St. John the Baptist parish church
Mildenhall shown within Wiltshire
|Population||477 (2011 census)|
|OS grid reference||SU210696|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Dorset and Wiltshire|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Mildenhall (// MY-nəl) is a village and civil parish in the Kennet Valley in Wiltshire, England, about 1 mile (1.6 km) east of the market town of Marlborough. The parish contains three communities – the village of Mildenhall, and the hamlets of Poulton and Stitchcombe.
The toponym is derived from the Old English but the site has been occupied since the Roman occupation of Britain, when the fortress town of Cunetio stood at an important road junction on approximately the same site. No remains of this fortress are now standing, but are clearly visible on aerial photographs. The Cunetio Hoard of Roman coins was discovered here in 1978. The name of the River Kennet, which runs through Mildenhall, is thought to have been derived from the Roman name, which is also used on the village's coat-of-arms.
Cunetio was deserted as a Romano-British site in about AD 450, but the site was reoccupied in the Anglo-Saxon era and a West Saxon charter drawn up between 803 and 805 refers to this settlement in its first recognisably modern form as Mildanhald, meaning "a nook of land of a woman called Milde or a man called Milda". The village is again mentioned in Domesday Book in 1086 as Mildenhalle and the name has since undergone numerous subtle changes in spelling and pronunciation.
In 1881 the Swindon, Marlborough and Andover Railway company built their Swindon-Marlborough line through the Og valley in the southwest of the parish. The line closed in 1961 and the track was removed.
The Church of England parish church of Saint John the Baptist originates from before the Norman Conquest: some parts of the tower are undoubtedly Saxon in date. However, much of the present building dates from the thirteenth century. In 1816 the interior was refurbished by the villagers. Of particular note are the box pews and the twin pulpit and reading desk. In 1966 the church was designated as Grade I listed.
Sir John Betjeman refers to St. John's as "a church of a Jane Austen novel". Simon Jenkins includes it in his England's Thousand Best Churches. St. John's parish is now a member of the Marlborough team ministry.
Mildenhall usually holds a village fete, usually in mid-September on the village playing field (weather permitting), as well as a Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night and a Duck Race (using plastic ducks). Mildenhall publishes a monthly newsletter called The Parish Pump, a joint publication with the neighbouring village of Axford.
There was a school, the Protestant Free School, in the village from 1824 to 1969. Designed in the shape of a cross by Robert Abraham, the former school is now a house.
- Jack Ainslie (1921–2007), farmer and politician, lived and died in Mildenhall
- Phil Harding (b. 1950), archaeologist, educated in Marlborough, worked at the Roman town in Mildenhall in 2009
- Reg Prentice, Baron Prentice (1923–2001), politician, died in Mildenhall
- Littlecote Roman Villa, a few miles east along the Kennet valley
- "Parish population 2011". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- Miller, 1971, page not cited
- "Wiltshire Community History: Mildenhall". Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- "Cvnetio Romano-British Town Mildenhall, Wiltshire". www.Roman-Britain.org. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
- Nigel Kerton, C4's Time Team dig in at Mildenhall, at gazetteandherald.co.uk, Friday 4 September 2009
- Birch, page not cited
- Mills & Room, 2003, page 328
- Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (revision) (1975) . Wiltshire. The Buildings of England (2nd ed.). Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 336. ISBN 0-14-0710-26-4.
- Oakley, Mike (2004). Wiltshire Railway Stations. Wimborne: The Dovecote Press. p. 97. ISBN 1904349331.
- History of Minal, Chapter 3 – The Dark Ages, Normans and Beginnings of a Church
- Historic England. "Church of St. John the Baptist (1365445)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
- Betjeman, John (1952). First and Last Loves. Murray. p. 183.
- Jenkins, Simon (1999). England's Thousand Best Churches. Allen Lane. p. 734. ISBN 0-7139-9281-6.
- Studdert-Kennedy, Rev. Andrew (20 October 2009). "St. John The Baptist Church, Mildenhall (Minal), Wiltshire". St. Mary's Anglican Church, Marlborough, Wiltshire teamed with St. George's and St. John The Baptist. Marlborough Anglican Churches. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
- "Protestant Free School, Mildenhall". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
- Historic England. "School House (1183528)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
Sources and further reading
- Birch, Walter de Grey, ed. (2010) . Cartularium Saxonicum. volume not stated. Whitefish, Montana: Kessinger Publishing. p. not stated. ISBN 1-165-28065-5.
- Crowley, D.A. (ed.); Baggs, A.P.; Freeman, Jane; Stevenson, Janet H. (1983). A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 12: Ramsbury and Selkey hundreds; the Borough of Marlborough. Victoria County History. pp. 125–138.
- Miller, G.M., ed. (1971). BBC pronouncing dictionary of British names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. not stated. ISBN 0-19-431125-2.
- Mills, A.D.; Room, A. (2003). A Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 328. ISBN 0-19-852758-6.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus; Cherry, Bridget (revision) (1975) . Wiltshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 348–352. ISBN 0 14 071026 4.
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