The parish of North Wraxall is made up of five small villages and hamlets: Ford, Mountain Bower, North Wraxall, The Shoe and Upper Wraxall.
North Wraxall Parish is a thriving community with many activities designed to appeal to residents of all ages. There are many social opportunities to meet neighbours, some as annual events and others held more regularly. If you wish to get involved - either by coming along to an event or offering voluntary help on a regular or occasional basis - please contact us.
A brief history
The Doomsday Book (1085) lists the Parish as ‘Werochesalle’ (meaning ‘where buzzards fly’). The 1901 Census records the number of houses in each hamlet as: North Wraxhall 38, Ford 32, Upper Wraxhall 18, The Shoe 15, Mountain Bower 15, totalling 118 properties, with a total population of 383. Today, the population is 311 people (excluding children under 18) in 156 dwellings.
St James Church, in North Wraxall, dates from the 12thC and includes a Norman doorway, probably the only remaining feature of the original building. It was altered in the 17thC and most recently, in 1797, when Paul Methuen, the local landowner, added a large vault underneath what has become known as ‘The Methuen Chapel’.
In 1989, a medieval doom painting was discovered on the wall of the chancel arch. In the last five years, it has been used more widely for a variety of community activities and a lavatory and small kitchen were installed.
In 1858, further investigation of a stone coffin discovered in the late 1700s at Truckle Hill, near Ford, led to the discovery of a Roman villa.
Find out more by visiting the Wessex Archaeology website, viewing photos on their flickr page and reading their full Geophysical Survey Report.
The Fosse Way
The Fosse Way is a Roman road linking Exeter with Lincoln, and runs through the Parish from The Shoe, north east between Mountain Bower and North Wraxall up to and under the M4 and beyond.
Learn more about the Fosse Way on Wikipedia.
North Wraxall Community Hall
The Community Hall is located in the centre of the Parish. It was rebuilt in 2000 with Millennium Lottery funding and now provides an attractive modern events facility with car park, grounds and children’s play area. To make bookings and to find out more about the Hall, upcoming events and its facilities, click here.
The Five Villages
Ford is set in the east of the Parish and has a population of 94 in 46 dwellings. It is so called for being a road through water (the Bybrook) alongside which is located the White Hart pub where it holds its annual Christmas party.
Mountain Bower has a population of 29 in 16 dwellings. It is surrounded by fields and woodland and is on the north-western edge of the Parish.
North Wraxall has a population of 97 in 47 dwellings. It is located at the Parish centre where you will find St James Church and the Community Hall. Originally the neighbouring villages of North and Upper Wraxall were Lower North and Upper North Wraxall but both have been shortened over time. The village holds an annual safari supper.
The Shoe has a population of 35 in 18 dwellings. It is named after the Inn, The Horse-Shoe, which was situated on the intersection of the Fosse Way and the main road from Bristol to London, and provided accommodation and refreshment for travellers and villagers. The Inn is now a private house.
Upper Wraxall has a population of 61 in 33 dwellings (see ‘North Wraxall’). It is on the west of the Parish and has a village pond, green and trees looked after by the village. The village organises an annual boules tournament & BBQ and Safari Supper for Upper Wraxall residents each year. Just before Christmas the village welcomes all from the Parish and local communities for Carols and mulled wine under the lights on the tree.
Please note: population figures exclude children under 18.
The Parish Council
The Parish Council represents the five villages and sets the level of annual precept (local taxes). It considers planning applications and liaises with Wiltshire Council on road repairs and other minor works. It is responsible for village noticeboards, the twobus shelters on the A420 and the community pond at Upper Wraxall.
It receives reports from Neighbourhood Watch, the Community Hall and Chippenham Area Board and is available to advise and take comments from Parish residents on local matters/issues. It makes occasional small grants.
Recycling/refuse collection – Wiltshire Council collects recyclables (green garden waste, cardboard & plastic bottles, paper, glass bottles/jars and tins & cans) and refuse fortnightly in a variety of wheeled bins and a black box.
Our Parish Councillors are:
North Wraxall – Anne Godwin 01225 891237
Upper Wraxall – Mike Horrocks-Taylor 01225 891514
Ford – William Holder 01249 783123; Jane King 01249 782231;
Ford - Scott Williams 01249 783232 (Councillor and Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator)
The Shoe – Robert Dicks (Chair) 01225 891559
Parish Council Meeting Minutes are published in Take Five newsletter.
For more information visit the Parish Council website
Keeping in touch
There are a number of ways of keeping in touch with what’s going on:
‘Take Five’ magazine– every two months the Take Five magazine is published and distributed to the parish residents. It includes reviews and features on local events, forthcoming events and news from the Church, Community Hall, and the Parish and Wiltshire Councils. It is funded by advertising from local businesses and not-for-profit organisations.
Whatsapp – Each village/hamlet has its own group. If you wish to be added, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Village noticeboards – each village has a central notice board on which Parish events are advertised.
The Community Hall & St James Church noticeboards – both have a notice board which advertises forthcoming events/services organised by, or at, the Community Hall and Church.
And of course, the Parish Website - www.northwraxallparish.com
Bus service (635) runs six days a week, several times a day, from Marshfield to/from Chippenham Railway Station via the stops at North Waxall and Ford. Locally it also calls at Biddestone, Colerne and Yatton Keynell. From Marshfield the 35 bus goes to/from Bristol.
The nearest main line railway station is at Chippenham, serving stations to Swindon, Reading and London and through
Bath and Bristol to Wales.
Need a lift? Village Link (www.village-link.org.uk) is one of over 40 similar charities in Wiltshire and serves the Parishes of Acton Turville, Badminton, Biddestone & Slaughterford, Castle Combe, Grittleton, Kington St Michael, Luckington, Nettleton, North Wraxall and Yatton Keynell. Volunteers can help with trips to Hospital Outpatients/GP Surgery/Dentist/Luncheon Clubs/Shopping etc. Please call 07590 720836 to request a lift or to
ask about volunteering as a driver.
Please call 07590 720836, www.village-link.org.uk
The nearest Doctors’ surgeries are in Marshfield and Yatton Keynell; the nearest vets are in Marshfield and Chippenham.
Marshfield Surgery: 01225 891265, www.threeshiresmedical.co.uk
Yatton Keynell Jubilee Field Surgery: 01249 782204, www.jubileefieldsurgery.co.uk
Hathaway Medical Centre, Chippenham: www.hathawaysurgery.co.uk
Bath Royal United Hospital: Google maps
Chippenham Community Hospital: Google maps