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Residents of Downton, near Salisbury, are just cuckoo about their village.
The 3,000 inhabitants of this ancient settlement hold a Cuckoo Fair each year, which has grown and grown since being established in olden days as a traditional fair and cattle market, then morphing into a more up-to-date shindig in the late 70s and getting revamped again in the 90s. Traditionally the arrival of the cuckoo was seen as the onset of good weather and the Downton tradition of “opening the gate” to let the cuckoo through is the basis of the fair.
Factually the Downton fairs are first recorded in 1249 and in 1289 a fair was claimed on the eve, day and morrow of St Laurence (April 9-11). Early fairs died out and in 1676 during the reign of King Charles II, two annual fairs were granted on April 12 and September 21. These were mainly for cattle, horses and sheep. When the term Cuckoo Fair came to be used seems to be unknown, as is any possible links with pagan festivities. The Cuckoo Princess only dates from the revival of the fair in 1979 but there may have been an earlier Cuckoo King.
The annual Downton Cuckoo Fair has been running for over a quarter of a century in its current format, and attracts up to 20,000 people to the village for maypole and morris dancing and folk entertainment. The event also features over 300 craft stalls and craft demonstrations, line dancing, street entertainment, music, the Downton Brass Band and plenty for children.
There’s lots here all year round to commend it, too. The village lies on the main road between Salisbury and Ringwood, just six miles south of the city, so it’s in a great position for people who want to be close to culture yet live in a village. There is a primary school and a secondary school here. There is also plenty of industry and trades, so it is possible to work close to home in Downton.
Downton Business Centre, on the A338, is home to a variety of businesses including Hop Back Brewery, Revive Vending, Sytec, and Help for Heroes Trading. Nearby is the smaller Downton Brewery, established in 2003. Help for Heroes is a charity that raises money to supplement existing government provision for injured members of the British armed forces.
Downton has a village hall (the Memorial Hall) and three pubs: the Bull Hotel, the White Horse Inn and the Wooden Spoon.
Downton Leisure Centre (owned by the Brian Whitehead Sports Centre Association), in the eastern outskirts of Wick, provides sports and social facilities. It is the home of Downton FC.
Properties in Downton had an overall average price of £363,314 over the last year. The majority of sales in Downton during the last year were detached properties, selling for an average price of £438,438. Semi-detached properties sold for an average of £365,700, with terraced properties fetching £307,616. It is very close to the cathedral city, after all.
Downton is a large ancient Wiltshire village just outside the New Forest National park. It is a thriving community having its own schools, shops, pubs and businesses, village hall and recreation areas – including a football pitch, bowling green and leisure centre with a gym and tennis courts.
There are over 20 clubs or societies and a popular village band. Every year the Cuckoo Fair attracts around 20,000 visitors to over 250 craft and other stalls, plus live music, dance and other entertainments. The village is also well known for its fishing, its award-winning local brewery and as a centre for exploring the River Avon and New Forest.
People have lived in the Downton area for over 7,000 years, and evidence of Iron Age, Roman and Saxon settlements has been found. Early Neolithic finds and the remains of a Roman Villa (including a fine mosaic) are in Salisbury Museum.
The village of Downton has the earthworks of a Norman motte and bailey castle lying within 18th Century Moot landscaped gardens overlooking the river. The Moot is a scheduled monument and part of the village is a conservation area containing over 80 listed buildings.
Evidence of recent economic history (such as tanning and corn milling) can be seen in the old buildings and the mills that used to power local industry. The village, which straddles the River Avon, is in the same parish as the picturesque hamlet of Charlton All Saints, and to the east of the parish is Standlynch. Plenty of clubs and societies are here to enjoy, from Sunday School and Scouts, Guides and Army Cadets to arts, music, day centres and sports – something for all ages.
If you’re thinking of moving to Downton, Armishaws are here to help. We offer a full range of house removal and commercial removal services, including European removals international removals which are fully insured and come with a smile, too!
Call 0800 917 1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a competitive quote and let us take the strain.
We can move you to or from anywhere in the UK or Europe, using our large modern fleet of vehicles. Our fifty full-time staff have all been trained to the highest standard in all aspects of moving your house, office or business.
Armishaws always work to the highest standards and are proud to have held the BSEN 12522 certificate since 1999.
Why Choose Armishaws for your removals to Downton?
Armishaws Removals offers removal and relocation services to all areas in Wiltshire. We are able to help design a service to fit your every need. With multiple branches nearby, we are the best local choice for all removals in Downton, with a trusted team always willing to provide a fantastic value service, to put you at rest when moving or storing your possessions. We have extensive experience in helping with moves all across the south of England, and all over the world.
Whether you require long term or short term storage, our secure container storage system will ensure the safety and care of all your personal or business possessions. Whether you personally wish to store items to pass onto family and friends, store your home items while moving abroad or while you are between homes we can help.Find Out More
We provide removal and relocation services to all areas within Wiltshire, including:
Blandford Forum, Bemerton Heath, Bishopdown, Bishopdown Farm, Bodenham, Britford, Churchfields, Clarendon, Constable Court, East Harnham, Ford, The Friary, Fugglestone Red, Homington, Laverstock, Lower Bemerton, Milford, Netherhampton, Nunton, Odstock, Paul’s Dene, Petersfinger, Riding’s Mead, Quidhampton, Shady Bower, Solstice Park, Spire Views, Stratford-Sub-Castle, Amesbury, Mere, Tisbury, Wilton, Bradford on Avon, Chippenham, Corsham, Lacock, Castle Combe, Calne, Melksham, Cricklade, Malmesbury, Marlborough, Royal Wootton Bassett, Devizes, Pewsey, Warminster, Westbury, Ludgershall, Tidworth and West Harnham.
The artist John Constable visited Downton in 1820, and his sketch of the Avon with the church in the background is held in the British Museum.
For about a decade from around 1961, Downton had an important part to play in British motorsport. Its Downton Engineering Works produced some of the motors used by racing cars.
From 1295 to 1832, Downton was a parliamentary borough with two MPs. Notable MPs include Blessed John Story, an English Roman Catholic martyr, later beatified by Pope Leo XIII; Sir Carew Raleigh, elder brother of Sir Walter Raleigh; Robert ‘Bonnie Bobby Shafto’, the subject of a popular folk song; and the poet Robert Southey, who was elected without his knowledge and declined to take his seat.