Wiltshire is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Berkshire; the county town was Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the county town of Trowbridge. Wiltshire is characterised by its high wide valleys. Salisbury Plain is noted for being the location of the Stonehenge and Avebury stone circles and other ancient landmarks, as a training area for the British Army; the city of Salisbury is notable for its medieval cathedral. Important country houses open to the public include Longleat, near Warminster, the National Trust's Stourhead, near Mere; the county, in the 9th century written as Wiltunscir Wiltonshire, is named after the former county town of Wilton. Wiltshire is notable for its pre-Roman archaeology; the Mesolithic and Bronze Age people that occupied southern Britain built settlements on the hills and downland that cover Wiltshire. Stonehenge and Avebury are the most famous Neolithic sites in the UK.
In the 6th and 7th centuries Wiltshire was at the western edge of Saxon Britain, as Cranborne Chase and the Somerset Levels prevented the advance to the west. The Battle of Bedwyn was fought in 675 between Escuin, a West Saxon nobleman who had seized the throne of Queen Saxburga, King Wulfhere of Mercia. In 878 the Danes invaded the county. Following the Norman Conquest, large areas of the country came into the possession of the crown and the church. At the time of the Domesday Survey the industry of Wiltshire was agricultural. In the succeeding centuries sheep-farming was vigorously pursued, the Cistercian monastery of Stanley exported wool to the Florentine and Flemish markets in the 13th and 14th centuries. In the 17th century English Civil War Wiltshire was Parliamentarian; the Battle of Roundway Down, a Royalist victory, was fought near Devizes. In 1794 it was decided at a meeting at the Bear Inn in Devizes to raise a body of ten independent troops of Yeomanry for the county of Wiltshire, which formed the basis for what would become the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, who served with distinction both at home and abroad, during the Boer War, World War I and World War II.
The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry lives on as Y Squadron, based in Swindon, B Squadron, based in Salisbury, of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry. Around 1800 the Kennet and Avon Canal was built through Wiltshire, providing a route for transporting cargoes from Bristol to London until the development of the Great Western Railway. Information on the 261 civil parishes of Wiltshire is available on Wiltshire Council's Wiltshire Community History website which has maps, demographic data and modern pictures and short histories; the local nickname for Wiltshire natives is "Moonrakers". This originated from a story of smugglers who managed to foil the local Excise men by hiding their alcohol French brandy in barrels or kegs, in a village pond; when confronted by the excise men they raked the surface to conceal the submerged contraband with ripples, claimed that they were trying to rake in a large round cheese visible in the pond a reflection of the full moon. The officials took them for simple yokels or mad and left them alone, allowing them to continue with their illegal activities.
Many villages claim the tale for their own village pond, but the story is most linked with The Crammer in Devizes. Two-thirds of Wiltshire, a rural county, lies on chalk, a kind of soft, porous limestone, resistant to erosion, giving it a high chalk downland landscape; this chalk is part of a system of chalk downlands throughout eastern and southern England formed by the rocks of the Chalk Group and stretching from the Dorset Downs in the west to Dover in the east. The largest area of chalk in Wiltshire is Salisbury Plain, used for arable agriculture and by the British Army as training ranges; the highest point in the county is the Tan Hill–Milk Hill ridge in the Pewsey Vale, just to the north of Salisbury Plain, at 295 m above sea level. The chalk uplands run northeast into West Berkshire in the Marlborough Downs ridge, southwest into Dorset as Cranborne Chase. Cranborne Chase, which straddles the border, like Salisbury Plain, yielded much Stone Age and Bronze Age archaeology; the Marlborough Downs are part of a 1,730 km2 conservation area.
