Baydon is a village and civil parish in Wiltshire, England about 10 miles (16 km) south-east of Swindon. The eastern boundary of the parish forms part of the county boundary with Berkshire, and the village is about 7 miles (11 km) north-west of the West Berkshire market town of Hungerford.

St. Nicholas' parish church
Baydon is located in Wiltshire
Location within Wiltshire
Population664 (in 2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSU281780
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townMarlborough
Postcode districtSN8
Dialling code01672
FireDorset and Wiltshire
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
51°30′00″N 1°35′49″W / 51.500°N 01.597°W / 51.500; -01.597Coordinates: 51°30′00″N 1°35′49″W / 51.500°N 01.597°W / 51.500; -01.597


Baydon is close to the Ridgeway, a pre-Roman road. The village is on the Ermin Way Roman road which runs north-west towards Cirencester and forms part of the western boundary of the parish.[2] (The road is called Ermin Street locally but is not to be confused with the Ermine Street between London and York.)

The earliest known reference to Baydon is in 1196. The land was part of the Bishop of Salisbury's Ramsbury estate until most of it was sold in the later 17th century. Later landowners include Sir Francis Burdett (1770–1844), a long-serving Member of Parliament who married Sophia Coutts, a daughter of the wealthy banker Thomas Coutts.[2] Their daughter Angela inherited the Coutts fortune, and her philanthropy included rebuilding several cottages in the village between 1875 and 1890.[2]

Bailey Hill farm, the demesne land of Ramsbury manor in the north of the parish, was sold in 1681 and passed through several owners until it was bought by Lord Craven in 1800; it remained in Craven ownership until 1947.[2] In the south of the parish, the land of Baydon House farm also had a succession of owners from the 17th century. The Wiltshire Victoria County History traces the ownership of other smaller estates.[2] One source states that Sir Isaac Newton had an estate at Baydon, which he gave away shortly before his death in 1727.[3]

The population of the parish peaked at 380 around the time of the 1861 census, then fell steadily to 213 in 1921 before rising sharply from the 1960s,[1] as it became a dormitory community for people working in Swindon.[2]

Until the 1790s, when it became an independent ecclesiastical parish, Baydon was a tithing and chapelry of Ramsbury parish within Ramsbury hundred.[2][4]

The M4 motorway which passes just north of the village was opened on 22 December 1971.

Religious sitesEdit

Parish churchEdit

The Church of England parish church, dedicated since the 19th century to Saint Nicholas,[5] has a Norman nave and two-bay north arcade, while the south aisle and northern clerestory are Early English Gothic.[6] The north aisle was rebuilt in 1857–1858 by the Gothic Revival architect G.E. Street, who also designed a new east window.[7] The south clerestory is Perpendicular Gothic.[6] The west window, dated 1928, is by Edward Woore and is a memorial to the Rev. Augustus Gibson.[8] The church is Grade II* listed.[7]

The font, partly octagonal, is probably from the 13th century.[6] The three bells are dated 1744 (cast nearby at Aldbourne by John Stares), 1670 and 1650.[9]

The church was dependant on Holy Cross at Ramsbury, and the prebendary of Ramsbury appointed chaplains until the living became a perpetual curacy in the 19th century.[2] In 1956 the incumbent was authorised to hold both Aldbourne and Baydon,[10] and the two benefices were united in 1965.[11] Today the church is one of six in the Whitton grouping.[12]


A Particular Baptist chapel named Providence Chapel was built in 1806; it closed between 1885 and 1922, then was demolished.[13] A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in 1823; by 1939 it was a private house.[14]

Notable buildingsEdit

A barn at Finches Farm, with flint walls and a generous thatched roof, is from the 17th century.[15] Baydon House Farmhouse has a 1744 date-stone.[16] The school (1843, next to the church) and the former vicarage (1857, west of the church) were designed by Wiltshire architect T. H. Wyatt, in brick with flint bands.[17]

The water tower on Finches Lane near the M4, designed in the 1970s by Edmund Percey for Scherrer and Hicks, is described by Pevsner as "a striking design ... the tank clasped by tapering concrete piers".[6]


The village school is now Baydon St Nicholas Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School.[18][19]

Baydon Village Stores incorporates a Post Office.[20] The village pub, the Red Lion (closed in 2019), has however reopened as a restaurant/bar under the new name Fancy B.

Notable residentsEdit

Ian Lomax (1931–1996, cricketer) farmed near Baydon. Kevin Wilkinson (1958–1999, pop musician) lived at Baydon.


  1. ^ a b "Wiltshire Community History - Census". Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Baggs, A. P.; Freeman, Jane; Stevenson, Janet H. (1983). "Parishes: Baydon". In Crowley, D. A. (ed.). A History of the County of Wiltshire, Volume 12. Victoria County History. University of London. pp. 52–61. Retrieved 13 June 2021 – via British History Online.
  3. ^ Brewster, David (1855). Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton. Vol. 2. Edinburgh: Thomas Constable & Co. p. 397.
  4. ^ "Baydon AP/CP". A Vision of Britain through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  5. ^ "Church of St. Nicholas, Baydon". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (revision) (1975) [1963]. Wiltshire. The Buildings of England (2nd ed.). Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 105. ISBN 0-14-0710-26-4.
  7. ^ a b Historic England. "Church of St Nicholas, Baydon (1034135)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Stained Glass Windows at St. Nicholas, Baydon, Wiltshire". Robert Eberhard. Archived from the original on 27 September 2021. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Baydon, St Nicholas". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  10. ^ "No. 40952". The London Gazette. 18 December 1956. p. 7175.
  11. ^ "No. 43610". The London Gazette. 26 March 1965. p. 3048.
  12. ^ "Aldbourne". Whitton Team. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  13. ^ "Providence Particular Baptist Chapel, Baydon". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  14. ^ "Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Baydon". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  15. ^ Historic England. "Barn at Finches Farm (1034137)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  16. ^ Historic England. "Baydon House Farmhouse (1200550)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  17. ^ Orbach, Julian; Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (2021). Wiltshire. The Buildings Of England. New Haven, US and London: Yale University Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-300-25120-3. OCLC 1201298091.
  18. ^ "Baydon St.Nicholas Church of England School". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  19. ^ "Baydon Primary School". Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Village Shop and PO". Archived from the original on 2 May 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2021.

External linksEdit