Ramsbury is a village in Ramsbury and Axford civil parish in the English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 county of Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

. The village is in the Kennet Valley
River Kennet
The Kennet is a river in the south of England, and a tributary of the River Thames. The lower reaches of the river are navigable to river craft and are known as the Kennet Navigation, which, together with the Avon Navigation, the Kennet and Avon Canal and the Thames, links the cities of Bristol...

 near the Berkshire
Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

 boundary. The nearest towns are Hungerford
Hungerford is a market town and civil parish in Berkshire, England, 9 miles west of Newbury. It covers an area of and, according to the 2001 census, has a population of 5,559 .- Geography :...

 about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) east and Marlborough about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) west. The much larger town of Swindon
Swindon is a large town within the borough of Swindon and ceremonial county of Wiltshire, in South West England. It is midway between Bristol, west and Reading, east. London is east...

 is about 12 miles (19.3 km) to the north.

The civil parish includes the hamlet
Hamlet (place)
A hamlet is usually a rural settlement which is too small to be considered a village, though sometimes the word is used for a different sort of community. Historically, when a hamlet became large enough to justify building a church, it was then classified as a village...

 of Axford
Axford, Wiltshire
Axford is a hamlet in the Kennet Valley about east of Marlborough in the English county of Wiltshire.-History:Axford was one of seven Saxon settlements along the Kennet Valley in modern-day Wiltshire in the 5th and 6th centuries....

 about 2.5 miles (4 km) west of Ramsbury. The 2001 Census
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

 recorded a parish population of 1,969.


Littlecote Roman Villa
Littlecote Roman Villa
Littlecote Roman Villa is a Roman winged corridor villa and associated religious complex at Littlecote Park in the civil parish of Ramsbury in the English county of Wiltshire...

 is in the parish. The earliest written history of Ramsbury can be traced from the Saxon era when the bishopric of Ramsbury
Bishop of Ramsbury
This page refers to holders of the Saxon bishopric. See Bishop of Ramsbury for the modern suffragan bishop.In Saxon times the village of Ramsbury in Wiltshire was an extremely important location for the Church, and several of the early bishops went on to become Archbishops of Canterbury.The...

 was created in 909 AD. The see was moved to Old Sarum
Old Sarum
Old Sarum is the site of the earliest settlement of Salisbury, in England. The site contains evidence of human habitation as early as 3000 BC. Old Sarum is mentioned in some of the earliest records in the country...

 in 1075.

Church of England parish church
Church of England parish church
A parish church in the Church of England is the church which acts as the religious centre for the people within the smallest and most basic Church of England administrative region, known as a parish.-Parishes in England:...

 of the Holy Cross dates from the 13th century. It has a ghost story: according to local legend, if you count the hundred studs on the north door at midnight, it will open, and the ghost of 'Wild' William Darrell
William Darrell
William Darrell was an English Jesuit theologian and writer....

 of Littlecote House
Littlecote House
Littlecote House is a large Elizabethan country house and estate in the civil parishes of Ramsbury and Chilton Foliat in the English county of Wiltshire near to Hungerford. The estate includes 34 hectares of historic parklands and gardens, including a walled garden from the 17th and 18th centuries...

 will come out.

During the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 there was a Royal Air Force airfield
RAF Ramsbury
RAF Station Ramsbury is a former World War II airfield in Wiltshire, England. The airfield is located approximately east-northeast of Marlborough; about west of London. Opened in 1942, it was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Force. During the war it was used primarily...

 on a ridge of high ground to the south of the village.


Ramsbury has an elected parish council and also falls within the area of the new Wiltshire Council
Wiltshire Council
Wiltshire Council is the unitary authority for most of the county of Wiltshire, in the West of England, the successor authority to Wiltshire County Council and to four districts—Kennet, North Wiltshire, Salisbury, and West Wiltshire—all of which had been created in 1973 and were...

 unitary authority
Unitary authority
A unitary authority is a type of local authority that has a single tier and is responsible for all local government functions within its area or performs additional functions which elsewhere in the relevant country are usually performed by national government or a higher level of sub-national...

, which is responsible for all of the most significant local government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...


Notable residents

Local people are known as Ramsbury Bulldogs, contrasting with the neighbouring village of Aldbourne
Aldbourne is a village and civil parish about northeast of Marlborough in Wiltshire, England. It is in a valley in the south slope of the Lambourn Downs, part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty...

, where the locals are known as Dabchicks.

The village's notable residents have included Sir Francis Burdett
Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Baronet
Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Baronet was an English reformist politician, the son of Francis Burdett and his wife Eleanor, daughter of William Jones of Ramsbury manor, Wiltshire, and grandson of Sir Robert Burdett, Bart...

, a radical Whig
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

 politician, and his daughter Angela Burdett-Coutts
Angela Burdett-Coutts, 1st Baroness Burdett-Coutts
Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts, 1st Baroness Burdett-Coutts , born Angela Georgina Burdett, was a nineteenth-century philanthropist, the daughter of Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Baronet and the former Sophia Coutts, daughter of banker Thomas Coutts...

. In 1837 Angela became the richest woman in England when she inherited her grandfather's fortune. Over several years she gave most of this money away to good causes. By the time she died in 1906, Angela Burdett-Coutts had given away nearly three million pounds. Both lived in Ramsbury Manor, originally built in 1680 by John Webb, a son-in-law of Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones is the first significant British architect of the modern period, and the first to bring Italianate Renaissance architecture to England...

. Ramsbury Manor was stated by the 1966 Guinness Book of Records to have been the "most expensive" house in Britain, bought by an American property dealer in May 1965 for £275,000, in total with its 460 acres of land, for £650,000. It is now the home of Harry Hyams
Harry Hyams
Harry Hyams is an English millionaire who made his fortune as a speculative property developer. He is best known as the developer of the Centre Point office building in London. He is considered to be reclusive, and is the long-term owner and resident of Ramsbury Manor, near Marlborough in Wiltshire...

, the property tycoon who built the office block Centre Point
Centre Point
Centre Point is a substantial concrete and glass office building in central London, England, occupying 101-103 New Oxford Street, WC1, close to St Giles Circus and almost directly above Tottenham Court Road tube station. The site was once occupied by a gallows...

 at the junction of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. The Manor was the target for a major burglary by a professional gang in 2006. The culprits received long prison sentences in 2008.

Stefan Persson
Stefan Persson (magnate)
Stefan Persson is the chairman and main shareholder in fashion company Hennes & Mauritz , which was founded by his father Erling Persson. Stefan took over the company in 1982 and served as its chief executive officer until 1998...

, the owner of H&M
H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB is a Swedish retail-clothing company, known for its fast-fashion clothing offerings for women, men, teenagers and children....

, also has a main residence on the outskirts of Ramsbury. He also owns the Ramsbury microbrewery
A microbrewery or craft brewer is a brewery which produces a limited amount of beer, and is associated by consumers with innovation and uniqueness....

 which brews Ramsbury Gold bottled beer amongst others. Composer David Fanshawe
David Fanshawe
David Arthur Fanshawe was an English composer, ethnomusicologist and self-styled explorer. His work is situated at the crossroads of traditional and modern music. His best-known composition is the 1972 choral work African Sanctus.- Life :Fanshawe was born in Paignton in Devon in 1942...

lived near Ramsbury until his death in July 2010.

External links

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