In the northwest of the county, on the border with South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset, the underlying rock is the resistant oolite limestone of the Cotswolds. Part of the Cotswolds AONB is in Wiltshire, in the county's northwestern corner. Between the areas of chalk and limestone downland are clay vales; the largest of these vales is the Avon Vale. The Avon cuts diagonally through the north of the county, flowing through Bradford-on-Avon and into Bath and Bristol; the Vale of Pewsey has been cut through the chalk into Greensand and Oxford Clay in the centre of the county. In the south west of the county is the Vale of Wardour; the southeast of the county lies on the sandy soils of the northernmost area of the New Forest. Chalk is a porous rock, so the chalk hills have little surface water; the main settlements in the county are therefore situated at wet points. Notably, Salisbury is situated between the chalk of marshy flood plains; the county has green belt along its western fringes as a part of the extensive Avon green belt, reaching as far as the outskirts of Rudloe/Corsham and Trowbridge, preventing urban spr
Historic England is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. It is tasked with protecting the historical environment of England by preserving and listing historic buildings, ancient monuments and advising central and local government; the body was created by the National Heritage Act 1983, operated from April 1984 to April 2015 under the name of English Heritage. In 2015, following the changes to English Heritage's structure that moved the protection of the National Heritage Collection into the voluntary sector in the English Heritage Trust, the body that remained was rebranded as Historic England. Historic England has a similar remit to and complements the work of Natural England which aims to protect the natural environment; the body inherited the Historic England Archive from the old English Heritage, projects linked to the archive such as Britain from Above, which saw the archive work with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland to digitise and put online 96,000 of the oldest Aerofilms images.
The archive holds various nationally important collections and the results of older projects such as the work of the National Buildings Record absorbed by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and the Images of England project which set out to create a accessible online database of the 370,000 listed properties in England at a snapshot in time at the turn of the millennium. Historic England inherits English Heritage's position as the UK government's statutory adviser and a statutory consultee on all aspects of the historic environment and its heritage assets; this includes archaeology on land and under water, historic buildings sites and areas, designated landscapes and the historic elements of the wider landscape. It monitors and reports on the state of England's heritage and publishes the annual Heritage at Risk survey, one of the UK Government's Official statistics, it is tasked to secure the preservation and enhancement of the man-made heritage of England for the benefit of future generations.
Its remit involves: Caring for nationally important archive collections of photographs and other records which document the historic environment of England and date from the eighteenth century onwards. Giving grants national and local organisations for the conservation of historic buildings and landscapes. In 2013/14 over £13 million worth of grants were made to support heritage buildings. Advising central UK government on which English heritage assets are nationally important and should be protected by designation. Administering and maintaining the register of England's listed buildings, scheduled monuments, registered battlefields, World Heritage Sites and protected parks and gardens; this is published as an online resource as'The National Heritage List for England'. Advising local authorities on managing changes to the most important parts of heritage. Providing expertise through advice and guidance to improve the standards and skills of people working in heritage, practical conservation and access to resources.
In 2009–2010 it trained around 200 professionals working in local authorities and the wider sector. Consulting and collaborating with other heritage bodies and national planning organisations e.g. the preparation of Planning Policy statement for the Historic Environment Commissioning and conducting archaeological research, including the publication of'Heritage Counts' and ‘Heritage at Risk’ on behalf of the heritage sector which are the annual research surveys into the state of England's heritage. It is not responsible for approving alterations to listed buildings; the management of listed buildings is the responsibility of local planning authorities and the Department for Communities and Local Government. It owns the National Heritage Collection of nationally important historic sites in public care; however they do not run these sites as this function is instead carried out by the English Heritage Trust under licence until 2023. English Heritage Historic England Archive Cadw Historic Scotland Northern Ireland Environment Agency Manx National Heritage Department for Culture and Sport Conservation in the United Kingdom Heritage at Risk Historic houses in England National Trust Properties in England Heritage Open Days List of Conservation topics List of heritage registers List of museums in England Heritage film Official website The Historic England Archive: Search over 1 million catalogue entries describing photographs and drawings of England's buildings and historic sites, held in the Historic England Archive.
