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Shipton Bellinger: About Shipton

Where is the village?

You can find us in a valley in southern England, in a finger of Hampshire reaching out into Wiltshire (for the technically minded, OS grid ref SU230454 or approximately 142'W 5112'N). We are very close to the junction of the North-South A338 and a major East-West route, the A303. Two miles north is the garrison town of Tidworth, in Wiltshire, the postal district in which we are placed by the Royal Mail, and not far west is Amesbury and Stonehenge. Our local council is the Test Valley Borough Council who have offices in Andover, only 8 miles to the east of us and the county and diocese have their home in the ancient city of Winchester.

Many locals tend to look to Salisbury, though, as their closest main town.

For parliamentary elections, we fall into the electoral district of Tedworth. We have some details of local elected representatives, but for more details of councillors and electoral information see the comprehensive HantsWeb and Test Valley Borough Council sites.

In the village

A stream, rather grandly called the River Bourne, is a winterbourne and runs through the centre of the village alongside the High Street. In years past this used to regularly flood, sometimes severely, and there are photographs on display in the Village Centre of children enjoying themselves wading through the water lapping at doorsteps. Nowadays the Bourne only fills in times of extreme rainfall and these past few years (2001/2003) were the first time for a long time that it overflowed its banks. Luckily a great deal of work has been done to try and minimise the risk of it happening again.

We've put a bit more details on the Bourne and the village itself in other pages to stop this one becoming overcrowded.

Click on the thumbnails to the left for views over the village from the NE

Neighbours and nearby

Our closest neighbour is the village and parish of Cholderton. We are also bordered by the parishes (and villages) of Kimpton, Thruxton and Quarley. The nearest railway station is Grateley, 4.5 miles away the other side of the old hill-fort of Quarley Hill. Stonehenge and the small town of Amesbury is about 7m west of us, on the edge of Salisbury Plain.

That's us in a nutshell, though we've collated a few nearby locations of interest.


In 1982 a box was accidentally discovered by the parish council holding records of a Parish Meeting and the "Parish Awards" of 1793. This sparked the "Village History Project" and, from this, a booklet on the history of Shipton: "SHIPTON BELLINGER the story of our village...". Some extracts from, and summaries of the content of, this booklet form the basis for the history in this site.

The History Society committee have passed on the mantle of maintaining the history to the website and, at the same time, have donated much of their funds to the Website committee: this will enable us to continue developing and supporting the site and the history. Using the future to record the past!
We will be publishing a new edition of the the village history sometime in the next few years, much of it based on the information here.

Gilbert is an old name in the village. One of the village's most famous sons left to eventually become associated with someone called Sullivan and, together, write numerous humourous operetta/operas.

P.G. Wodehouse also used the name of the village for that of a character Shipton-Bellinger in one of his books.

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Page Last Updated: 11th June 2005