infobox UK place
country = England
region= South West England
Amesbury is a
townand civil parishin the English county of Wiltshire, eight miles north of Salisbury. It is most famous for the prehistoricmonument of Stonehengewhich is in its parish, and for the discovery of the Amesbury Archer– dubbed the King of Stonehenge in the press – in 2002.
Amesbury is located in the district of Salisbury in southern Wiltshire. It is on the southern fringes of
Salisbury Plainand lies in the River Avon valley. Historically it has been considered an important river crossing area on the road from Londonto Warminsterand Exeter. This has continued into the present with the building of the A303across the Avon next to the town. Originally the town developed around the water meadowsnext to several bends in the river, but in time has spread onto the valley hillsides and absorbed the military airfield at Boscombe Down.
The land around Amesbury has been settled since
prehistorictimes, evidenced by the monument of Stonehenge. Other finds in the parish point to large scale prehistoric structures and settlements in the whole area, including the numerous monuments around Stonehenge, the discovery of a Neolithic village in the neighbouring parish of Durrington by the Stonehenge Riverside Project, and continuing excavations at Boscombe Downwhere Wessex Archaeologyfound the Amesbury Archerand Boscombe Bowmen.
Iron Agea large hill fortnow known as Vespasian's Campwas built alongside the Avenue and overlooking the River Avon. The fort could easily have catered for up to 1000 people, and likely was surrounded by smaller settlements and farming communities.
Roman remains are poorly documented at Amesbury, but excavations have revealed roman structures in the Stonehenge Landscape, and Wessex Archaeology have discovered a large Roman graveyard in the area of the Amesbury Archer burial. [ [http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/projects/wiltshire/boscombe/preserved-roman-remains/roman-cemeteries.html Wessex Archaeology: Boscombe Down Graves] ] It is likely that there was a large Anglo Roman settlement overlooking the River Avon at this point. [ [http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/projects/wiltshire/boscombe/preserved-roman-remains/where-people-lived.html Wessex Archaeology: Boscombe Down Settlement] ]
It has been suggested that the name of Amesbury is derived from
Ambrosius Aurelianus- leader of Romano British resistance to Saxon invasions in the 5th Century. If this is the case he is likely to have used the hill fort as a stronghold. It is possible that an order of Monks established a monastery in the area that was destroyed by the Saxons before they settled the area in the 7th Century. [ [http://www.elfinspell.com/TimbsAmesbury.html Elfinspell: Amesbury Monastery] ] Amesbury is also associated with the Arthurian conventto which Guinevereretired was said to have been the one at Amesbury.
In 979AD a Benedictine abbey, the Abbey of St. Mary and St. Melor, was founded on the site of the previous monastery by Dowager Queen Ælfthryth [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=36534 British History Online: Houses of Benedictine nuns: Amesbury] ] . In 1177 the abbey was dissolved by
Henry II[ [http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getchurch.php?id=583 Wiltshire County Council - Church Information] ] and replaced with a double priory of the Fontevraultorder. [ [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06129b.htm Catholic Encyclopaedia: Order and Abbey of Fontevrault] ] At some point in time it seems likely that the church became the parish church, and it is possible that this is why it was spared destruction in 1540 when, as part of the reformation, the priory and all other associated buildings were destroyed. Amesbury became an estate and was given to Edward Seymour, 1st Earl of Hertfordby the crown.
The Seymour family held Amesbury estate until 1675 and had several grand homes built – including Kent and Diana houses, and a new mansion in 1660. The estate subsequently passed to the
Brucefamily, and then to Lord Carleton, who bequeathed it to his nephew Charles Douglas, 3rd Duke of Queensberry. It remained in the Queensbury family until 1824. It is believed that at some point in the early 19th Century, William Douglas, 4th Duke of Queensberryplanted the Nile Clumpsto commemorate Admiral Nelsonand had the Hill fort landscaped as part of the grounds around the mansion. In 1824 the Antrobus familyacquired the estate and it remained in their hands until 1915 when, after the last heir was killed in France, Lord Antrobus sold the grounds – including Stonehenge – to private bidders. The mansion remained in their hands until 1979. [ [http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getcom.php?id=7 Wiltshire County Council - Community History] ]
With the establishment of the military
Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishmentat Boscombe Downin 1939, Amesbury began to expand.As it sits on the A303 commuter belt, Amesbury has seen substantial developments on the land between the old town centre and Boscombe Down. Several new housing estates have been completed, and the most recent one - Archers Gate - has taken its name from the discovery of the Amesbury Archer. At the Boscombe Down junction of the A303 a new mixed business development known as [http://www.solsticepark.com Solstice Park] has been built and plans have been submitted for a Regional Distribution Centre for a major retailer [ [http://www.this-is-amesbury.co.uk/pdf/atcfullmins/atcfullminutesjanuary2008.pdf Amesbury Town Council Minutes] ] .
Amesbury has had a mayor since 1999. The current Mayor is Mr Dennis Brown and the Deputy Mayor is Mr Roger Fisher.
