Over the years, roads in the parish
have remained relatively unchanged since the 18th century.
The main focal point of the village was at the junction at
The Green where the Swindon to Chippenham road was adjoined
by the Lyneham to Calne Road. The main routing of traffic
across the region from east to west was on the A4 Trunk road
from London to Bristol. Slightly north, Lyneham was part of
the Swindon to Chippenham network itinerary where the main
traffic passed the village on the A420.
The Lyneham to Calne road followed its present course through
the village, as early as 1736, and at that time was known
as Even Lane. Although a secondary road it was later classified
as the B3102, the route was extensively used for the distribution
of air freight and essential military supplies for the Hercules
aircraft which arrived on the airbase in November 1967. Overseas
demand and worldwide committments meant the minor roads were
being heavily used around the clock and causing extensive
maintenance problems. The accessibility to the newer main
freight road network of the M4 motorway, made Lyneham ideally
located for air freight distribution.
Advances in road haulage and distribution methods provided
us with unparalleled consumer choices, 24-hour shop opening
hours and just-in-time deliveries. In fact, efficient and
flexible freight distribution services become such an integral
part of modern living that it is difficult to imagine life
without them. As county freight network routes were reassessed,
priorities to preserve and reduce excessive maintenance costs
to the Dauntsey Banks route, mean most traffic was routed
via Calne on the current A3102.
The volume of larger vehicles travelling down the Dauntsey
Banks route, namely the B4069, accompanied with geological
under surface problems led to the escarpment-hugging road
regularly subsiding and make the route dangerous. The way
in which freight distribution supports economic vibrancy and
growth in this case at the expense of the environment, Wiltshire
County Council recognised the long term problems of routing
freight vehicles along this unsuitable road and decided to
achieve a more sustainable distribution of freight by routing
the heavy vehicles from junction 17 of the M4 south along
the A350 to Chippenham, then east along the A4 to Calne and
then north on the A3102 to Lyneham and Wootton Bassett.
Before the M4 Motorway
The Swindon to Chippenham road, up until the M4 between junctions
14 -18, was built in 1971, was the main route for most of
the traffic throughout the parish and indeed Wiltshire. The
slow, undulating and hazardous road was named the A420 and
the Lyneham to Calne road from The Green roundabout was the
B3102. Eventually when the M4 was complete, motorist changed
their routes for the faster lanes of the motorway, relieving
the extensive damage being caused to the Dauntsey Banks road.
As primary freight routes were changed in the district,
the Lyneham to Chippenham route was downgraded from an A-class
route to the B4069. Underlying water and geological conditions
made this heavily utilised route very acceptable to land slip.
Even today, many heavy goods vehicles still use the B4069
and cause extensive and costly damage to the road. Did you
know the M4 was started in 1959 at Chiswick Flyover which
is the junction 1.
For an enlarged map of the Lyneham area c1773 click
For an enlarged map of the Lyneham area c1887 click
For an enlarged map of the local roads prior to the
(These images are approximately 67k in size and
if you do not have a broadband connection it may take
a few moments to download, please wait)
The Barrow End Road was probably of some importance during
the Middle Ages, when it led to the Bradenstoke Priory and
to the Clack spring and fall fairs. On leaving Bradenstoke
the road skirted Lyneham Green and then ran north-eastwards
to Tockenham, leaving the parish to the north of Shaw Farm.
By 1887 a bypass to the north of Bradenstoke was built and
from this day forward that part of the road which formed Bradenstoke
High Street became relatively unimportant. In 1968 the Swindon-Chippenharn
road was the only main road in the parish.
Two small roads in the parish have been entirely obliterated
with the coming of the airfield. One of these led to Lyneham
Court Farm, named Ewage Lane, which ran from Barrow End Farm
through Barrow End Common past Cranley Farm, then bordering
the Lyneham Court estate south and bending east to join the
Lyneham to Hilmartion Road towards Freegrove Farm.
On this same ring road, to the western outskirts of the current
military estate, another road adjacent to the pumping house
was removed which previously led on to Stockham Marsh (Bremhill).
The Barrow End route was the main link into Bradenstoke-cum-Clack
before the current Bradenstoke Hollow Way juction was built
The eastern boundary of the parish in 1968 ran along the
west side of the minor road known north of West Tockenham
as Trow Lane, and to the south as Greenway, thus bringing
the west side of Tockenham village street, which lay along
this road, into Lyneham.
In 1968 a proposal to move the boundary westwards and thus
to include West Tockenham in the parish of Tockenham was being
discussed. From this road a small lane turns back westwards
past Thickthorn and Preston to Church End. An early-19th-century
toll-house stood at this junction and survived until c. 1960.
Tockenham Reservoir, constructed in c. 1810 to feed the Wilts.
and Berks. Canal, which had been constructed north of the
parish by 1801, lay partly within the parish north-east of
Blind Mill. The reservoir was abandoned when the Swindon section
of the canal was closed in 1914. In 1968 it was used for boating
The two farm-houses at Preston are largely of early 18th-century
date although Preston East Farm incorporates a 17th-century
building. To the south of Preston West Farm is an older house,
now two cottages, of which the principal range was formerly
timber-framed and of medieval cruck construction; the remains
of two cruck trusses dividing its three bays have survived.
A small group of timber-framed thatched cottages stands near
the ford at the east end of Preston. Shaw Farm, which lies
east of Trow Lane, is an 18th-century building.
The arrival of the R.A.F. Station in 1940 and its consequent
housing development have partly obscured the agricultural
village of Lyneham, which straddled the Lyneham - Hilmarton
road. The nucleus of the village lay to the north, where few
houses of various periods were grouped around the village
green and others scattered along the Calne Road between the
green and Church End.
Lyneham's housing development since the Second World War
has been limited for the most part of an area directly west
of Church End. In June 1963 the Air Ministry indroduced plans
for a regeneration and expansion of accomodation for the forces
families and 55 Warrant Officers houses were to be built at
Slessor Road for
commencement in August 1965. Similarly, plans were were drawn
up for 121 lower ranks houses on the same site. In June 1963
27 Officers Married quarters were built arounfthe Pintail
Court area. By 1968, new schools surrounded by an R.A.F. housing
estate were completed and the extension of the estate lay
in the apex of the Preston and Hilmarton roads.
West of the Calne-Lyneham road the parish is now covered
by the airfield of R.A.F. Station Lyneham, which stretches
the width of the Corallian ridge from Bradenstoke in the north
to the northerly edge of Catcomb Wood (Hilmarton), in the
south. R.A.F. Station Lyneham, opened in 1940, assumed full
status as a station in 1942.
The airfield covered over 1,200 a. in 1968 and was made up
of land formerly belonging to Lyneham Court Farm, Church Farm,
Cranley Farm, and Bradenstoke Abbey Farm. In 1968 the station
was the principal employer of labour within the parish.
Turnpikes and Tolls
For further information and background behind the Turnpike Trust Act and how
it affected Lyneham read here