Cumberwell

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An estate of Cumberwell, already separated from the Manor of Bradford, was listed in the Domesday Book in 1086. The manor became part of the Liberty of Castle Combe and descended with it through the Middle Ages. The name seems to suggest that there may have been remnants, or at least a memory, of the Romanised welsh-speaking people living there when the Anglo-Saxons arrived in the 6th century. The ancient house was a large building, described in the 18th century as containing 30 apartments and an old chapel and it was situated on what is now a wooded knoll to the north of the present farm. Traces of it are said to be still there. Cumberwell became part of the new parish of South Wraxall in 1884.

gate piers of Great Cumberwell, Avebury ManorThe house and estate declined into a farm and various parts were demolished or removed. In 1903 Erlysman Pinckney of South Wraxall purchased the estate from Mrs Dorcas Clark, who had inherited it from the Trowbridge clothiers John and Thomas Clark, who bought it in 1832. Pinckney demolished the remains of the house, using the materials to build new cottages. The stone gate piers were sold and removed to Avebury, where they are the entrance to Avebury Manor from the Swindon Road.

Cumberwell golf course club houseCumberwell is now widely known for the Cumberwell Park Golf Course which was laid out in the 1990s. The club house is a large stone building in the form of an over-size barn conversion, but it was newly built for the golf course.

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Cumberwell landfill siteMost of the ancient landscape, including the extensive ornamental gardens and parkland that were shown by Andrews and Dury in 1773 (above), has been destroyed. Mostly this happened in the construction of the golf course, while the southeastern part was for several years used as a landfill site. The old oak tree sits in a hollow surrounded by a hill of dumped material.

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Great Cumberwell farm buildingsThe farm buildings, including the farmhouse, seem to have been built in the 19th century and many are now unused and decaying. One range of barns has been converted into holiday homes. This barn has now been demolished and a new building is going up in its place.

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Roman Samian pottery, Great Cumberwell estate The Cumberwell estate has provided some examples of Roman objects, which include building materials and pottery. These are fragments of a fine red pottery known as Samian ware and are on display in the Museum; the original pots would have been imported from Gaul (modern France), so would have belonged to a fairly well-off household.

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