removed
1901 Population 1117(parish)
1902 Miss Hanbury (later Lady Currie) rebuilds Upham House to the designs of Edward Lutyens
1904 It was reported that only two or three Strict Baptist services had been held in the last six years
1905 Snap Farm closes
Carnival started.
1906 A new Primitive Methodist chapel was built on the same site in 1906 and extended in 1936. It was in use in 1982
1909 Snap deserted, only two residents
1910 Page from the script of The Village Wedding by Charles McEvoyCharles McEvoy, a dramatist, converted the former malthouse in South Street into a theatre and in 1910 his play A Village Wedding was performed there by village residents before an audience which included George Bernard Shaw.

Racing stables at Lottage let to Capt Barnett

1912 Malthouse theatre closed
1913 The last inhabitant of Snap, Rachel Fisher, is moved into the village
1914-1918 First World War: more than 100 Aldbourne men join the Forces. Forty-eight do not return.

Houses in Snap destroyed by Army gunnery practice

1915 Severe flooding in Lottage, West Street and the Square

No. 5 Bell recast and the bells are rehung on a steel frame. The clock is repaired and fitted with Westminster Chimes

1920 or before Masons Arms opened
1921 Hightown stables burn down

Population 980(parish)

1923 Billie Aldridge shoes Felstead the Derby winner
1924 Hightown stables rebuilt and sold to JB Powell

Adam and Eve fire engines replaced with a secondhand one costing £40

1925 James White of Foxhill gives the Band 41 instruments which cost £650
1927 Chair manufacture ceases
1929 First electric lights
1931 Population 1024 (parish)

Zoar chapel demolished

1934 Up until this time the bourne crossed the road before Preston
1937 Seat erected by the Court House & 14 trees planted to commemorate the Coronation of George VI
1939-1945 Second World War: Thirteen Aldbourne men are lost
3 Feb 1940 Severe flash floods in the centre of the village follow a torrential downpour
1949 An egg packing factory was built north of Stock Lane for Wiltshire Poultry Farmers Ltd
1950 Fuel gathering on Poor Mans Gorse ceased
1956 Court Hose no longer the rectory
1960 The egg packing factory was extended.
1961 New development planned for Aldbourne – Cook & Alma Roads, the Garlings and Westfield Chase
1963 The school buildings were replaced and in 1972 the new building was extended
1964 Beating the bounds re-established
1968 The (wesleyan) chapel was replaced by a hall to be used in conjunction with the Primitive Methodist chapel
1970 18th Century Festival
1970s Stables at Hightown closed
1971 First issue of “Parish News” published by Tony Gilligan – August 1971

St Michael’s Church explodes in the finale of the Doctor Who series “The Daemons” starring Jon Pertwee

1980 Victorian Festival
1990 March- final issue of the “Parish News”

Roaring Twenties Festival

December – the first issue of “The Dabchick” appears

1991 After intensive local lobbying, new social housing units built in Claridge Close and Lottage Road
2000 Saxons & Normans Festival
2010 Cavaliers & Roundheads Festival
2013 Aldbourne Workhouse and Overseers Act repealed
2014 Severe groundwater flooding leaves parts of the village under water for many weeks and Lottage Road closed