The Green

greenpanoramaThe Greensnowy Green

Blue Plaque to William GoldingThe Green is an open space available for everyone to enjoy, whether dog walking, playing games, picnicking or simply sitting on one of the benches and watching the world go by.

Today there are at least 24 listed buildings on the Green.  One, 17th century Number 29, on the western side at the junction with Patten Alley, has a blue plaque commemorating the boyhood home of author William Golding. There is also a list of owners since 1502 in the porch. 

The avenue of trees dates from about 1840.  They are native limes (also known as linden or basswood, of the Tilia genus) which are pollarded annually to keep them well maintained. 

autumn trees panoramaSpring bulbs appear in February/March and the Forestry Commission has donated Christmas Trees in recent years.

The Green may be older than we think.  From before the Norman Conquest the Saxons divided up the country into Hundreds and Marlborough was in the Hundred of Selkley.  Where that was exactly isn’t known, but it is believed to have been between Overton and Fyfield Downs.  It has long been thought that the Saxon settlement grew up around what is now The Green.  “The absence of archaeological evidence from the Saxon period perhaps favours a date in the mid-11th century, even as late as 1066” (Dr J Chandler, 2001). Green Looking North

More information on the Green, the development of Marlborough as a town, and some fascinating early maps, are available at http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getcom.php?community=Marlborough  

For an in-depth history take a look at British History Online at http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/wilts/vol12/pp199-229 where we learn that in 1204 the King granted to the Burgesses of Marlborough an eight-day fair to begin on the eve of the Assumption (14th August), presumably held in St Mary’s parish, possibly on the Green.  In 1229 Henry
IIIThe Green South granted that a four-day fair to begin on the eve of St Martin (10th November) might be held on the ‘new land’ of Marlborough and this was held on the Green in the later 18th century.

From J.E. Chandler’s book[1], we learn that in 1771 Rowland Hill preached on the Green.  His reception does not appear to have been very good, as he records of the men of Marlborough “They pelted me with stones and eggs, but through God’s mercy I was not hurt”.

The annual Sheep Fair was held on the Green until 1893, when it was transferred to The Common. 

In the 18th and 19th centuries the Green was the working class area of the town with industries and ale-houses rather than inns.  The house on the east side, to the left of the stone building with Doric columns, Painting by George Matonwas the home of a hand weaver and had first floor windows along its entire length as can be seen in the painting. 

 


[1] A History of Marlborough, J.E. Chandler.  Originally published in 1977.  It was revised in 2004 as the White Horse Bookshop’s contribution to the celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the granting of the first charter by King John



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print Email