Britain from Above: presents the unique Aerofilms collection of aerial photographs from 1919-1953. Images of England website Heritage Explorer: Education site for teachers Department for Culture Media and Sport
Helena, Marchioness of Northampton
Elin Ulfsdotter Snakenborg, Marchioness of Northampton known as Helena, Helena the Red for her red hair, was a Swedish-born noblewoman, Maid of Honour of Queen Elizabeth I of England, Marchioness of Northampton by her marriage to William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton. She was born in Sweden, as Elin Ulfsdotter of Fyllingarum in the province of Ostrogothia, in either 1548 or 1549, as a younger daughter of Ulf Henriksson, lord of Fyllingarum, of the Bååt family, Senator of Sweden, his wife Agneta Knutsdotter, heiress of Norrnes, her father was a supporter of king of Sweden. By all accounts, Helena was a beautiful woman, with large brown eyes, red hair, a pink and white complexion, she was described as having independent mind. Helena had three sisters who survived childhood and had children of their own. Helena was baptized and given the name of her paternal grandmother, Elin Ulfsdotter of the Norwegian house of Sudreim, her paternal grandfather's grandmother, another Elin Snakenborg; the name Snakenborg was taken from Helena's paternal grandfather's paternal grandmother, the said Elin Henriksdotter Snakenborg, whose patrilineal ancestors were from Mecklenburg in Germany.
Helena's mother seems to have been a descendant of Agnes of Borgarsyssel, natural daughter of Haakon V of Norway. Contrary to claims presented in some genealogies, Marchioness Helena's ancestry has not been proven to include medieval Viking Earls of Orkney, and contrary to claims in some genealogies, she seems not to have descended from the sister of St Bridget of Sweden. Helena was one of six young Swedish noble ladies who were Maids of Honour in the retinue of Princess Cecilia of Sweden, Margravine of Baden, second-eldest daughter of King Gustav I. Cecilia and her retinue departed Sweden in Autumn 1564 on a voyage to England, at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth I, it was rumoured that Cecilia was journeying to England to press the suit of her half-brother King Eric XIV of Sweden to marry Queen Elizabeth. Because Denmark-Norway was hostile towards Sweden, they were forced to take a roundabout, land route, they travelled through Finland, Livonia and Germany, a lengthy journey, until they reached Calais.
The party is reported to have been hampered by bad weather, the last leg by seasickness. The voyage lasted a year until they reached their destination - they arrived on 8 September 1565 at Dover. Cecilia of Baden was at the time in her ninth month of pregnancy; the welcoming party at Dover was led by Sir William Parr, 1st Marquess of Northampton, the only surviving son of Sir Thomas Parr of Kendal, brother of the late Queen consort Catherine Parr. In London they settled at Bedford House. On their arrival many prominent members of the English nobility received the party, including Queen Elizabeth. Helena Snakenborg caught the interest of the elderly Marquess of Northampton, who soon started to court her. Margravine Cecilia left England In April 1566. Helena became one of the maids of honour to Queen Elizabeth I, remained in the country for the rest of her life, she was promoted her to gentlewoman of the royal privy chamber. She was subsequently granted many privileges, such as her own lodgings at Hampton Court Palace, a horse.
Lord Northampton hoped to marry Helena but there was a difficulty because his first, though divorced, wife Anne Bourchier, 7th Baroness Bourchier, was still living. They had divorced in 1552, he had since remarried, his second wife having died in 1565. Anne died in 1571, Northampton married Helena immediately, with the queen's approval; the wedding took place in May 1571 in Elizabeth's presence in the queen's closet at Whitehall Palace, the couple divided their time between their houses in Guildford, at Stanstead Hall, Essex. They had no children; the marquess died on 28 October 1571. The Dowager Marchioness Helena had received a substantial dower. Helena's second husband was Thomas Gorges, of Longford, Wiltshire, a second cousin of the late Anne Boleyn, descended from the first Howard Duke of Norfolk; the queen was in favour of Thomas' courtship of Helena but changed her mind and refused to consent to a marriage: Helena was a marchioness, by marriage the Queen's kinswoman, Gorges yet only a gentleman.
