Semington

From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
Semington
Wiltshire
Semington church.jpg
St George's church
Location
Location: 51°20’35"N, 2°9’4"W
Data
Population: 930  (2011[1])
Post town: Trowbridge
Postcode: BA14
Dialling code: 01380
Local Government
Council: Wiltshire
Parliamentary
constituency:
Chippenham
Website: Semington Village

Semington is a village and civil parish in Wiltshire, about two miles south of Melksham and about three miles north-east of Trowbridge. The parish includes the hamlets of Little Marsh and Littleton.[2]

The village has two locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal, known as the Semington Locks, and is the start of the disused Wilts and Berks Canal.

Geography

Semington village developed along the main road from Melksham to Westbury which became the A350. In 2004 a bypass was opened, taking the A350 ½ mile east of the village.[3]

Little Marsh (or Littlemarsh) is a hamlet south of Semington, along the old course of the A350. Littleton is no longer populated, and the only area currently designated as belonging to Littleton is the roundabout at the A350 and A361 road crossing.

History

Several moorings and a narrow boat rental business on the Kennet and Avon canal attract frequent pleasure craft traffic

Canals

The Kennet and Avon Canal crosses marshy ground on an embankment on the northern edge of the village.

The two Semington locks were built between 1794 and 1802 under the supervision of the engineer John Rennie.[4] They have a combined rise/fall of 16 ft 1 in (4.9 m).[5] The two locks at Semington are known as Buckley's (numbered 15) and Barrett's (16).[6]

Next to the locks is the point at which the Wilts & Berks Canal left the Kennet and Avon. The Wilts & Berks is disused but the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust is restoring it. East of the locks, the canal travels across the 2004 Semington Aqueduct, built to allow the A350 to bypass Semington village. Another aqueduct carries the canal over Semington Brook.[7]

The canal, towpath and adjacent hedges are good for wildlife and in August 2007 water voles were seen.[8]

Former railway

The Devizes Branch Line was built ⅔ mile north of the village in 1857. A small station (Semington Halt) was opened in 1906 where the railway crossed both the A350 and the Wilts & Berks canal; the station and the line were closed in 1966.

World War II

During the Second World War, Semington was on GHQ Line which followed the path of the canal. Semington was designated as a centre of resistance: extensive anti-tank ditches were constructed to the east, south, and west of the village, these were overlooked by a number of pillboxes. The defences were constructed as a part of British anti-invasion preparations.[9]

Parish church

The Church of England parish church of St George is a Grade-II listed building.[10] It dates from the 15th century and was largely rebuilt in 1860.[11] There are regular services held in the church each Sunday and Bible Studies and Prayer Meetings held in homes of the village. It is a part of the Canalside Benefice which includes churches in Hilperton, Trowbridge. It has a garden fête every summer in the grounds of the Village School although Fêtes used to be held in the grounds of Brook House manor house.[12]

Amenities

Within the village there are over 500 houses, a primary school,[13] a village hall,[14] public tennis courts and a park for children.

Somerset Arms

Semington has a pub, The Somerset Arms,[15] which is popular with canal travellers.

Economy

About ⅔ mile north of the village is Hampton Park West business park, which has the corporate headquarters of companies such as G-Plan, Avon Rubber plc and a large police operations centre.

Notable residents

  • Isaac Gulliver (1745–1822), smuggler
  • Thomas Helliker (1784–1803), trade union martyr, executed for his rôle in burning Semington mill

Sources

References

  1. "Parish population 2011". Office for National Statistics. https://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadKeyFigures.do?a=7&b=11128316&c=Semington&d=16&e=62&g=6476594&i=1001x1003x1032x1004&m=0&r=1&s=1426436850746&enc=1. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  2. election-maps.co.uk, Semington Civil Parish boundary on Ordnance Survey 1:50,000 colour raster layer. Retrieved 23 October 2006.
  3. "Bypass set to open to fanfare of celebrations". Brighton. 26 March 2004. http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/7283608.print/. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  4. http://www.reedboats.co.uk/canals/ken/kenh.html
  5. Pearson, Michael (2003). Kennet & Avon Middle Thames:Pearson's Canal Companion. Rugby: Central Waterways Supplies. ISBN 0-907864-97-X. 
  6. Allsop, Niall (1987). The Kennet & Avon Canal. Bath: Millstream Book. ISBN 0-948975-15-6. 
  7. National Heritage List England no. 11246518: Semington Aqueduct
  8. "Watervoles". UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Archived from the original on 26 February 2007. https://web.archive.org/web/20070226173207/http://www.ukbap.org.uk/UKPlans.aspx?ID=115. Retrieved 17 March 2007. 
  9. Foot, 2006, pp. 291–296.
  10. National Heritage List England no. 11582343: Church of St. George
  11. "Church of St. George, Semington". Wiltshire Council. http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getchurch.php?id=1080. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  12. National Heritage List England no. 11584171: Manor House
  13. "St George's Church of England Primary School, Semington". http://www.st-georges-semington.wilts.sch.uk/. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  14. "Semington Village Hall". The Charity Commission. http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/CharityWithoutPartB.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=305566&SubsidiaryNumber=0. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  15. National Heritage List England no. 11584170: Somerset Arms

Outside links

Commons-logo.svg
("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Semington)

Canal:

Community:

History:

  • Semington at Wiltshire Community History from Wiltshire Council