Chiseldon Parish lies on the edge of the Marlborough downs, within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural beauty.
The parish includes a number of villages and hamlets, including Chiseldon itself, Badbury, Draycot Foliat, Hodson and Ridgeway View.
Nestling in rural Wiltshire, the parish is nevertheless easily accessible by road, with all of the villages located just a few minutes from Junction 15 of the M4. The Parish borders the bustling town of Swindon, which is well served by rail links.
Our parish steeped in history.
The parish is crossed by two prehistoric routes, The Ridgeway and Icknield. Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age people all left evidence of their lives within the area – for example, as Bronze Age barrows and a group of spectacular iron age cauldrons.
Chiseldon – derived from the Saxon name ‘Ceosel Dene’ (stony or gravely valley) – first appears in the 9th century. It is mentioned in the wills of Alfred the Great and his father. The parish boundary was outlined in a 10th century Saxon charter and has remained virtually unchanged until the 20th century. The original church in Chiselden village was rebuilt by the Normans around 1175.
The opening of the railway in 1881 spurred development of the area, and though the line is now long gone, its memory lives on in our walking/cycle path. A further influx of visitors into the parish came from the opening of a large military camp in 1914. The British Army retained a presence in the area for almost fifty years.
In 1971, the Parish found itself within the M4 corridor, with the attendant increase in housing. Nevertheless, today the Parish remains a largely rural area.
Our museum on Butts Road is open every Saturday 2-4pm between April and October.
With grateful thanks to the Chiseldon Local History Group. Please visit their website for more information.
Walking in Chiseldon Parish
The Parish offers fantastic walking opportunities for all levels of fitness. The North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a peaceful and beautiful landscape comprising chalk streams, mature woods, open downland and gently undulating hills.
Walkers can obtain well-earned refreshments at a number of hotels and pubs in the area, and some excellent accommodation means the Parish can serve as base camp for exploring this tranquil English landscape.
Liddington Castle circular walk
Starting just outside Chiseldon village, this 8.5 mile walk traverses remote and stunning downland, shares a section of the Ridgeway long distance path and visits Liddington Castle – an iron age fort.
View or download a pdf of the walk at national trail.co.uk
Chiseldon Timberland trail
For families or those seeking something less demanding than the Liddington Castle walk, the old railway line can be followed from Chiseldon to the beautiful Coate Water Country park near Swindon. Running through field and woodland, this is a great walk for spotting birdlife, wildflowers and deer.
Further details of the walk at naturalengland.co.uk
Cycling in Chiseldon Parish
The old railway line that once served the area is not only suitable for walkers, but also makes an excellent easy cycling route from the Coates Water Park to Chiselden.
Cyclists can then pick up the route to Marlborough. On the way, it passes through the attractive villages of Ogbourne St Andrew and Ogbourne St George, crosses the river Kennet and heads into the historic town of Marlborough. This is a pleasant 9 mile ride suitable for families.
From Marlborough there are additional Sustrans routes for cyclists wanting to ride further afield.
Food and drink
Chiseldon Parish has a number of options for food and drink. We hope to add a list to the site in the future.
A stay within the Parish gives you access to the amenities of a major town nearby, while having the beautiful North Wessex Downs on your doorstep. The Parish is also convenient for visiting The Cotswolds, with its picture-perfect villages and stunning vistas.
We hope to add a list to the site in the future.