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Whites Guide to the Chalke Valley Wednesday 02nd December 2020

Whites Guide to the Chalke Valley

The Chalke Valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Over the years Whites Estate Agents have sold many properties in this beautiful area and we would like to share with you some of its highlights.

The Chalke Valley lies between Salisbury and Shaftesbury and includes Cranbourne Chase.  At least twenty picturesque villages can be found here, which are positioned close to the River Ebble and River Chalke. This region is becoming increasingly desirable for people to move to, from London and other larger towns and cities.

For those who love the great outdoors, it boasts a wealth of great walking, cycling, and riding routes, from short strolls to longer walks over chalk ridges and downs. Check out some of these routes here.

You may have also heard of The Chalke Valley History Festival which attracts people from far and wide.  It is a truly unique festival, entirely dedicated to the history, and offers a unique blend of talks, discussions, living history shows as well an air show.

Crown Alvediston


Alvediston is a village about 8 miles east of Shaftesbury and lies at the head of the Ebble Valley.

Noteworthy buildings include Alvediston Manor dating back to 955 and granted to nuns by King Eadwig. The 12th century Church of St Mary and Norrington Manor, which sits in the hills above Alvediston.

The Crown Inn is a popular 17th century thatched pub with a log fire, which offers traditional meals and bed and breakfast.

Talbot Inn

Berwick St John

The village of Berwick St John is nestled in the chalk downs at the head of the Ebble Valley.  It has great views and on a clear day, you can see as far as the Isle of Wight.

Every other year the village hosts the Berwick St John Country Fayre which makes a great day out and also raises money for good causes.

There is evidence of prehistoric activity in the area and many of the parish’s sites were excavated by Lieutenant-General Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers.

In the south-east lies the early Iron Age hill fort of Winklebury Hill, also referred to as Vespasian’s Camp, and in the north is White Sheet Hill.

Whites love The Talbot Inn. This is a traditional family-run country pub which dates back to the mid-17th century and has delicious homecooked food, a large open fire and offers holiday cottage accommodation.


The parish of Bishopstone is 5 miles southwest of Salisbury and also has the River Ebble flowing west to east through the middle.   In the middle ages, the village took its name ‘Bishop’s Farm’ as at one time the manor belonged to the Bishop of Winchester.

The parish contains six ancient townships: Bishopstone, Netton, and Flamston which lie to the north of the river, and Throope, Faulston and Croucheston opposite them to the south.

The southern boundary of the parish is marked by a territorial earthwork known as Grim’s Ditch which dates back to the Iron Age.

The Roman Road from Dorchester to Old Sarum runs through the parish, enters Bishopstone from Knighton High Wood and is clearly visible for one mile.


Bowerchalke lies close to the Dorset and Hampshire borders, 9 miles southwest of Salisbury.  The village is at the source of the River Chalke, which flows down into the River Ebble. 

The Bowerchalke Downs are regarded as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to their species-rich chalk grassland and include Woodminton Down, Marleycombe Down, and Knowle Down.

The village has a rich history, as well as a number of famous residents including internationally renowned violinist Iona Brown. In the 13th Century, Village Church lies novelist the remains of William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies.

Bowerchalke Barn is a stunning 16th-century threshing barn and is used mainly as a wedding and events venue. The barn is full of rustic charm and is surrounded by breathtaking views.

 Reddish House 

Broad Chalke

Broad Chalke is probably the liveliest of the Chalke Valley Villages and sits on the banks of the River Ebble.  The parish includes the neighboring hamlets of Stoke Farthing and Knighton to the east and Little London and Mount Sorrel.

A great choice for families the village has the Ofsted Outstanding Broadchalke C of E Primary School.  To the west of the village is Gurston Down Speed Hill Climb which is regarded as the South’s premier motor racing speed hill climb and holds 300 meetings a year.

At the heart of the village set in a converted chapel dating from the 13th century is an award-winning café and stores.  The famous photographer, film and theatre costume designer Cecil Beaton, who once lived at Reddish House in the village is buried in the churchyard. Renowned author Sir Terry Pratchett also resides in the village.

There is also a popular pub called The Queens Head, which makes the perfect stop off for a good walk and a pint. The pub specialises in locally brewed ales and ciders and serves traditional and homecooked dishes.


Fifield Bavant

This is a hamlet rather than a village but deserves a mention as it boasts the smallest church in Wiltshire and arguably the second smallest in England.

The pretty church of St Martin of Tours was built in the 13th century.

Chalke Valley History Festival 2

Ebbesbourne Wake 
Ebbesbourne Wake is a small village tucked away near the head of the valley of the River Ebble.   It has a great pub and good walks and more recently it has become well known for hosting the annual Chalke Valley History Festival.

The Horseshoe Inn produces hearty meals and good ales and has a lovely garden in which to relax. 

Stratford Tony

The village of Stratford Tony lies on the River Ebble, near the line of the ancient Roman Road Icknield Street. 

The village has a medieval church ‘The Church of St Mary and St Lawrence’ which can only be reached by going down a narrow lane, over a footpath, across a stream, and up a steep bank, making the journey to reach it part of the adventure!

To find out more about The Chalke Valley Villages and other areas Whites sells houses to in and around Salisbury talk to our friendly team on 01722 336 422 or residential-sales@hwwhite.uk or alternatively visit our website.

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