Explore Limpley Stoke

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Limpley Stoke, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Limpley Stoke in the 1850s

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St Mary's Church, Limpley StokeThe Church of St Mary, previously dedicated to St Edith of Wilton, lies in a strange position, right on the boundary of the ancient parish of Bradford and of Wiltshire. The nave and perhaps lower parts of tower remain of the Saxon building, as well as its south doorway, now an arch in an aisle that was added in 1921. The chancel and north porch were added in the 13th century and new windows were inserted in the 15th, when the spire was built.

Limpley Stoke Baptist Chapel 1815The former Baptist Chapel in Middle Stoke was built in 1815, but the body of the building behind the fa├žade was rebuilt and enlarged in 1888. Despite having a congregation of 52 in 1949, it closed in the 1970s and was converted into a house.

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Limpley Stoke National School 1845, now Village HallAlmost opposite the Baptist Chapel is the Village Hall. This was built as the National School in 1845 for Anglican children; nonconformists attended a school in Freshford, across the border. The bell turret was added for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. It closed in 1932 and children from Stoke now go to the primary school in Freshford. A 1958 directory records that Wiltshire County Library had a branch here

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Limpley Stoke Manor HouseThe Manor House in Lower Stoke was formerly a gabled building of the late 17th century or earlier. A mid-Georgian building with venetian windows on two floors was added on the northern side, facing the river (now overlooking the railway). It served as a reformatory for girls from 1861 and closed in 1895 after an outbreak of diptheria. The old gabled 17th century building on the road side was demolished in 1954.

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Weir House, Limpley Stoke, from Winsley HillWeir House, now divided into several homes, is a large five-storey late Georgian house with its main front away from the road, towards the river and railway. There are three canted bays which run up four floors. On the road side, the back of the house are old stables and other service rooms.

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Limpley Stoke HotelLimpley Stoke Hotel was originally the site of a large farmhouse that was associated with the Dickes/Dike family. It was developed as the Limpley Stoke Hydropathic Institution (or simply Hydro), becoming the hotel in 1936. A plan to demolish the hotel in 1963 and build 40 bungalows was not carried through.

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The Hop Pole Inn, Limpley StokeThe Hop Pole Inn claims to have origins as a medieval monastic building, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence for this. It was a house in 1841, but fairly soon afterwards had become a pub, in conjunction with a malthouse and brewery across the road. It was recently run as a part of the Limpley Stoke Hotel, then by a small chain, but closed in 2018 followed by registration as an Asset of Community Value in 2019 .

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Limpley Stoke Brewery poster

Near the Hop Pole pub and on the opposite side of Lower Stoke was formerly Cumberland’s Limpley Stoke Brewery

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Limpley Stoke Mill Limpley Stoke Mill probably began in the Middle Ages as a flour mill, but by 1614 it was fulling woollen cloth. In about 1871 it became a rubber factory, from 1875 to 1889 home to the Avon Indiarubber Company before it moved to larger premises in Melksham.  After that it varied between rubber works and Holbrows’ business as a saw mill until the 1970s, despite fires in 1890 and 1939, after which the top two floors were removed. It has now been extended and converted into offices.

The Viaduct, carrying the Warminster Road over Midford BrookThe Black Dog Road Trust built its second turnpike road from Bath to Warminster in 1834-6, running through Limpley Stoke to avoid the steep gradients of the older route via Midford. It is now the A36. Where it comes in from Monkton Combe, Somerset it is carried over the Midford Brook on a long viaduct of eleven arches before climbing the hill in zigzags. The viaduct was designed by George Phillips Manners, the architect of Christ Church in Bradford.

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