Posts Tagged ‘Lost village’

Imber – Now

January 10, 2013

The 6th January 2013 was a misty, murky day. But Imber was open to the public and was due to close by daylight on the 7th, so we went.

In truth, not all was open when we were there. This was the church entrance.

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But had we been a couple of hours later, it would have opened up for visitors. That’s an improvement for in times past it didn’t open.

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These modern military buildings have replaced most of the village. They are used to enable soldiers to learn how to do house to house fighting and clearance.

Here we have Seagrams Farm.

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This was once a large house for it was all two storeys and housed a large farming family.

The Grange was one of the grander houses in the village. It has military uses now and at different times has worn different roof lines.

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This was the village pub – The Bell Inn. No doubt it was a friendly meeting place for the locals. In 1943, the entire village was given notice to leave. Villagers had 47 days to get out.

The pub has survived quite well. No trace remains of the Baptist church although its burial ground still exists.

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John and Emma Wyatt, born, bred, married and raised their family in Imber before they died and were buried in Imber Baptist burial ground.

The building that has fared best is St Giles Church. This has recently been restored to good order and the tower boasts a new peal of bells. They were rung on Christmas day 2012.

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If you leave the village and travel the permitted routes – you see signs of activity by the local tank corps.

image016Where bustards once roamed, we now find dead tanks scattering the downs.

Imber – Then

January 9, 2013

Every now and then a little gloom must fall into the life of a happy nerd. Imber can create that feeling that not all is right with the world but maybe things are improving, albeit close on 70 years too late for some people.

Imber was a remote and rather pretty village set in a valley high up on Salisbury Plain. The little rhyme about the place goes:

Little Imber on the Down
Seven miles from any Town.

This is Imber as was.

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It was a friend’s granny who lived in the marked cottage. This photo is taken from the West, looking in to Imber village. The terrace was known as The Dring. I cannot be sure, but these could be amongst the old cottages replaced by newer, drier but more soulless properties in 1938.

The War Department had all the land around Imber but it came as a shock to all when, on 1st November 1943, the authorities announced that the residents of Imber must be gone with all their possessions by 17th December.

There was a war and the residents had no option but to leave.

They all said they were promised they could return when the emergency was over. That never happened.

But from time to time people can visit what now calls itself Imber. We’ll take a look at that tomorrow.