Whites Guide to Tisbury and the surrounding villages
At Whites Estate Agents we have been selling and letting houses in the picturesque village of Tisbury and the pretty villages surrounding it for over 60 years. Here is our rough guide to villages in the Nadder Valley.
Tatler Magazine recently described the area around Salisbury, Wilton, and Tisbury as a place “where you will find a wealth of cutting-edge art, fine food, cultural goings-on and appealing places to stay. The area is brimming with national landmarks, privately run country houses, and enterprising, modern restaurants”
The village is located about 13 miles west of the City of Salisbury and is the largest of the villages in the Nadder Valley. The village dates back to Saxon times and has over 2,000 years of history marking the largest settlement within the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Cranbourne Chase was in 2019 designated an International Dark Sky Reserve. It also boasts another recent claim to fame with the village being voted by The Sunday Times “as one of the top villages to live in in the UK outside of London” and consistently being voted “one of the top places to stay in the South-West!”
So, what’s special about Tisbury?
The village itself not only benefits from the stunning countryside, but it also has excellent local amenities, a thriving high street, and a friendly and buoyant community spirit. The amenities include: a fire station, doctors, a mainline train station, a small supermarket, several pubs, a post office, a Fishmonger Tisbury a delicatessent, plus various independent retailers. At Whites, we enjoy going to The Beckford Bottle Shop , Beatons Tearooms and GeniusCoffea.
Up the hill from the village centre, is The Nadder Centre. This is a modern sports facility and community centre (which even has a library) and is located next to the popular outdoor Lido. A venue which children are fond of going to at the weekends, or after school and adults for lane swimming.
Transport is also GREAT. Tisbury railway station is on the West of England Main Line which is handy for those wishing to commute to London. The village is also just 2.5 miles from the A350 and A303 which links Andover with the West Country.
The village has a primary school, St John's C of E Primary School. There is a useful website with information on the area by Tisbury Business Association and notes local annual events, plus networking opportunities for local business people.
Also found in Tisbury:
For those desiring a little culture, at the edge of the village is the Grade 1 Listed thatched Tithe Barn which houses a highly regarded art gallery and café. This is the rural offshoot of Messums art gallery in Mayfair, London and is known as Messums Wiltshire. Messums have uniquely used the 13th-century monastic space, cleverly transforming it into a platform of artistic wonder!
Whites guide to the houses in the area:
Tisbury has a great mix of pretty cottages and larger houses, plus a large estate of more modern houses within close proximity of the Nadder Centre.
The architecture ranges from quaint stone properties such as The Boot Inn which is a seventeenth-century inn, to the Victorian red-brick properties in the lower High Street, as designed by architect Archibald Beckett.
Villages around Tisbury and places to visit include:
Wardour is the site of the new and the old Wardour Castle. The Old Wardour Castle which features the 14th-century ruins of a castle and grotto created from original stones is set on the boundaries of Tisbury and Donhead St Andrew.
Old Wardour Castle was also used as a backdrop for Robin Hood:Prince of Thieves. It is now an English Heritage site and is a great place for dog walking in the surrounding woodland. The castle provides a fantastic backdrop for all ages to explore, climb and enjoy a family picnic.
New Wardour Castle, on the other hand, is a grand English Country House in the style of a Palladian Manor, which was originally built for the Arundell family. The Castle has now been turned into luxury flats of which Jasper Conran has one. Wardour has an ever-popular Catholic Primary School.
The small villages of Donhead St Mary and Donhead St Andrew should not go without mention. If you are looking for a quaint cottage or larger country home with great views there are many to be found here.
The Donheads are the second-largest parish in the country, encompassing Donhead St-Mary, Donhead St Andrew, Ludwell, Charlton, Higher, Lower and Middle Coombe, Gutch Common and Ferne.
Both the Donheads host their annual village fete that are attended by people far and wide. Donhead St Andrew has a 12 Century Church which has been recently refreshed so that it provides a multi-purpose building that can double as a village hall.
The heart of the parish is very much The Ludwell Stores on the A30. This is a 200-year-old store known as one of the finest village shops around and is famed for its award-winning brownies and other delicious produce.
