Collingbourne Ducis is located in the county of Wiltshire in the United Kingdom.
The village is approximately contained within a radius of 1½ kilometers of the High Street, at latitude/longitude N 51º:17': 02" ; W 1º:39':07" and British Ordnance Survey Landranger Grid SU243539.




History of the Village.
The Landscape Character and Setting.
Economic and Commercial Activity and Prospects.
Street Furniture and Signs.
And so to the Future.



Collingbourne Ducis is a 'downland' village. It lies in the valley of the River Bourne which rises a few miles north of the village and flows southwards through it. It is a 'winter' bourne, dry in summer but often flooding in winter. It is a very ancient village. Prehistoric finds and sites, particularly the barrow cemeteries on the downs south of the village indicate the congregation of men in the region from late Neolithic times. There is also evidence of farming activity on the downs in late Bronze Age and Romano-British Period. Short stretches of Pre Historic ditch occur along the southern and western boundaries and there is an early enclosure on Wick Down. Collingbourne Ducis is the smaller and more southerly of the two adjoining parishes called Collingbourne. Originally the name, meaning stream of Cola's people may have applied to the whole of the upper part of the Bourne valley. Collingbourne Ducis became known as Lower Collingbourne and Collingbourne Kingston as Upper Collingbourne. The village is in a Conservation Area and a site of Archaeological importance. In 1934 Sunton hamlet and the northern part of Cadley hamlet were brought into Collingbourne Ducis parish from Kingston; giving Ducis a total area of 3,629 acres.

At the time of Domesday, Earl Harold held the manor. In 1256 the village was named 'Collingbourne Earls', after the Lord of the manor, the Earl of Leicester. John of Gaunt, later Duke of Lancaster, inherited the manor and the village became known as Collingbourne Ducis or Dukes. In 1536 Collingbourne was granted to Edward Seymour and descended to the Earldom of Ailesbury, the Earl of Cardigan and then back to the Marquis of Ailesbury. It remained part of the great Savernake estate until financial difficulties forced the family to sell the estate in 1929. The church was 'derelict and dismantled' at the time of Domesday (1086). A brass on the south wall commemorates the death of Edward Seymour aged 11 months at Collingbourne Ducis, fourth son of Sir William Seymour, Duke of Somerset. In spite of its isolation Collingbourne held a weekly market and two Annual fairs - the first recording was in 1353 and last in 1792.

An Iron Foundry, the Bourne Iron Works was established in the village by James Rawlings in the 1860s. The family manufactured agriculture implements there until the outbreak of the Second World War. A group of local farmers acquired the premises in 1958 and a company was formed to manufacture milking machines and farming equipment. The company was known as Hosier Farming Systems. There is now a small industrial estate on the site. The Railway station opened in Collingbourne in 1882 and closed in 1961 under Beeching's re-organisation. The school was built in 1861 by the Marquis of Ailesbury on land donated by him, to accommodate 120 children. It was built of white brick and stone. It has been modified over the years but remains basically the same. The master's house has been incorporated into the school and the garden turned into extra playground space. It is still in use to date (Oct 2002) although plans for a new school are in the pipe-line. The discovery of a Saxon cemetery at Cadley in 1974 was a very important archaeological find. A new housing estate Saxon Rise now covers this area. A Saxon settlement was also discovered in 1998 nearby, also a site of a new housing estate, Saunders Meadow. Settlement patterns have centred round the church. Spaced out along both sides of the street are timber-framed houses some thatched.



The village, which is generally linear, lies concealed north and south along a shallow valley of the Bourne that defines the eastern edge of Salisbury Plain and the western fringe of Chute Forest. Within the broader landscape the ground rises to over 150 metres above sea level at Wick Down to the east. The village is defined along the eastern slope by the wooded embankment of the former railway line. The straight main road enters from the north high up the western slope and descends southwards to a central crossroads in the bottom of the valley. In the north, the cottages of Sunton follow the eastern bank of the Bourne and their gardens slope up with the valley side of the embankment. To the west, the limits of the village are more or less defined by the bare lip of the valley. From the central crossroads Chicks Lane is a sharp climb up to the Recreation Ground before the slope towards West Hill.

South from the crossroads the High Street follows the course of the Bourne to the junction of the Ludgershall Road. From there, the A338 turns and climbs Church Street or Penny Hill to St Andrews Parish Church sited on a wooded knoll of the western slope. The church looks southward over wooded grounds opposite and beyond to the widening valley meadows of the Bourne.

The village is situated on the Bourne, a stream usually dry in summer but the source of the river that joins the Avon and the Nadder in Salisbury, some 18 miles to the south. It lies 11 miles south of Marlborough and 3 miles north of Tidworth, a garrison town. Devizes lies 18 miles to the west and Andover southeast at about 10 miles via Ludgershall some 3 miles in the same direction.

