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Studio | No Bedrooms | sleeps 2

Key Info
  • Not suitable for children
  • Car essential
  • No pets allowed

A compact studio apartment based in the heart of the Marlborough Downs, an ideal base from which to explore the beautiful Wiltshire countryside .

Close but set back from the main Marlborough road the A346 , just 5 minutes form Junction 15 on the M4 . The Nook features a large 4 poster bed and pretty deck terrace from which you can enjoy far reaching countryside views of fields and woodlands.

The Nearby town of Marlborough boasts one of the widest high streets in Europe and is full of individual small shops, cafes , restaurants and a bustling regular market . Nearby is the Ridgeway National Trail and Savernake Forest, offering walking and cycling throughout the Marlborough Downs and beyond as well as two Golf courses within easy reach by car.

Many famous ancient heritage sites are also within a sort driving distance including the Avebury stone circle, Stone Henge, Silbury Hill and the West Kennet Long Barrow.

Size Sleeps up to 2, Studio
Will consider Short breaks (1-4 days)
Access Car essential
Notes No pets allowed, No smoking at this property

Features and Facilities

General Central heating, TV, CD player
Standard Kettle, Toaster, Hair dryer
Utilities Cooker, Microwave, Fridge
Rooms 1 bathrooms of which 1 En suites
Furniture Double beds (1), Dining seats for 2, Lounge seats for 2
Other Linen provided, Towels provided
Outdoors Balcony or terrace, Shared garden
Access Parking

The Central Southern England region

Wiltshire is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2 (1,346 square miles).[2] It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. Until 1930 the county town was Wilton but Wiltshire Council is now based at Trowbridge.

Wiltshire is characterised by its high downland and wide valleys. Salisbury Plain is famous as the location of the Stonehenge and Avebury stone circles and other ancient landmarks and as a training area for the British Army. The city of Salisbury is notable for its mediaeval cathedral. Important country houses open to the public include Longleat, near Warminster, and the National Trust's Stourhead, near Mere.

The county, in the 9th century written as Wiltunscir, later Wiltonshire, is named after the former county town of Wilton,[3] itself named after the river Wylye, one of eight rivers which drain the county.

History of Wiltshire

Stonehenge

Wiltshire is notable for its pre-Roman archaeology. The Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age people that occupied southern Britain built settlements on the hills and downland that cover Wiltshire. Stonehenge and Avebury are perhaps the most famous Neolithic sites in the UK.

In the 6th and 7th centuries Wiltshire was at the western edge of Saxon Britain, as Cranborne Chase and the Somerset Levels prevented the advance to the west. The Battle of Bedwyn was fought in 675 between Escuin, a West Saxon nobleman who had seized the throne of Queen Saxburga, and King Wulfhere of Mercia.[4] In 878 the Danes invaded the county. Following the Norman Conquest, large areas of the country came into the possession of the crown and the church.

At the time of the Domesday Survey the industry of Wiltshire was largely agricultural; 390 mills are mentioned, and vineyards at Tollard and Lacock. In the succeeding centuries sheep-farming was vigorously pursued, and the Cistercian monasteries of Kingswood and Stanley exported wool to the Florentine and Flemish markets in the 13th and 14th centuries.

In the 17th century English Civil War Wiltshire was largely Parliamentarian. The Battle of Roundway Down, a decisive Royalist victory, was fought near Devizes.

In 1794 it was decided at a meeting at the Bear Inn in Devizes to raise a body of ten independent troops of Yeomanry for the county of Wiltshire, which formed the basis for what would become the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, who served with distinction both at home and abroad, during the Boer War, World War I and World War II. The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry currently lives on as A (RWY) Squadron of the Royal Yeomanry, based in Swindon, and B (RWY) Squadron of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, based in Salisbury.[citation needed]

Around 1800 the Kennet and Avon Canal was built through Wiltshire providing a route for transporting cargoes from Bristol to London until the development of the Great Western Railway.

Information on the 261 civil parishes of Wiltshire is available on the Wiltshire Community History website, run by the Libraries and Heritage services of Wiltshire County Council. This site includes maps, demographic data, historic and modern pictures and short histories.

The Moonrakers

The local nickname for Wiltshire natives is "moonrakers." This originated from a story of smugglers who managed to foil the local Excise men by hiding their alcohol, possibly French brandy in barrels or kegs, in a village pond. When confronted by the excise men they raked the surface in order to conceal the submerged contraband with ripples, and claimed that they were trying to rake in a large round cheese visible in the pond, really a reflection of the full moon. The officials took them for simple yokels or mad and left them alone, allowing them to continue with their illegal activities. Many villages claim the tale for their own village pond, but the story is most commonly linked with The Crammer in Devizes.