Helena married Thomas Gorges secretly in about 1576. When Elizabeth learned of their clandestine act, Helena was exiled from the court, Thomas was incarcerated in The Tower of London for a brief period. However, Helena was reinstated with the help of her influential friend, Lord Chamberlain Thomas Radcliffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex. Helena and Thomas had eight children; the couple's first child was born in June 1578 and named Elizabeth after the queen, who stood as godmother. Helena's first son, Francis Gorges, was named after their close friend, Sir Francis Drake, they had two more daughters, Frances Gorges and Bridget Gorges, four more sons, all of whom were knighted: Edward Gorges, first Baron Gorges of Dundalk, Theobald Gorges, Robert Gorges, Thomas Gorges. The couple had their town house at Whitefriars. Helena persuaded Thomas Gorges to rebuild his property at Longford; the mansion had been damaged by fire when he acquired it and a replacement was completed at great expense by 1591, under the final
Salisbury is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, with a population of 40,302, at the confluence of the rivers Avon, Ebble and Bourne. The city is 20 miles from Southampton and 30 miles from Bath. Salisbury is near the edge of Salisbury Plain. Salisbury Cathedral was north of the city at Old Sarum. Following the cathedral's relocation, a settlement grew up around it which received a city charter in 1227 as New Sarum, which continued to be its official name until 2009 when Salisbury City Council was established. Salisbury railway station is an interchange between the West of England Main Line and the Wessex Main Line. Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is 8 miles northwest of Salisbury; the name Salisbury, first recorded around the year 900 as Searoburg, is a partial translation of the Roman Celtic name Sorviodūnum. The Brittonic suffix -dūnon, meaning "fortress", was replaced by its Old English equivalent -burg; the first part of the name is of obscure origin. The form "Sarum" is a Latinization of a medieval abbreviation for Middle English Sarisberie.
The two names for the city and Sarum, are humorously alluded to in a 1928 limerick from Punch: The ambiguous pronunciation was used in the following limerick: Salisbury appeared in the Welsh Chronicle of the Britons as Caer-Caradog, Caer-Gradawc and Caer-Wallawg. Cair-Caratauc, one of the 28 British cities listed in the History of the Britons, has been identified with Salisbury; the hilltop at Old Sarum lies near the Neolithic sites of Stonehenge and Avebury and shows some signs of early settlement. It commanded a salient between the River Bourne and the Hampshire Avon, near a crossroads of several early trade-routes. During the Iron Age, sometime between 600 and 300 BC, a hillfort was constructed around it; the Romans left it in the hands of an allied tribe. At the time of the Saxon invasions, Old Sarum fell to King Cynric of Wessex in 552. Preferring settlements in bottomland, such as nearby Wilton, the Saxons ignored Old Sarum until the Viking invasions led King Alfred to restore its fortifications.
Along with Wilton, however, it was abandoned by its residents to be sacked and burned by the Dano-Norwegian king Sweyn Forkbeard in 1003. It subsequently became the site of Wilton's mint. Following the Norman invasion of 1066, a motte-and-bailey castle was constructed by 1070; the castle was held directly by the Norman kings. In 1075 the Council of London established Herman as the first bishop of Salisbury, uniting his former sees of Sherborne and Ramsbury into a single diocese which covered the counties of Dorset and Berkshire. In 1055, Herman had planned to move his seat to Malmesbury. Herman and his successor, Saint Osmund, began the construction of the first Salisbury cathedral, though neither lived to see its completion in 1092. Osmund served as Lord Chancellor of England; the cathedral was consecrated on 5 April 1092 but suffered extensive damage in a storm, traditionally said to have occurred only five days later. Bishop Roger was a close ally of Henry I: he served as viceroy during the king's absence in Normandy and directed, along with his extended family, the royal administration and exchequer.
