Properties and events in Westbury 2018
Properties and events in Westbury 2018
Here is a quick summary of events, for full details (and to check back for last minute changes) please see www.heritageopendays.org.uk.
Heritage Open Days 2018 will be 6-9 & 13-16 September.
Leighton Estate, Warminster Road, Westbury, Wiltshire, BA13 3PX
Leighton Park is currently owned by the MOD and is the home of the Army Officer Selection Board. But the 40 acre estate has been a part of…
If you have ever wondered what lies behind those high walls and gates alongside the A350 in Westbury, this is your chance to take a rare peek at Westbury's most important private historic estate.
Leighton Park is currently owned by the MOD and is the home of the Army Officer Selection Board. But the 40 acre estate has been a part of Westbury history since the 1500s and contains a Grade Two listed manor house, stables, fishing lake and acres of rare trees, walled gardens and orchard.
The estate reflects Westbury’s cloth making heritage, being owned firstly by five generations of the mill owning Phipps family and then by William Laverton who owned Angel and Bitham Mills. The house was built in 1800 by Thomas Hele Phipps and replaced an earlier house. It was bought by Laverton in the 1880s and remodelled. He added not just new wings but also a theatre and a nine hole golf course. He also created a cricket pitch where the celebrated WG Grace played in 1890, hitting a six that broke a roof tile in nearby Leighton Farm!
Some of the trees in the estate were planted by Laverton; others are much older.
One special feature is the Long Walk which is flanked by monkey puzzle trees some of which are more than 100 years old. Other species include cedars, copper beeches, sequoias, maples, redwoods and a gigantic pine towering more than 100 feet. The estate will be sold off in 2024 as part of MoD dispersal of ten of its sites.
- Sat 8 Sept: 11am, 2pm and 4pm
- Sun 9 Sept: 11am, 2pm and 4pm
This site is owned by the MoD so is not open to the public.Pre booking is essential and you will be required to provide ID as photo driving licence or passport. Contact: Sally Hendry Call: 01373229981 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Booking opens: 31 July 2018
Access Information: Please note there is no parking. The tour involves lots of walking.
Additional information: Max 15 people per tour/event. Event Duration: Walk takes about an hour and a quarter.
Directions: The entrance to Leighton estate lies behind high gates on the A350 Warminster Road in Westbury. On arrival, you need to report to the guard room.
St Mary’s Church, Old Dilton
St Mary's Church, Old Dilton, Westbury, Wiltshire, BA13 4DB
The interior of this beautiful medieval church is a time capsule from the eighteenth century. It is crowded with plain bleached box pews, enclosed…
Stepping into this beautiful medieval church, you could be forgiven for thinking you were back in the eighteenth century. A rare example of a church that escaped Victorian restoration, it is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.
The interior of this beautiful medieval church is a time capsule from the eighteenth century. It is crowded with plain bleached box pews, enclosed family pews complete with Bible box, a triple decker pulpit and two galleries. There are some surviving medieval pews and a tiny schoolroom complete with fireplace. The Royal arms of George III are on the chancel wall and the church has a fifteenth century octagonal font. St Mary's lies down a pretty wooded lane near the river Biss. It was declared redundant in 1973 and is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. It is still consecrated with two services each year, one of which is by candlelight as the church has no electricity.
- Thurs 6 Sept: 10am to 4pm
- Fri 7 Sept: 10am to 4pm
- Sat 8 Sept: 10am to 4pm
- Sun 9 Sept: 10am to 4pm
Booking Details: No booking required
Access Information: Car parking is very limited. While the church will be open for this event, it can usually be accessed via a keyholder - details at the church.
Directions: You can reach Old Dilton from a turning off the A350 Warminster to Westbury or off the A3098. There are also public footpaths across the fields from Westbury Leigh.
Westbury Chantry medieval window and the Quaker burial ground
Pinniger Finch & Co, 35 Church Street, Westbury, Wiltshire, BA13 3BZ
The stone gable end containing the two light Decorated medieval window was once part of the Chantry, the principal house of the manor of Westbury…
This is a rare opportunity to see inside one of Westbury's oldest rooms which has a late fourteenth century two light window. Its exterior overlooks All Saints church and forms part of the town's blue plaque trail.
The stone gable end containing the two light Decorated medieval window was once part of the Chantry, the principal house of the manor of Westbury Chantry. This estate belonged to the Precentor or Chantor of Salisbury Cathedral. The room itself has a late medieval arch braced collar beam roof. The main building dates from the nineteenth century and houses one of Westbury’s longest established businesses. Henry Pinniger set up his solicitors practice here in 1819 and a lease from 1824 reserved the right of the Precentor to use the hall, parlour, best chamber and sleeping room for himself and four servants!
In the grounds of the building you can also see a Quaker burial ground. This was in use from around 1720 until 1814. Most of the burials were of members of the Matravers family. The burial ground is currently being restored as a community project.
- Thurs 6 Sept: 12noon to 2pm
- Fri 7 Sept: 12noon to 2pm
Booking Details: No booking required
Access Information: No lift available so visitors must be able to manage stairs.
Additional information: Max 15 people per tour/event. Event Duration: Tour will take around 20 to 30 minutes.. You can pick up a copy of the Westbury Blue Plaque trail when you visit and follow the trail round Westbury's historic centre. Nearby you can look round the lovely fourteenth century All Saints church and visit Victoria Garden. This picturesque sunken garden just off the churchyard, is another reminder of the town's woollen heritage as it used to be the millpond of nearby Town Mill. It is now maintained by a community group.
Directions: Pinniger Finch lies at the end of one of Westbury's oldest streets. Church Street which leads from Edward Street to All Saints churchyard has a wealth of historic buildings including Little Chantry which was the farmhouse of the manor of Westbury Chantry. The street also houses the town's Victorian swimming pool, believed to be the country's oldest still working public baths. The Angel at the far end of the street is the town's oldest inn dating back to the sixteenth century.
Wiltshire County Council, Westbury House, Westbury Library, Edward Street, Westbury, Wiltshire, BA13 3BD
Once the home of mill owners such as William Matravers, Abraham Laverton and Benjamin Overbury, Westbury House still retains much of its historic…
Westbury House is one of Westbury's most prominent Grade II listed buildings. The ground floor is the town library but as part of Heritage Open Days, visitors will get a guided tour of the parts usually closed to the public.
Once the home of mill owners such as William Matravers, Abraham Laverton and Benjamin Overbury, Westbury House still retains much of its historic features including decorative moulded ceilings, cornices, sash windows with decorative finger lifts, stained glass windows, fireplaces and a wide oak staircase with a heavily decorated dado panel. The stairwell is lit by a large glass dome or lantern. Our guided tours promise a wealth of information about this fascinating house whose occupants included some of Westbury’s most important residents including James Wilson, MP and founder of The Economist. There is also reputed to be a ghost!
- Thurs 6 Sept: 11am and 3pm
- Fri 7 Sept: 11am and 3pm
- Sat 8 Sept: 11am
Please call in at Westbury Library or telephone to book your place Contact: Library staff Call: 01373 822294 Booking opens: 9 August 2018
Access Information: Please note there is no lift so visitors have to be able to manage stairs.
Additional information: Max 8 people per tour/event. Event Duration: Talk and tour will take 30 to 45 minutes.