Wednesday, 3 April 2013


The village of Imber doesn't appear on many maps of Wiltshire, and these days is relatively unheard of outside of our local area. It's nestled in a small valley in the middle of Salisbury Plain, you can read the history of the village here.

On just a few days each year the Army allow civilians onto their training ground to visit the lost village, and being new to the area and inquisitive, we decided to take a trip.

Looking on our local area map the roads out to Imber appear as tiny country lanes, I hadn't taken into account that the military would use them to drive huge vehicles along, so they were, in fact, well made up and wide roads.

However, it was made pretty clear to us that we should stay on the roads, these signs were in evidence about every 100 yards or so:

We saw several old abandoned tanks that looked like they had seen better days

Also some cattle, not sure if these belonged to the army or are privately owned, but note that they are kept in place by just a single thread of electric fencing.

The village itself is quite small, with many abandoned buildings, all with the same danger signs as above

although these houses certainly dont look like originals, I think maybe they have been built by the army to assist in urban warfare training.

We made our way to the church, which was open, and had a wander round both inside and around the graveyard.

Meaden seems to be a very localised name, I've come across it three times so far on three different occasions - one of my local friends has a grandmother with the maiden name of Meaden, one of the local lasses who worked as a maid in the old East End House (on whose grounds our own house was built), and the current day local boiler service/repair man also have the same surname.

Some ancient graffiti in the church entrance

and, inside the church, a poster with a bit of local history

While on the plain, we took the opportunity to park up and eat our lunch in a place that we wont be able to visit again until this time next year.

Thank you to the military authorities for allowing us the opportunity to visit an area of the UK that not many people get to see.


Eileen said...

Hi Joy,

Imber is usually open to the public in September as well, near to St Giles Day which is Sept 1st.

As you know, the Meadens form one part of my family tree and they originated from Imber so it was lovely to see your photographs.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

A very interesting bit of history. I wonder if it seems strange to attend the church services in an otherwise abandoned town. Thanks for the tour and for sharing.

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Very interesting place. Thanks for taking us along on your tour.

Vintage from the Village said...

What an unusual place! It doesnt look like England. My Granparents lived between East Dean and Lockerly somewhere around that area x