The Bourne valley is sandwiched between the eastern aspects of Salisbury Plain and the western fringe of Chute Forest. The area has a strong and distinctive character of openness and comparative lack of human intervention. This is particularly true in the western approaches where the restricted access and lack of cultivation has created an expansive wild landscape. Views are often very long distance west across the plain with outstanding views northwest along the vale of Pewsey. The openness punctuated by sporadic blocks of woodland is planted for military purposes intersected by a number of chalky tracks created by military vehicles. To the north and towards Everleigh, intensive arable downland stretches over several miles contributing to the character of extreme openness.

Land cover varies considerably across the area. Open and enclosed arable downland on the high chalk gives way in the east towards Chute Forest where there are large areas of woodland and woodland/farmland associated with the caps and clay and flint. The above contributes to the special setting in which Collingbourne Ducis is situated. Land to the West of the old railway line is designated a Special Landscape Area whilst the land to the East is within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The village indlcues a designated Conservation Area.

      Conservation Area Statement.
      Kennet District Landscape Assessment Chapters 5 & 6 - "Salisbury Plain East and Chute Forest".


Linden Cottage (circa 1694)


Although there is evidence of a settlement at Collingbourne Ducis for well over a millennium it is in the 17th Century that building methods and materials began to shape the village scene, with known dates suggesting Linden Cottage of circa 1694 as one of the oldest.

Many thatched, timber framed dwellings of flint, rubble and brick, some dating back to the 17th Century, line the banks of the River Bourne. Some of the older houses are probably cruck framed although now concealed behind walls, some of which are constructed of wattle and daub. Thatching is evident and gives the village a particular local character.

The proportions of the older dwellings are dictated by economy and materials used in their construction. Of the older dwellings 54 are Listed (Grade II) but there are similar properties which may be eligible for listing.

All approaches to the village are open and there are no hard boundaries between the village, its more recent developments and the countryside, which is accessible in a few minutes walk from any house via tracks and footpaths, and bridleways. Many properties back on to open farmland which is an important aspect of Collingbourne Ducis character which should be preserved.

The Church which is reported as a ruin at the time of the Domesday Book was rebuilt in the 13th Century and altered in the Victorian times.


94, Sunton

St. Andrews Parish Church

Farthings (late 17th Century)


Materials used in the construction of the older buildings consist of mainly local brick, often speckled red, and rubble and flints was used to build walls. These walls were often covered in lime wash and some modern developments were required, as a planning requirement to white paint their walls to harmonise with the older properties nearby.

Thatch roofing is still widespread. Before the second world war long straw thatch was typical. It has a shaggy surface and is fixed with straps at the eaves. Long straw flows easily round half hipped roofs and eyebrow windows and probably contributed to these forms. A flush wrap over ridge is traditional. New forms of thatch have recently been introduced which has a more compact appearance. Very little slate is in evidence, which was unpopular in Wiltshire before the advent of the canals, which brought slate from Wales. Plain red tiles are found in some older properties and have been used in some recent buildings as they mellow well within the village environment. Several modern properties use the less costly concrete tiles.

The more important thatch houses declare themselves not by different materials but by their size and small windows. For the most part older cottages have casement windows, some of metal construction where replacement was necessary, often under overhang of thatch. The more recent modern properties have standard wood casement or UPVC windows.

Bourne Rise (mid 1970s)

19 and 21 Ludgershall Road

Holly Cottage


The village contains fine examples of 17th & 18th Century design and construction with some significant Victorian properties. From the 20th Century a much greater variety occurs, among them semi-detached social housing, some individual houses and bungalows and considerable infilling has taken place.

The developments, in the main, enhance the village and do not detract from or spoil the overall feel. Many properties, including a number of the older properties, have been extended and whilst most of these extensions have followed the style of the older buildings, some have used an annexe solution of different construction but with a visually weaker fabric, probably in line with planning requirements at the time. Added double garages and conservatories are also changing appearances. These groupings are mentioned to demonstrate the changes and not to single them out for any specific purpose.

The population of the village has increased over the last fifty years, this increase has been accommodated in nine major developments which increased the housing stock by nearly 150.


Honeysuckle Cottage

West Farm Close

Major Housing Development since 1950:

Population     1951: 544           2002: 880 (estimated).
The Knapp +
Late 1950s
Concrete section (pebble dashed) and tile
Early 1960s
Traditional constructed bungalows
Saxon Rise +
Mid 1970s
Traditional semi-detached, terraced and maisonettes
Bourne Rise
Mid 1970s
Honey brick (some white washed) and tile houses
Gilberts Piece
Early 1980s
Red brick and tile houses
West Farm Close
Late 1980s
Red brick and tile houses
Penny Hill
Late 1989
Red brick and tile flats
Spring Meadow *
Late 1990s
Red brick and tile houses
Saunders Meadow
Red brick, some flint, detached and semi-detached
+ Former social housing much now privately owned.
* Social Housing.


The last century saw a gradual change in the local economy from one purely based on agriculture with the majority of local residents either working on, or reliant on the land, to a situation today where there are few directly involved in agriculture.

