What is the history and culture of behind Fovant village in Wiltshire?
July . 2016
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”.
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.
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 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.
Good news for Fovant! The local pub is now in the process of refurbishment and should be open for business in the near future.
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.