Hindon is a beautiful village with a busy high street and a strong community spirit. In the 13th Century, it was a prosperous centre for country fairs and regular markets. A large number of the houses, housed craft people and artisans, this artisan feel still remains true today and in the high street, you can find Furniture Makers, Matthew Burt Funiture Design and Simon Penson Carpentry and Joinery.
In the busy village today you will also find Hindon Village Stores which is a community-run shop that offers your daily groceries, plus a dry-cleaning service collected daily and a Post Office that can offer personal banking, phone top-ups, foreign currency bill payments and much more. There is also a thriving village school, a pre-school called Brambles, a playground, and several pubs.
These pubs include the Lamb Inn and Hotel and The Angel Inn. In 1800, The Lamb Inn was said to have kept three hundred horses used for the mail coaches.
Fonthill and Ridge
In between Hindon and Tisbury lies the ancient hamlets of Fonthill Bishop and Fonthill Gifford. In the centre of Fonthill Bishop is the Fonthill Estate which consists of farmland, woods, and gardens. There is residential property available to rent and commercial business units to let. Many would say, this is one of the most beautiful estates in Britain and is owned by the Margadale family.
The estate boasts gorgeous walks by the lake and for children climbing on the ancient grotto or paddling in the nearby river. This is also the location for the very popular Beckford Arms Pub with delicious food and a large garden with many picnic tables and a boule area, making it a delightful place to sit on a summer's afternoon for the whole family. The pub is aptly named after the former owner of the estate Alderman William Beckford. William was also responsible for building Fonthill Abbey. For those seeking more of a café style venue, the cosy Riverbarn Restaurant has recently been taken over by Bird and Carter and now has both a café and farm shop.
Hatch is a hamlet near to Tisbury and includes East and West Hatch. Although it is small in size, Hatch has two incredible manor houses that sit opposite one another. One being Pyt House and the other one Hatch House.
Hatch House is a spectacular location for many a special wedding and in the summer The Covent Garden Ballet company takes over for a stunning performance, which is combined with fine dining and marketed as “Ballet Under The Stars”.
Weddings also take place at Pyt House, but the location for this is in the incredible18th Century walled kitchen gardens known as PKG (Pyt House Kitchen Garden). The garden, restaurant, and bar are used not just as a wedding venue, but also for Sunday roasts, Open Mic Nights – not to mention their infamous Pyt Fire Suppers and Plunder in the Pantry evenings!
Also in Hatch is the recently revamped Pyt House Tennis Club, with its luxurious clubhouse and tennis courts. As well as tennis this offers a range of social and sporting activities. For a rural Wiltshire hamlet, you will be surprised at how much it has going on and what a great vibe it has.
Semley is an increasingly desirable village lying between Hatch and Wardour, with easy access to the A350 and Shaftesbury and is not far from the delightful village of East Knowle which has lovely walks and superb views in the grounds of Clouds House. For those seeking open space, in the centre of Semley, this is plentiful and there is open pasture land and again great walks. It also has good amenities including a welcoming post office, stores with a café, and at Church Farm Dairy there is a milk station where you can buy un-pasteurised milk.
The village is also the location for the Award-Winning country pub The Benett Arms. This dates back to the seventeenth century. Semley is also home to several antique and auction houses and a popular venue not to miss is Chaldicott Barns. Here you will find a range of shops and business units including the newly opened delicatessen, fromagerie, a dog training service and a company selling high-end Safaris.
Teffont is a delightful village that historically had two separate identities, Teffont Evias and Teffont Magna. They have now been amalgamated to form just one. They are set next to each other and what makes them unique and memorable is the spring-fed stream that gushes through.
The village has a strong sense of community and holds a number of village clubs and events. It also has a notable country Hotel called Howards House Hotel. This makes the perfect location for special meals. For horse riders, there are lots of bridleways and a livery yard at Manor Farm.
Fovant is located on the A30 between Salisbury and Shaftesbury and you will notice when driving along this road, the impressive Fovant Badges.
These are a set of regimental badges that have been cut into the face of the chalk hill and were created in 1916 by soldiers garrisoned nearby, who were waiting to go to France during the First World War. Since this time more badges have been made.
