Swallowcliffe is a small village in the heart of Wiltshire with less than 200 residents. It lies 13 miles (21kms) to the city of Salisbury. There is a strong sense of community within the village and there are many events and things to do in and around the village.

History of swallowcliffe

From medieval times until the 20th century Swallowcliffe remained a rural backwater with its inhabitants engaged in agriculture and associated crafts and trades.

The industrial revolutions saw a shift with workers leaving for the towns and cities whilst the demand from incomers who sought accessible country abodes to “improve” for full or weekend use expanded. By the Millenium the transformation of the old village was clear with only a few inhabitants could claim to be “born and bred” in Swallowcliffe.

Swallowcliffe archeological discovery

A Saxon bed buried dating to the 17th Century was discovered with a reused Bronze Age barrow on Swallowcliffe Down in 1996. The burial was that of a young female aged between 18 and 25 laid on an ash wood bed with elaborate iron work fittings and surrounded by a collection of high quality grave goods (see full report by English Heritage).

Things to do in Swallowcliffe

With less than two hundred residents one can expect to discover a strong sense of community with many events and things to do around the village such as music evenings, the Swallowcliffe Society together with computer, art, debating and luncheon clubs.

The Royal Oak, Swallowcliffe

The Royal Oak Swallowcliffe

There has been a local pub in Swallowcliffe since 1852. In 2015 The Royal Oak Swallowcliffe was rebuilt and refurbished using local craftsmen and artisans.

A pretty village pub, The Royal Oak offers delicious food and 6 bedrooms for overnight stays. Offering wines, spirits and local ales and as well as tasty lunch and dinner menus, The Royal Oak is a wonderful blend of traditional 19th architecture and fresh modern interior design.

Fovant is a pretty medium sized village in the southwest of Wiltshire.  It is located on the A30 between Salisbury and Shaftesbury in the Nadder Valley.  It’s name is derived from the Old English fobbefunta meaning “spring of a man called Fobbe”.

Fovant Badges

Fovant Badges

The Fovant Badges are a set of regimental badges cut into a chalk hill, Fovant Down.  They are located half a mile (800m) southwest of Fovant village.  They were created by soldiers garrisoned nearby who were waiting to go to France during the First World War with the first badge in 1916.  They are clearly visible from the A30 which runs through the village.

After the outlines were cut into the grassy hillsides they were filled with chalk from nearby slopes with up to 50 tons per badge.  The badges too an average of 50 men  six months to complete.

Eight of the original twenty remain and are scheduled ancient monuments and recognised by the Imperial War Museum as war memorials. Further badges have been added more recently.

Current Badges (left to right)

1. Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry (only the central part remains)
2. 6th (City of London) Battalion, Royal London Regiment (City of London Rifles) (claimed to be the first badge cut here)
3. Australian Commonwealth Military Forces (the largest 51m x 31m)
4. Royal Corps of Signals (cut in 1970 to commemorate the 50th anniversary
5. Wiltshire Regiment (added 1950)
6.  5th (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade)
7.  8th (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment (Post Office Rifles)
8.  Devonshire Regiment

The Fovant Badge Society holds an annual Drumhead Service which is attended by the Australian High Commissioner, local mayors and Members of Parliament.  These services fund the upkeep of the Badges.

Fovant Camp

During World War 1 Fovant Camp was the most southwestern in Wiltshire. It house 20,000 men in prefabricated wooden huts with 30 men to each hut. A photograph dated 1910 shows Winston Churchill (then Minister of Defence) on Fovant Down with senior officers and dignitaries watching manoeuvres and exercises.

Fovant Down

Fovant Down is also the site of Chiselbury Iron Age hill fort. This makes Fovant Down one a several downs in Wiltshire to claim a hillfort as well as a hill figure.

Village Services


Good news for Fovant! The local pub is now in the process of refurbishment and should be open for business in the near future.

Local services

Fovant Stores welcome you selling everything in there one stop shop.

Fovant’s Doctors surgery provides healthcare complete with an in house pharmacy.

A local garage providing a friendly breakdown service. Call Levers garage on 01722 714243

Rural View has a range of houses for sale in the Fovant area. Whether you are looking for a period cottage or a more modern home we can help find your family the perfect rural property.

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