Little Badminton Village
The Duke of Beaufort’s Badminton Estate in the Cotswolds incorporates several delightful villages. To the north of the main village of Great Badminton is the small rural settlement of Little Badminton.
Mentioned in the Doomsday Book, the village has been designated a conservation area since 1983. It is located in high open countryside on the eastern boundary of South Gloucestershire and the extensive formal parkland of Badminton House adjoins the village to the east. The remains of the original medieval village have sunk beneath the village green but a well preserved early medieval dovecote has survived.
Although scattered in its layout, Little Badminton developed around the village green with the buildings facing each other and linked by a circular road. The village is a conglomeration of farm houses, barns and estate workers’ cottages.
When the Beaufort family came to live at Badminton and built Badminton House in the 1660s the village became an agricultural centre for the Estate. In mediaeval times the park would have been used for hunting deer and hare as well as the raising of horses.
Deer are still raised in the park, although the deer house (Grade II-listed), situated to the south-east of Little Badminton, is now converted into a dwelling.
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13th Century Church of St Michael and All Angels
To the north of the village on rising ground is the Church of St Michael and All Angels. It dates from the early 13th century and is a strange looking small church. The nave and North aisle are of almost equal size, divided by an Early English arcade of four bays with pointed arches and octagonal piers.
The East window is 14th century and there is a Perpendicular period baptismal font. The octagonal bowl has quatrefoils in the panels. The early origins of the building are evident in the simple round arch over the south door. The church has no tower but has an overhanging timber bellcote at the western end.
Most of the buildings in the village are listed and date from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Built of honey-coloured Cotswold stone they vary in style with thatch being evident as well as the typical stone roofs.
Little Badminton is off the tourist trail and a real piece of rural England.
South Gloucestershire Council External Link
- By Car from London
From Junction 4B on the M25 London Ring Road take the M4 motorway west past Reading , Swindon towards Bristol and the Severn Bridge.
Prior to these points, on reaching Junction 18 exit and take A46 north (Tetbury) exit. Continue north for about 5 miles (8 km) (to the small village of Petty France). Take the local road to the south east to Little Badminton.
Google Map - Little Badminton Village