He refurbished and expanded Old Sarum's cathedral in the 1110s and began work on a royal palace during the 1130s, prior to his arrest by Henry's successor, Stephen. After this arrest, the castle at Old Sarum was allowed to fall into disrepair, but the sheriff and castellan continued to administer the area under the king's authority. Bishop Hubert Walter was instrumental in the negotiations with Saladin during the Third Crusade, but he spent little time in his diocese prior to his elevation to archbishop of Canterbury; the brothers Herbert and Richard Poore succeeded him and began planning the relocation of the cathedral into the valley immediately. Their plans were approved by King Richard I but delayed: Herbert was first forced into exile in Normandy in the 1190s by the hostility of his archbishop Walter and again to Scotland in the 1210s owing to royal hostility following the papal interdiction against King John; the secular authorities were incensed, according to tradition, owing to some of the clerics debauching the castellan's female relations.
In the end, the clerics were refused permission to reenter the city walls following their rogations and processions. This caused Peter of Blois to describe the church as "a captive within the walls of the citadel like the ark of God in the profane house of Baal", he advocated Let us descend into the plain! There are rich fields and fertile valleys abounding in the fruits of the earth and watered by the living stream. There is a seat for the Virgin Patroness of our church, his successor and brother Richard Poore moved the cathedral to a new town on his estate at Veteres Sarisberias in 1220. The site was at "Myrifield", a meadow near the confluence of the River Nadder and the Hampshire Avon, it was first known as "New Sarum" or New Saresbyri. The town was laid out on a grid. Work on the new cathedral building, the present Salisbury Cathedral, began in 1221
James Wyatt was an English architect, a rival of Robert Adam in the neoclassical style and neo-Gothic style. Wyatt spent six years in Italy, 1762–68, in company with Richard Bagot of Staffordshire, Secretary to the Earl of Northampton's embassy to the Venetian Republic. In Venice, Wyatt studied with Antonio Visentini as painter. In Rome he made measured drawings of the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, "being under the necessity of lying on his back on a ladder slung horizontally, without cradle or side-rail, over a frightful void of 300 feet". Back in England, his selection as architect of the proposed Pantheon or "Winter Ranelagh" in Oxford Street, brought him unparalleled instant success, his brother Samuel was one of the principal promoters of the scheme, it was doubtless due to him that the designs of a young and unknown architect were accepted by the Committee. When the Pantheon was opened in 1772, their choice was at once endorsed by the fashionable public: Horace Walpole pronounced it to be "the most beautiful edifice in England".
Externally it was unremarkable, but the classicising domed hall surrounded by galleried aisles and apsidal ends, was something new in assembly rooms, brought its architect immediate celebrity. The design was exhibited at the Royal Academy, private commissions followed, at the age of 26 Wyatt found himself a fashionable domestic architect and on 27 August 1770 an Associate of the Royal Academy, his polished manners secured him friends as well as patrons among the great, when it was rumoured that he was about to leave the country to become architect to Catherine II of Russia, a group of English noblemen is said to have offered him a retaining fee of £1,200 to remain in their service. His major neoclassical country houses include Heaton Hall near Manchester, Heveningham Hall in Suffolk, Castle Coole in Ireland, as well as Packington Hall in Staffordshire, the home of the Levett family for generations, Dodington Park in Gloucestershire for the Codrington family. On 15 February 1785 Wyatt was elected an Academician of the Royal Academy, his diploma work being a drawing of the Darnley Mausoleum.
In years, he carried out alterations at Frogmore for Queen Charlotte, was made Surveyor-General of the Works. In about 1800, he was commissioned to carry out alterations to Windsor Castle which would have been much more considerable had it not been for the King's illness, in 1802 he designed for the King the "strange castellated palace" at Kew, remarkable for the extensive employment of cast iron in its construction. Between 1805 and 1808 Wyatt remodelled West Dean House in West Sussex. Wyatt’s work was remarkable because it is built of flint to the door and window openings, which would be lined with stone. In 1776, Wyatt succeeded Henry Keene as Surveyor to Westminster Abbey. In 1782 he became, in addition, Architect of the Ordnance; the death of Sir William Chambers brought him the post of Surveyor General and Comptroller of the Works in 1796. Wyatt was now the principal architect of the day, the recipient of more commissions than he could well fulfil, his widespread practice and the duties of his official posts left him little time to give proper attention to the individual needs of his clients.
