Welcome to the Rudloe and environs website.

 

Here you will find news, articles and photos of an area that straddles the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north-west Wiltshire.

 

Contributions in the form of articles or photos are welcome. Even those with completely contrary views to mine!

 

Thanks to the website builder 1&1 and Rob Brown for the original idea.

 

Rudloescene now, in January 2014, has a sister, academic rather than anarchic, website about Box history here: http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/

It contains thoroughly professional, well-researched articles about Box and its people.

 

Contact rudloescene through the 'Contact' page.

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29th January 2022 and about 60 years since the closure of the Calne Branch (well, 57 actually - it closed in September 1965), we took a trip along the former track bed starting from the Calne end. The title picture shows the eastern end of Chippenham Station on 29th January; the Calne line branched off at about the area of the tall mast to the right of the track.

Here is the train from Calne entering Chippenham Station in 1961 (picture by yours truly)
We started off from Calne town centre, here crossing the River Marden
Thence to a bridge across the Wilts & Berks Canal. Many years ago, the canal here was covered in an invasive antipodean weed (pygmyweed?). I was photographing ducks on the weed when two young lads on bikes shouted "You can walk on that".
The canal beyond the bridge now clear of pygmyweed
A substantial willow has spread its boughs across the canal
Wild woodland below the former track bed
We are now on the former track bed bordered by cultivated woodland
Bracket fungus on a log beside the former track bed
Looks like a substantial tree may have fallen across the track bed here
The branches of a broadwood tree provide a frame for the landscape beyond
Studley Brook winds its way across the valley to the east towards the Marden
More wild woodland to the west of the track bed
Studley Brook again, winding its way across the landscape
Now to the former railway itself, "a quintessential branch line" according to Justin Bailey in the 'Lost Railways of Wiltshire'
Two substantial oaks at the trackside - a tank engine pulling a couple of carriages would complete the scene
The line continues through woodland
The spectre of a lineside tree. All we need now is a phantom steam train to complete the picture.
Grand lineside trees
Coming up to Black Dog Halt
Black Dog Halt, a halt and siding built for the Marquess of Lansdowne and his Bowood Estate. For a halt, it was well-appointed with a booking office and waiting room.
At a guess, this fallen multi-trunked tree might be an ash
The landscape to the west of the line beyond Black Dog Bridge
The landscape to the south-west of the line
Scrubland to the west of the line
The track bed runs through Searchers Wood
Still in Searchers Wood, the land becomes more boggy as we move towards Chippenham
And even more boggy here
The land has risen slightly so we have moved out of the marshy area
To the east of the line, the land appears to be less boggy
Here the line passes over a brook on an iron bridge
The line runs under the Studley-Bremhill road
And now we run under the road from Stanley Abbey Farm to Old Abbey Farm (and the site of a Cistercian Abbey)
The aforementioned Old Abbey Farm
The eastern landscape by Old Abbey Farm
Another bridge in the area of Studley - can't quite figure out where the road above goes from/to - I'll have to rethink the bridges
Coming up to the Stanley-Studley road where the track bed is lost for about a half-mile
The Stanley-Studley road which we have to traverse before getting back 'on track'
Outbuildings at Pound Farm by Stanley Bridge
More outbuildings at Pound Farm
Stanley Bridge (at the junction of the roads to Pewsham, Bremhill and Tytherton Lucas)
Stanley Bridge and the view towards Chippenham
The 'Avon Needs Trees' organisation (that is the Avon catchment area) has purchased land here and is planting thousands of trees
The northern end of the 'Avon Needs Trees' site with maple (possibly) in the hedgerow beyond
The view to Scott's Mill in an area of farms: Hither Farm, Hardens Farm, New Leaze Farm and Field Farm
A railway junction - I think the track at right leads to Hither Farm
A flooded hedgerow - I delight in meandering along ditches and streams in my wellies
Getting close to civilization - aaah, my mistake, this is Chippenham in the distance
Here's the Avon at Chippenham and the 'far end' of the biggest cul-de-sac in Europe
The last bridge with Cocklebury Lane going over - with the 'town' to the right and Rawlings Farm and the Hill Rise/Langley Park area to the left
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© Paul Turner