Lyneham (pronounced Line-ham) is situated in the peaceful and scenic county
of Wiltshire. The village lies in the north western part of the county, among
the undulating hills, just north of the escarpment of the Marlborough Downs.
The village sits on a slight plateau about 156 metres / 511 feet above sea level,
overlooking the picturesque and far reaching Avon
Lyneham can be found cornered on three separate Ordnance
Survey Explorer maps 156 (ISBN 0319 21781-7), 157 (ISBN
0319 21782-5) and 169 (ISBN 0319 21793-0) all at grid reference
SU0278 - Scale 1:25 000 (4 cm to 1 km, 2½ inch to
1 mile). Alternatively, Lyneham is centered on the Ordnance Survey Landranger
map 173. (ISBN 0319 227731) Scale 1:50 000 (1 cm to 0.5 km, 1 inch to 0.8 miles)
again at grid reference SU0278. The Global Grid for Lyneham is Latitude: 51.50°N
Longitude: 1.90°W. Finding Lyneham click
The village is located approximately 3¾ miles (6 kms) south-west of Royal Wootton Bassett and 5½ miles (8.8 kms) north of Calne.
The parish covers about 3442 square acres and is roughly rectangular in shape.
It measures 4 miles (6.4 kms) from east to west at its widest point and is 2¾ miles
(4.4 kms) from north to south. Lyneham is very accessible to many of the neighbouring
towns of Chippenham, Calne, Swindon and Royal Wootton Bassett and is located on the primary transport network of Wiltshire. The
surrounding land is mainly arable but some dairy farming exists.
Lyneham is mentioned for the first time in 1224, and was probably included in
the Domesday holding of "Stoche". West Tockenham, which lies a mile
east of Lyneham village was known in 1198 simply as "Tockenham",
but in 1293 the area, which contained several small estates, was also known
as "West Tockenham" to distinguish it from East Tockenham.
The area has always been agricultural, with several
farms scattered around the hamlet all responsible for
working the land. In earlier times the land had belonged
to the priory at Bradenstoke-cum-Clack and together was the
centre for growing flax.
Lyneham's name originated from this crop; Linen is a material
made from the fibers of the flax plant. The village name started
off as Linen Hamlet, the place where flax is grown. The last
syllable, 'ham,' means enclosure by the river; the river Braydon.
There is clear evidence of a possible mediaeval
pottery site at Lyneham, kiln ash, iron slag, and quantities
of mediaeval sherds of the 13th and 14th centuries date were
discovered when the foundations were being dug for a bungalow
to be built in Farthing Lane Lyneham. In the first part of
the 20th century most of the village population worked in
local pursuits such as agriculture or the sawmills, some
went to work for the Great Western Railway in Swindon, and
others went down to Calne to work for the Harris bacon factory.
The western and southern parts of the parish are located on
the Corallian ridge, which runs from Wheatley to Calne. The
northern part of the ridge determines the northern, western
and part of the southern boundaries of Lyneham. The two villages
and Preston all lie on a part of the ridge formed of Coral
Rag. To the west and south of the parish the Corallian ridge
can rise to heights of 400 feet and west of Bradenstoke up
to over 475 feet. The dip slope of this ridge gradually falls
away to the south-east.
It is due to its elevated status that the parish has an open
outlook with little tree growth, except in the north where
Lilly Brook has eroded the sand beneath Coral Rag at a place
called Blind Mill. This has resulted
in the formation of a steep gully that is thickly wooded.
The Lyneham Estate Sale 1905
The Lyneham Estate was put up for sale by auction on Thursday
5th October 1905. Messrs. Walton and Lee from Grosvenor Square
London held the auction at Lansdowne Arms Hotel in Calne
at 2pm and we have managed to obtain a copy of the particulars,
plan and conditions of sales. The document, including a very
detailed map, has been reproduced here, as it brings a lot
of fascinating facts about the estate and who rented the
various lots, their acreage and rent at time of sale. Described
as an 'Extremely Valuable Freehold Agricultural and Sporting
Property The Lyneham Estate', embraces an area of about 2,016
acres lies in a ring fence and is divided up into nine dairy
and pastoral holdings, all holding extremely convenient positions
in and around our village and neighbouring Tockenham and
Preston. To find out more, with illustrated maps particulars
of sale click here
The first World War had quite an impact on the villages of
Lyneham and Bradenstoke in
that many of its men folk either volunteered, or were later
conscripted, for service in the forces. We are proud to those
solders and airman that lost their lives serving for the country.
some never came back. There is a memorial stone which still
lies in the village
library commemorating the brave heroes.