As early as 1790, when he was invited to submit designs for rebuilding St Chad's Church at Shrewsbury, he broke his engagements with such frequency that the committee "became at length offended, addressed themselves to Mr. George Stewart". In 1804, Jeffry Wyatt told Farington that his uncle had lost "many great commissions" by such neglect; when approached by a new client, he would at first take the keenest interest in the commission, but when the work was about to begin he would lose interest in it and "employ himself upon trifling professional matters which others could do". His conduct of official business was no better than his treatment of his private clients, there can be no doubt that it was Wyatt's irresponsible habits which led to the reorganization of the Board of Works after his death, as a result of which the Surveyor's office was placed in the hands of a political chief assisted by three "attached architects". Wyatt was a brilliant but facile designer, whose work is not characterized by any markedly individual style.
At the time he began practice the fashionable architects were the brothers Adam, whose style of interior decoration he proceeded to imitate with such success that they complained of plagiarism in the introduction to their Works in Architecture, which appeared in 1773. Many years Wyatt himself told George III that "there had been no regular architecture since Sir William Chambers – that when he came from Italy he found the public taste corrupted by the Adams, he was obliged to comply with it". Much of Wyatt's classical work is, in fact, in a chastened Adam manner with ornaments in Coade stone and "Etruscan" medallions executed in many cases by the painter Biagio Rebecca, employed by his rivals, it was not until towards the end of his life that he and his brother Samuel developed the severe and fastidious style of domestic architecture, characteristic of the Wyatt manner at its best. But among Wyatt's earlier works there are several which show a familiarity with Chambers Treatise on the Decorative Part of Civil Architecture, so permit the belief that if his artistic integrity had been greater Wyatt might have co
John Thorpe or Thorp was an English architect. Little is known of his life, his work is dubiously inferred, rather than known, from a folio of drawings in the Sir John Soane's Museum, to which Horace Walpole called attention, in 1780, in his Anecdotes of Painting, he was engaged on a number of important English houses of his time, several, such as Longleat, have been attributed to him on grounds which cannot be sustained, because they were built before he was born. In 1570 when he was five years old, he laid the foundation stone of Kirby Hall, Northamptonshire his father being the Master mason of the project, he was the designer of Charlton House, in Charlton, London. Thorpe's major-but-little-trumpeted contribution to world architecture is the humble and now-ubiquitous corridor "for a house in Chelsea", England, in 1597, allowing "independent access to individual rooms"; the fashion was the so-called enfilade arrangement of rooms in a dwelling in which each room led to the next via connecting internal doors.
The enfilade remained popular in continental Europe long after the corridor was adopted in England. Flanders believes Thorpe's inspiration was the one-sided covered walkway common in monastic cloisters. Given their similarities, this is a reasonable prima facie conjecture. Thorpe joined the Office of Works as a clerk practised independently as a land surveyor. From 1611 he was assistant to Robert Tresswell, Surveyor-General of Woods South of the Trent, he retired in the 1630s but seems to have lived to an advanced age, dying around 1655. Aston Hall, Aston Audley End, Essex Thornton College, Lincolnshire for Sir Vincent Skinner c1607-1610. Charlton House, London Holland House, Kensington Kirby Hall, Northamptonshire Longford Castle, Wiltshire Rushton Hall, Northamptonshire Somerhill House, Kent This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Thorpe, John". Encyclopædia Britannica. 26. Cambridge University Press. Airs, Malcolm. "Thorpe, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Oxford University Press. Doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/27378. H. M. Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600–1840 ISBN 0-300-07207-4
River Avon, Hampshire
The River Avon is a river in the south of England. The river rises in the county of Wiltshire and flows through the city of Salisbury and the county of Hampshire before reaching the English Channel through Christchurch Harbour in the county of Dorset, it is sometimes known as the Salisbury Avon or the Hampshire Avon in order to distinguish it from the various other River Avons in England. It is one of the rivers in Britain in which the phenomenon of anchor ice has been observed; the Avon is thought to contain more species of fish than any other river in Britain. The river's name is a tautology: Avon is derived from the Proto-Brythonic word meaning "river", therefore the river's name means River River; the Avon begins as two separate rivers. The western Avon rises to the east of Devizes, draining the Vale of Pewsey, the eastern Avon rises just east of Pewsey adjacent to the Kennet and Avon Canal; these two merge at Upavon, flowing southwards across Salisbury Plain through Durrington and Salisbury.