Geology, landscape and ecology

Cherhill White Horse, east of Calne

Two thirds of Wiltshire, a mostly rural county, lies on chalk, a kind of soft, white, porous limestone that is resistant to erosion, giving it a high chalk downland landscape. This chalk is part of a system of chalk downlands throughout eastern and southern England formed by the rocks of the Chalk Group and stretching from the Dorset Downs in the west to Dover in the east. The largest area of chalk in Wiltshire is Salisbury Plain, which is used mainly for arable agriculture and by the British Army as training ranges. The highest point in the county is the Tan Hill–Milk Hill ridge in the Pewsey Vale, just to the north of Salisbury Plain, at 295 m (968 ft) above sea level.

The chalk uplands run northeast into West Berkshire in the Marlborough Downs ridge, and southwest into Dorset as Cranborne Chase. Cranborne Chase, which straddles the border, has, like Salisbury Plain, yielded much Stone Age and Bronze Age archaeology. The Marlborough Downs are part of the North Wessex Downs AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), a 1,730 km2 (670-square-mile) conservation area.

In the northwest of the county, on the border with South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset, the underlying rock is the resistant oolite limestone of the Cotswolds. Part of the Cotswolds AONB is also in Wiltshire, in the county's northwestern corner.

Between the areas of chalk and limestone downland are clay valleys and vales. The largest of these vales is the Avon Vale. The Avon cuts diagonally through the north of the county, flowing through Bradford on Avon and into Bath and Bristol. The Vale of Pewsey has been cut through the chalk into Greensand and Oxford Clay in the centre of the county. In the south west of the county is the Vale of Wardour. The southeast of the county lies on the sandy soils of the northernmost area of the New Forest.

Chalk is a porous rock so the chalk hills have little surface water. The main settlements in the county are therefore situated at wet points. Notably, Salisbury is situated between the chalk of Salisbury Plain and marshy flood plains.

Climate

Along with the rest of South West England, Wiltshire has a temperate climate which is generally wetter and milder than the rest of the country.[7] The annual mean temperature is approximately 10 °C (50.0 °F). Seasonal temperature variation is less extreme than most of the United Kingdom because of the adjacent sea temperatures. The summer months of July and August are the warmest with mean daily maxima of approximately 21 °C (69.8 °F). In winter mean minimum temperatures of 1 °C (33.8 °F) or 2 °C (35.6 °F) are common.[7] In the summer the Azores high pressure affects the south-west of England, however convective cloud sometimes forms inland, reducing the number of hours of sunshine. Annual sunshine rates are slightly less than the regional average of 1,600 hours.[7] In December 1998 there were 20 days without sun recorded at Yeovilton. Most the rainfall in the south-west is caused by Atlantic depressions or by convection. Most of the rainfall in autumn and winter is caused by the Atlantic depressions, which is when they are most active. In summer, a large proportion of the rainfall is caused by sun heating the ground leading to convection and to showers and thunderstorms. Average rainfall is around 700 mm (28 in). About 8–15 days of snowfall is typical. November to March have the highest mean wind speeds, and June to August have the lightest winds. The predominant wind direction is from the south-west.[7]

Marlborough

Ogbourne Saint George is a village on the River Og about 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Marlborough, Wiltshire.

In the Middle Ages the manor of Ogbourne St George belonged to the Benedictine Bec Abbey in Normandy. Ogbourne Priory was founded in about 1149 as a daughter house of the abbey.[2] For two hundred years the priory managed all the English estates belonging to the abbey.[citation needed]

The present manor house is built on the site of the priory.[2] The house is Jacobean and the date 1619 is inscribed on one of its chimneystacks. It received some Georgian remodelling, including the current glazing of its windows and probably the hipped roof.

Parish church

The Church of England parish church of Saint George may be Norman in origin.[2] The three-bay arcade of the south aisle is Early English Gothic and the arcade of the north aisle is slightly later.[2] The church's windows and bell tower are Perpendicular Gothic additions from later in the Middle Ages.[2] The tower has a ring of five bells, with an 18 hundredweight tenor tuned to E-flat. St. George's is now part of the Ridgeway Benefice along with the parishes of Chiseldon with Draycot Foliat and Ogbourne St Andrew with Rockley.

Former railway

The Swindon Marlborough and Andover Railway was built through the parish and opened in 1881, including a new railway station at Ogbourne. The railway company later renamed itself the Midland and South Western Junction Railway. It was made part of the Great Western Railway in 1923 and British Railways closed the line through Ogbourne station in 1961. Part of the line has been obliterated in the Ogbourne St George district by the realignment of the A346 road, but most of the trackbed is now part of National Cycle Route 45.

Marlborough:

Is a market town and civil parish in the English county of Wiltshire on the Old Bath Road, the old main road from London to Bath. It boasts the second widest high street in Britain, after Stockton-on-Tees. The town is on the river Kennet.

The earliest sign of human habitation is a 62 feet (19 m) high prehistoric tumulus in the grounds of Marlborough College. Recent radiocarbon dating has found it to date from about 2400 BC.[4] It is of similar age to the larger Silbury Hill about 5 miles (8.0 km) west of the town. Legend has it that the Mound is the burial site of Merlin[5] and that the name of the town, Marlborough comes from Merlin's Barrow. On John Speed's map of Wiltshire (1611), the town's name is recorded as Marlinges boroe. The town's motto is Ubi nunc sapientis ossa Merlini - Where now are the bones of wise Merlin.[6] More plausibly, the town's name probably derives from the medieval term for chalky ground "marl" – thus "town on chalk".

