Dabchick: January 2016
An early morning visit to the excellent Hungerford Virtual Museum, to re-visit connections to Aldbourne and in particular the War Memorial Hall.
So much of interest on the site, including the history of St Lawrence Church:
In Edward VI’s time the church had three bells and a sanctus bell, and this was the situation when the tower started to collapse in 1811.
As plans were made to re-build the tower, an order for a peal of five bells was made to James Wells in the nearby village of Aldbourne. This small village produced two notable dynasties of bell-founders—the Corrs, who started in 1696, and the Wells.
They were asked to recast the four old bells into a new ring of six bells, with a tenor of 15cwt. Evidently the bell frame was not suitable for these, and required modification. The new bells were cast in 1816 and were hung in the new tower in two tiers. Mr Well’s estimate of 1812 and all fittings amounted to £251 0s 0d.
In Prehistoric Hungerford
Undy’s Farm in 1988-89 revealed what was possibly Berkshire’s only example of a Bronze Age ceremonial site. The seven metre diameter site had seven pits around a large central hearth. The pits held posts which had burned down and been replaced on several occasions. In association with this find was a probable fragment of an “Aldbourne cup”. These small vessels are normally associated with Early Bronze Age (Wessex II) inhumation burials. Its discovery here was considered “most unusual”, but confirms the area was occupied in the Bronze Age.
Hungerford Virtual Museum
Hungerford Virtual Museum on Facebook
Hungerford Historical Association
Finally found time to think about Kate Tryon. We spotted her painting of Aldbourne ages ago on a visit to the Richard Jefferies Museum at Coate Water and it’s taken this long to add her to the blog! In the intervening time, the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery have conserved the Tryon collection, and by chance used the Aldbourne painting to illustrate a fab open access conservation session on their website in October 2016. I must go back to see if the painting is back on display again at Coate.
You can find out more about Kate Tryon in this article by Barry Leighton (Swindon Advertiser)
Spotted on a visit to Salisbury Museum last week (we went to see their amazing Terry Pratchett HisWorld exhibition.) It would be fascinating to delve into the history of this little rumbler bell. I’d love to know how the Museum know it was made from the old bells at the cathedral. So much history and so little time …
The Aldbourne Hoard. Discovered on Boxing Day 1980. Presented to the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society in March 1982 by Mr C E Elliott-Cohen and Mr A Sewell. On display in the Roman Gallery at Wiltshire Museum, Devizes.
Last Sunday an intergalactic peril once again threatened the sleepy village of Aldbourne. However, all was not lost and the planet was saved (again!) by the presence of U.N.I.T and the White Witch of Devil’s End, Olive Hawthorne.
More than forty years ago, Dr Who came to Aldbourne and defeated the Master on the village green. The cast and crew visited again with Reeltime Pictures in 1992 to make the documentary ‘Return to Devil’s End’.
During the summer this year, Reeltime Pictures worked with a supporting cast of locals to film the finishing sequences for ‘The White Witch of Devil’s End’ featuring Damaris Hayman; telling the story of Olive Hawthorne’s long life, and her guardianship of the village against supernatural foes.
The result is the long awaited triple DVD set now available on general release. Olive Hawthorne’s life-story, the documentary from 1992 and a bonus disk of material gathered at conventions held in Aldbourne.
Damaris Hayman, now 88, was kind enough to endure some chilly weather to meet the brave men and women of U.N.I.T, and spoke kindly to her defeated adversary, the Master – all
represented on this occasion by Johnny Who Entertainments. Then it was back into the warm at the Crown to meet with and thank locals who had assisted with the filming in the summer.
Looking back to 2011 and the Letters Patent ceremony for Royal Wootton Bassett