To the south of Salisbury it enters the Hampshire Basin, flowing along the western edge of the New Forest through Fordingbridge and Ringwood, meeting up with the River Stour at Christchurch, to flow into Christchurch Harbour and the English Channel at Mudeford. All the significant direct and indirect tributaries of the Avon, including the Nadder, Wylye and Ebble, converge within a short distance around Salisbury. About half of the length of the river is within Wiltshire, only short proportions are within the current boundaries of Hampshire or Dorset. However, for part of its path the river forms the border between Dorset and Hampshire, prior to the 1974 reorganization of local government the whole of the section now in or bordering Dorset was wholly within Hampshire; as there are two rivers with the name Avon in Wiltshire, this led to the river being popularly known as the Hampshire Avon or the Salisbury Avon. The Avon Valley Path runs parallel with the river from Salisbury to Christchurch.
Court cases were brought in the 18th century concerning the loss of navigation of the river. One was in 1737 and another was in 1772. Canoeists seeking legitimate access to the Avon have identified a long-forgotten Act in their favour; the "Act for making the River Avon navigable from Christchurch to the city of New Sarum" was enacted in 1664 under Charles II. This act has not been repealed, hence remains in force and might provide a legal right of navigation. However, the 1664 Act was subject to enabling works which were never completed, hence the suggestion of an implementable Act has fallen away. Whilst an Act was passed, the responsibility for delivery was given in 1685 to private undertakers in the names of Hodges and Dennett, who were to fund the canalisation from Salisbury to Christchurch, they were allowed to charge their investment at 10% interest rate and could take full commercial advantage. Tripartite agreements from 1684 and 1685 evidence these agreements; the House of Commons journal of 31 January 1699 records that the freeholders and residents of Ibsley and Fordingbridge petitioned the House on the fact that they could not comply with the 1664 Act and were never to do so.
These petitions were upheld by the House, thus the obligations and rights of the 1664 Act fall away as the works to canalise the Avon were never implemented. WiltshireUpper Avon Valley: Upavon East and West Chisenbury Enford Coombe Fittleton Haxton Netheravon Figheldean Milston Durrington Bulford AmesburyWoodford Valley: West Amesbury Wilsford cum Lake Great Durnford The Woodfords Little DurnfordSalisbury: Stratford-sub-Castle SalisburyWiltshire Watermeadows: Britford Bodenham Charlton All Saints DowntonHampshire: Breamore Burgate Fordingbridge Bickton Ibsley Ringwood SopleyDorset: St Ives Burton Christchurch A four-year project called STREAM began in September 2005; this was a £1 million project designed to benefit the habitats of species such as Water-crowfoot, Atlantic salmon, Brook lamprey, Sea lamprey, Desmoulin's whorl snail and Cygnus columbianus Berwick's swan. There is a sister project called Living River which runs from 2006 to 2010; this is providing better recreation, as well as biodiversity.
Both of these projects had been shortlisted for the 2009 Thiess International Riverprize competing against four other projects: the Yellow River in China, Lake Simcoe in Canada, the Polochic Basin in Guatemala and the Lower Owens River in the USA. The prize for 2009 was awarded to Lake Simcoe. In 1993 the Avon Valley between Bickton and Christchurch was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Other Rivers Avon Rivers of the United Kingdom