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Alderbury & Whaddon

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Alderbury & Whaddon – a general description


Leaving Salisbury in a southerly direction, passing Petersfinger, the land rises as it reaches Alderbury. Once separate from Whaddon, which like Alderbury lay on the old turnpike road, the two villages have now coalesced to form a linear development. The villages lie to the east of the River Avon, bordering the Clarendon estate, with the Longford estate to the other side, more of which later.


After departing from the modern road to Southampton and passing the last few houses at Petersfinger, there is an unusual looking house at the junction of the main road and Shute End Road. This house, with its peculiar turret and ornate finish is Saint Marie’s Grange, located at the edge of the Alderbury parish boundary. The house is noteworthy not only for its novel architecture, but because of the architect himself; it was designed by, and built for the famous Victorian architect Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin.


The parish of Alderbury today is bounded by two great estates, Clarendon Park and Longford Park. Both of these estates have had significant influence on the development of the settlements into the modern-day villages. The royal connection with Clarendon has led to much of Alderbury’s early mediaeval history being recorded in sources such as the Calendar Patent Rolls. In more recent times, the Longford Estate has played a greater part in recording events.


On Old Road is the site of the ancient Augustinian priory, Monasterum Ederosum. More commonly known as Ivychurch Priory, this dates from the late twelfth century. The few remnants of the ruins which remain today are probably the oldest surviving indicators of the early settlement in the parish. Some of the stones are incorporated in the Fountain on the village green. On the site there now stands a private house and the only significant remains of the ancient priory can be seen in the garden in the form of a fragment of an archway. A few other remains can be found in the museum in Salisbury.


Once a great forest, the estate of Clarendon dates back to before the time of Domesday, when William the Conqueror visited in 1072. Then a simple hunting lodge, it was to become a royal palace by 1189, with a grand hall for the king to greet his guests and royal suites, guest rooms and the supporting dining halls, kitchens, wine cellars and sundry other rooms. In 1164, the Council which met there produced the now famous Constitutions of Clarendon, which Thomas Becket at first refused to endorse because they limited the power of the Church. By the late thirteenth century, Clarendon had fallen out of royal favour. Throughout the fourteenth century, this decline continued, interrupted only when royal patronage increased momentarily as a means of escaping the great plague of London. By 1574, when Queen Elizabeth I visited, Clarendon Palace was no longer suited to housing the royal party although it is not clear whether this was due to its being too small for Elizabeth’s large entourage or because it had begun to deteriorate. Gradually, the old palace fell into ruin.


To the west of Alderbury and Whaddon lies Longford Park, home since 1717 to the Earls of Radnor and their ancestors. This estate has had an enormous influence on the village over the past 400 years and although this has waned considerably in modern times the estate is nevertheless still influential in certain areas. Much of the land on which present dwellings are built once belonged to the estate and indeed many of these dwellings were once estate cottages. Longford Castle was originally built by the wife of Sir Thomas Gorges in 1578. The Bouverie family eventually purchased the estate in 1717. A number of modifications began, including much rebuilding. This was completed in the mid-nineteenth century, by the Earl of Radnor and the castle has remained substantially the same since then.


The village has seen a number of changes over recent years. There has been much construction and a number of housing estates have been built, including over 250 houses on Whaddon Common (built by George Wimpey in the late 1970s and early 1980s) and 50 at Oakwood Grove built in the late 1980s. Smaller numbers have been added during the 1990s on the site of the old Yeates’ garage (now Pepperbox Rise), at The Sandringhams and at Silver Wood. A badly-needed new school was built at a cost of some £800,000, opening its doors in 1993. There has continued to be infill building over the years and this is likely to continue although in the last years of the millennium, many of the villagers were fighting the prospect of large scale construction on both sides of Junction Road.


Over the years, a number of shops and trades have come and gone. Today, the village has two shops, the Spar shop in Canal Lane and the Londis shop, which is also the Post Office. Both provide the wide range of services which have become necessary to the survival of rural shops in modern times. However, the days of the Salisbury Cooperative store in Alderbury High Street and its earlier use as a shop are sadly over. There is a village forge, which continues to this day; that at Whaddon has gone and the site opposite the post office now houses The Garden Machinery Centre, a repair shop for lawn mowers and the like. The village does, however, have a significant number of other businesses, including car repair, four-wheel drive vehicle sales, two public houses and some 15 small units on a business park at Whaddon. These are located close to the site of the defunct Whaddon brickworks. Adjacent to the business park is a camping and caravan site.


Today, Alderbury and Whaddon hold much for their denizens and both have a long history with which residents old and new alike can identify. They have a wide-ranging age distribution, from infants to nonagenarians and although many people commute to work-places further afield, the villages have retained their independence, resisting all attempts to turn them into mere suburbs of nearby Salisbury.







Village history








The post office








Inns & Alehouses








Village war memorial







Silver Street


St Mary’s Church


















Historical walk








Views of Alderbury








Current research
































Archive articles







The Fountain Memorial


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