Amesbury has 4 main schools:
*Amesbury Primary School,
The Stonehenge School, a specialist Maths and Computing College
*Christ the King
* [http://www.amesburyarcher.wilts.sch.uk/ Amesbury Archer Primary School] .
There is one football team named [http://www.clubwebsite.co.uk/amesburytown/1stteam/ Amesbury Town] who currently play in the Sydenhams League Division One. One junior football team called [http://www.amesburyjuniorfc.co.uk/default.aspx Amesbury Juniors] play in Testway football league, Mid Wilts Youth and Minor league and the South Wilts Youth and Badger league and another, [http://www./www.clubwebsite.co.uk/amesburytown/under13s/ Amesbury Town Juniors] play in the Mid Wilts Youth and Minor league.
Amesbury in popular Culture
Although Stonehenge falls within the parish of Amesbury, the two are not well linked. However Amesbury has appeared in the public eye on its own merits in the past.
The town is linked to the Arthurian legend as it is popularly believed that
Guinevereretired to the original convent at Amesbury after leaving Arthur. Legend holds that she is buried in the grounds of the former Abbey. [ [http://www.timetravel-britain.com/articles/towns/amesbury.shtml Time Travel Britain: Amesbury] ] In 1965 The Beatlesstayed at the Antrobus Arms Hotel during the filming of 'Help' on Salisbury Plain. The Antrobus Arms and the former plaza cinema were both used as locations for the filming of a BBC Miss Marplemystery. [ [http://www.antrobusarmshotel.co.uk/page2.asp The Antrobus Arms Hotel] ] In 2002, the discovery of the richest Bronze Ageburial site yet found in Britain was made at Amesbury. The remains of two men of apparently aristocratic rank were accompanied by over 100 objects including arrowheads, copper knives and the earliest worked gold in the country. The occupant of the more richly furnished grave has become known as the " Amesbury Archer".
Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites
*J. Chandler and P. Goodhugh. "Amesbury: History and description of a south Wiltshire Town." 1989.
*Crowley, Pugh and Stevenson. "A history of Amesbury, Bulford and Durrington." 2003.
* [http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getcom.php?id=7 "Wiltshire County Council Community History"]
* [http://www.timetravel-britain.com/articles/towns/amesbury.shtml Time Travel Britain: Amesbury]
* [http://www.this-is-amesbury.co.uk/ This is Amesbury]
* [http://www.stonehengect.co.uk/ The Stonehenge Chamber of Trade]
* [http://www.vision-news.tv/page_v1.php?page_id=378 Vision News - Amesbury]
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Look at other dictionaries:
Amesbury — Amesbury, MA U.S. Census Designated Place in Massachusetts Population (2000): 12327 Housing Units (2000): 5099 Land area (2000): 5.309883 sq. miles (13.752534 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.365151 sq. miles (0.945737 sq. km) Total area (2000):… … StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places
Amesbury, MA — U.S. Census Designated Place in Massachusetts Population (2000): 12327 Housing Units (2000): 5099 Land area (2000): 5.309883 sq. miles (13.752534 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.365151 sq. miles (0.945737 sq. km) Total area (2000): 5.675034 sq.… … StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places
Amesbury — Amesbury, 1) Stadt, so v.w. Amerbury; 2) Stadt am Merrimack, in der Grafschaft Essex des nordamerikanischen Staates Massachusetts, Flanellwebereicompagnie; 3143 Ew … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Amesbury — (spr. ēmsbörĭ), Flecken im nordamerikan. Staat Massachusetts, Grafschaft Essex, am Merrimack und der Boston Maine Bahn, mit Woll , Hut und Wagenfabriken und (1900) 9473 Einw … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Amesbury — (spr. éhmsbörri), Stadt im nordamerik. Staate Massachusetts, an der Mündung des Merrimac, (1900) 9473 E.; Wagenfabriken … Kleines Konversations-Lexikon
Amesbury — 51.175 1.7791666666667 Koordinaten: 51° 11′ N, 1° 47′ W … Deutsch Wikipedia
Amesbury — 51° 10′ 00″ N 1° 47′ 00″ W / 51.1667, 1.7833 … Wikipédia en Français
Amesbury — /aymz ber ee, beuh ree/, n. a town in NE Massachusetts. 13,971. * * * ▪ England, United Kingdom town (“parish”), Salisbury district, administrative and historic county of Wiltshire, England, in the valley of the River Avon. It is rich in… … Universalium
Amesbury — 1 Original name in latin Amesbury Name in other language Amesbury State code GB Continent/City Europe/London longitude 51.17172 latitude 1.77897 altitude 69 Population 8497 Date 2011 07 31 2 Original name in latin Amesbury Name in other language… … Cities with a population over 1000 database
Amesbury — This name is of Anglo Saxon origin and is a locational surname deriving from the place in Wiltshire called Amesbury . The placename is first recorded circa 880 in the Saxon Charters as Ambresbyrig , and means Ambr s fortress , derived from the… … Surnames reference