Agriculture House


Richard Hannon's Racing Stables

Commercial activity within the village is now extremely varied both in size and scope, concentrated on two small business estates. There are the more traditional village enterprises, The Shop, which is also the Post Office, and two inns, a large racing stable (the largest employer), a long established road haulage company and a number of small service businesses. In total there are over thirty concerns now operating within the village, an impressive number given the overall size of the parish.

Blue Lion Inn


Village Shop

It is significant that some 75% of the businesses in the village have employees who have to travel more than five miles to their place of work in Collingbourne Ducis. Conversely many former agriculture dwellings are now occupied by residents who commute long distances away from the village.

Given that the majority of businesses in the village consider their existing premises will meet their needs over the next decade, and that there are currently vacant units on one of the commercial estates, there would appear to be little justification for further industrial or commercial land to be made available.

Wiggley Bus


It was not until 1831 that a road passed through the village from Marlborough to Salisbury. Before that it was by-passed on the east and west sides. To the east the Oxford Salisbury road via Hungerford went past the Shears (Sheers in 1773) Inn, a coaching house, dating back to 1770, and down through the village via Cadley, an old drove road. To the west the Mar1borough - Salisbury road left the present route south of Burbage and led to Everleigh over the downs. The road to Tidworth which led south out of the village and was known as Small Way was opened in 1831. Now the village is situated on a National Primary Route, and seeking a by-pass which was formally acknowledged in 1981. A Public Consultation was held in the village in 1996 but no scheme has yet been proposed, no doubt due to the apparent, more pressing, needs of the west of the county.

Buses run to towns in the immediate area on a limited service. There are services between Swindon, via Marlborough, to Andover through the village with connecting services to Salisbury. The village is served by the Wigglybus service, based in Pewsey, which operates through the Pewsey Vale.

The closest rail connections, to London and the West Country, all involve car journeys of about ten miles to Andover, Grateley, Pewsey or Bedwyn.

Villagers have learned to be dependent on the motor car and two car households are not uncommon. Visits to doctors surgeries for those without transport are usually met by friends or volunteers in the village.

Stagecoach Bus

Lorry approaching Church corner


Collingbourne Ducis Sign, Cadley


Listed Mile Stone

The rural character of the village is eroded by the busy main highway dividing it into two main sections, east and west. Much of its atmosphere will return if the promised by-pass is provided. Consequently there is a proliferation of modern signs for both directions and vehicle speed control, and this variety of street furniture, including overhead cables for telephone and some electric supplies does detract somewhat from the surroundings which include the winter bourne.

Street furniture and facilities in keeping with modern needs include four covered bus shelters, salt bins strategically placed for winter use and speed ramps to discourage excess traffic speed.

Modern housing developments have, generally, fences and hedging and more recently "open plan" landscaping but finger posts and mile stones are retained in their ancient tradition, as is the War Memorial. Play grounds are there for the children to dissipate their energies, whilst benches are provided for the walker to rest and ponder awhile.

War Memorial and seat

Childrens' Play Ground

And so to the Future .....


Based on a questionnaire, completed by a large cross section of residents of the village, at the Collingbourne Ducis Flower Show held in Summer 2001.


Housing Development


The people of Collingbourne Ducis wish to maintain the character of the village with further mixed housing for families, retirement, sheltered accommodation and those with established links. Such housing to be of varying size to blend in sympathetically with existing properties.
There are few sites suitable for development within the present village envelope, apart from individual plots for limited infilling, and this is not helped with the Ministry of Defence owning two-thirds of the land in the parish. Some sites, apparently suitable, are constrained from development due to fronting the National Primary Lorry route, the high water table and the flood plain of the abandoned water-meadows.


The Environment


The community ideal of a village should continue with the emphasis placed on keeping the environment rural, respecting the Conservation Areas, protection of the water meadows, desisting from development of green field sites and further planting of trees and shrubs to improve the general landscape. To improve the appearance of the Conservation Area the removal of all overhead utility cables to underground ducts is considered to be of prime importance.
Enhanced recycling facilities are necessary, for all types of waste products, to allow for the efficient and safe disposal, to ensure a clean and tidy environment.




Further traffic calming measures are required with urgent need for a bypass to lessen danger, noise and pollution. More footpaths for pedestrians and cycleways for safer transition throughout the village generally, and crossing the main road in particular, are also a priority.




The Recreation Ground has facilities for the village football and cricket clubs as well as a tennis/netball court. The Village Hall, built in a corner of the Recreation Ground provides changing facilities for the outdoor sports and is used by other clubs for various winter activities. With the provision of a new school close by with an increase in pupil numbers, young people, especially teenagers, will call for further recreational facilities in and around the community.


Burial Ground


The churchyard became full and was closed some years ago. Ground adjacent to the Church was already in the ownership of the Parish Council and part has been taken into use. The remaining part was let to Wiltshire County Council who erected temporary classrooms. However the Parish Council now requires the land to extend the burial ground and the necessary notice has been given. It would be a disservice to future generations if further land was not identified.


The overwhelming desire of the residents of the village is to maintain the character of the village, to enhance the appearance of the Conservation Area and to ensure that buildings and schemes out of scale with the character of the village and surroundings are not considered favourably.

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