The village is lucky to have great amenities, including a thriving pub, The Greater Good and a local shop, The Fovant Stores. There is also a doctor’s surgery, pharmacy and a local garage providing a friendly breakdown service.
For those keen on equestrian sports, in the village, there is an active riding school known as SMS Equestrian.
Chilmark is another desirable village with easy access to the A303. An attractive feature is the stream running through it, which eventually joins up with the river Nadder. Here you will find a number of elegant properties, built-in its very own Chilmark stone.
Dinton and Baverstock
Dinton is a village surrounded by rolling countryside and amazing views. In the centre of Dinton is Dinton Park. This is now owned by The National Trust who also owns Philipps House. The parkland is a great place for dog walks and summer picnics. In the centre of the village is an appealing church and a large playing field with several playgrounds, a cricket pitch, rugby pitch, and a football goal.
Dinton also has a popular primary school and very modern village hall. For those that are interested in walking, The Monarchs Way is a long-distance footpath that crosses the Parish north of Dinton and which then passes through Grovely Woods. These are one of the largest woodlands in Southern Wiltshire and are an important nature conservation site and also known for their paranormal activity.
Next to Dinton lies the small tranquil hamlet of Baverstock. In Baverstock The Church of Saint Edith is well worth a visit. Part of the Church is 14th Century and has a charming country courtyard, where you will find WW1 graves.
Barford St. Martin
Barford St.Martin is a small village located 2 miles from Wilton whose history can be traced back to the 11th Century. It is located on the junction of the A30 and the B308 and is set within the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The river Nadder runs through the village
In the Domesday Book of 1086 the village is referred to as Beresford which is thought to have come from Barleyford, when villagers traditionally crossed the river laden with wagons of barley.
The village benefits from a warm friendly pub aptly named The Barford Inn. There is also a church, nursery and a service station. Tinkerbell Services Spa Shop sell both fuel and also has a handy spa shop, perfect for all your basic needs and groceries.
This is a peaceful village with alluring properties. The village was mentioned in the Domesday Book where during the First World War thousands of Australian and Canadian troops encamped in the fields below the chalk escarpment, before being shipped out to France.
The village is surrounded by Compton Park, which has a manor house that was once the home of Colonel John Penruddock, an English Cavalier and also has a medieval deer park. For a small village, it well equipped and is lucky to have a cricket pitch and a village hall.
Sutton Mandeville and Chicksgrove
Both of these quiet villages are situated in the parish of Sutton Mandeville. The landscape is made up of a largely low-lying patchwork of pastures and meadows, fringed by chalk downs. These include Lower Chicksgrove and Sutton Row.
There is also a popular 14th Century pub called The Compasses. The pub retains many of its original features including an old flagstone floor, open inglenook fireplace and has gorgeous wooden beams.
The charming village of Swallowcliffe is nestled on the south side of the Nadder valley. The Anglo-Saxon word is Swealewan Cif. The village's name was first recorded in an Anglo-Saxon Charter of AD940, where you can find details about King Edmund giving land to a place which country folk jokingly called ‘the cliff of the swallow’.
The village has a thriving Award-Winning country pub and hotel, called The Royal Oak. The pub has a stylish interior, often a roaring fire and serves delicious food as well as being open throughout the day for tea and coffee.
Just down the road from Swallowcliffe is Ansty. Ansty is a popular village containing a medieval manor, church, and pond fed by a spring. The water from the spring flows through the village and joins the Nadder at Tisbury.
On the first of May every year, there are May Day celebrations with Morris dancers and here local children can be found having fun dancing around the maypole.
The village also has a renowned Pick your Own and Farm Shop, Tea Rooms and in the summer it has a maize maze and in the autumn pumpkin picking, which provides entertainment for all the family.
Whites Estate Agents are based in Salisbury and are headed by Marcus Shepherd, with Tony Lovatt-Willams as head of Sales. They have been selling and letting houses in the Nadder Valley for over sixty years and have recently been voted Independent Estate Agent of the Year for Wiltshire and Estate Agent of the Year for Salisbury. To talk to their friendly team about your home call 01722 336 422 or email Residential-Sales@HWWhite.co.uk