Further evidence of human occupation comes from the discovery of the Marlborough Bucket, an Iron Age burial bucket, with decorations of human heads and animals on sheet bronze, on display at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes.

Roman remains and coins have been found two miles to the east of Marlborough, at Mildenhall (Cunetio). A later Saxon settlement grew up around The Green and two early river crossings were made at Isbury Lane and Stonebridge Lane.

In 1067 William the Conqueror assumed control of the Marlborough area and set about building a wooden motte and bailey castle, sited on the prehistoric mound. This was completed in around 1100. Stone was used to strengthen the castle in around 1175. The first written record of Marlborough dates from the Domesday Book in 1087. William also established a mint in Marlborough, which coined the William I and the early William II silver pennies. The coins display the name of the town as Maerlebi or Maerleber.

He also established the neighbouring Savernake Forest as a favourite Royal hunting ground[7] and Marlborough Castle became a Royal residence. Henry I observed Easter here in 1110. Henry II stayed at Marlborough Castle in talks with the King of Scotland. His son, Richard I (Coeur de Lion) gave the castle to his brother John, in 1186. King John was married here and spent time in Marlborough. He even established a Treasury.

Marlborough Market

In 1204 King John granted Charter to the Borough which permitted an annual eight-day fair, commencing on 14 August, the vigil of the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady (15 August), in which "all might enjoy the liberties and quittances customary in the fair at Winchester". He also established that weekly markets may be held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. These continue to this day.[8]

Later Henry III was also married here.[9] Henry III held Parliament here, in 1267, when the Statute of Marlborough was passed (this gave rights and privileges to small land owners and limited the right of the King to take possession of land). This seven-hundred-year-old law states that no-one shall seize his neighbour's goods for alleged wrong without permission of the Court. Apart from Charters, it is the oldest statute in English law which has not yet been repealed.

St Mary's parish church

The castle fell into disrepair by the end of the 14th century but remained Crown property. Edward VI then passed it to the Seymour family, his mother's relatives. In 1498 Thomas Wolsey was ordained priest in (the now redundant) St Peter's church. He later rose to become a cardinal and Lord Chancellor.

In 1642 Marlborough's peace was shattered by the English Civil War. The Seymours held the Castle for the King but the Town was for Parliament. With his headquarters in nearby Oxford, King Charles had to deal with Marlborough. "A Town the most notoriously disaffected of all that Country, otherwise, saving the obstinacy and malice of the inhabitants, in the situation of it very unfit for a garrison... this place the King saw would prove quickly an ill neighbour to him, not only as it was in the heart of a rich County, and so would straighten him, and even infest his quarters."

The King sent Lord Digby to take the town who left Oxford, the head of four hundred horses, 24 November 1642. When he arrived, he chose to parley first, thus giving the inhabitants a chance to prepare defences and to recruit troops. They mustered about seven hundred poorly armed men. At this point, the town issued a reply to Digby: "The King's Majesty, providing he were attended in Royal and not in war like wise, should be as welcome to that town as ever was Prince to People; but as to delivering up the good Town of Marlborough to such a traitor as Lord Digby ... they would sooner die". After some early skirmishes, Royalist troops infiltrated the town down its small alleyways. The town was captured and looted and many buildings were set ablaze. One hundred and twenty prisoners were marched in chains to Oxford. The town was later abandoned by the King and took no further part in the war.

On 28 April 1653 the Great Fire of Marlborough started in a tanner's yard and spread quickly eventually after four hours burning the Guildhall, St Mary's Church the County Armoury, and two hundred and forty four houses[10] to the ground.[11] Fire swept through the Town again in 1679 and again in 1690. This time, an Act of Parliament was passed "to prohibit the covering of houses and other buildings with thatch in the Town of Marlborough".[12] During the rebuilding of the town after the Great Fire of Marlborough in 1653 which destroyed almost the entire town, the high street became what is often claimed to be the widest in England though the actual widest is in Stockton-on-Tees. This wide street allows ample space for the local market.

In 1804 the Marlborough White Horse was cut by boys from Mr Greasley's Academy in the High Street.

In 2004 Marlborough celebrated 800 years of its Town Charter, among the celebrations was a street play by the Marlborough Players entitled "Wheels of Time" and a visit from HRH Prince Charles.

Town events

Every summer the town holds a jazz festival with local pubs, clubs, hotels and various other venues playing host to live jazz music over the course of a weekend. Every October the high street is closed for the two Saturdays either side of 11 October for the Marlborough mop fair. This was originally a hiring fair for agricultural workers seeking employment but now has become a travelling funfair. The right of the town to close the road to hold the fair is set down in the 1204 Charter.

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Calendar last updated:03 Oct 2014

Based in United Kingdom

Languages spoken
  • English

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