Combe, Hampshire

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Combe
Hampshire
Intersection at Combe - geograph.org.uk - 62327.jpg
Intersection at Combe
Location
Grid reference: SU370608
Location: 51°20’44"N, 1°28’10"W
Data
Population: 38  (2001)
Post town: Hungerford
Postcode: RG17
Dialling code: 01488
Local Government
Council: West Berkshire
Parliamentary
constituency:
Newbury

Combe is a village in Hampshire, in the very north of the county close by the borders of both Berkshire to the north and Wiltshire to the west; the Berkshire border is marked for the most part by the long ridge of chalk hills on whose dip slope the village sits.

The name of the village means "valley, from the Old English cumb; the word is from a much older tongue, the old British language, in whose modern descendant, Welsh, it is cwm.

Combe is high on the downs on the southern slopes of Walbury Hill, where the highest points of both Hampshire and Berkshire are found. It looks down the southern slope at the top of a shallow scoop of a valley, which gives the village its name. The great chalk ridge north of Combe includes in or neighbouring the parish Inkpen Hill (with Combe Gibbet), Walbury Hill, Hampshire's highest and Pilot Hill, the highest hill wholly in Hampshire.

The hills over look the Berkshire village of Inkpen and beyond it the valley of the River Kennet. On the Hampshire side they roll down more gently in a series of scoops and ridges. A long-distance path runs through the parish and along the ridge top, known as the Test Way on Combe Gibbet and westwards and as the Wayfarers' Path over Walbury Hill and eastwards.

History

Bronze Age remains are found on these hills in the 'long barrows' used as communal burial mounds, and one still exists directly beneath the Gibbet at Combe.

The top of Walbury Hill on the ridge was carved in the Iron Age into a vast hill fort, whose earthworks remain impressive.

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