Beanacre

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Beanacre is a small village in Wiltshire, England, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of Melksham on the A350 towards Chippenham. It is in the civil parish of Melksham Without. The Bristol Avon passes to the east of the village where a stream from Sandridge joins it.

History

Beanacre is first mentioned in the 13th century. Earlier spellings of Bennecar or Benecar are shown on Andrews' and Dury's maps of 1773 and 1810. It is probably the oldest settlement in the parish of Melksham Without and was owned by Amesbury Abbey. It seems to have grown up clustered around the Old Manor, although none of the other houses now existing precede the 17th century. Since then, the village has expanded northwards. In 1848 the Wilts, Somerset and Weymouth Railway company built their line close to the west side of Beanacre, to link the Swindon-Bath line (near Chippenham) with Westbury via Melksham and Trowbridge; the line was handed over to the Great Western Railway in 1850 and is still in use. From 1905 to 1955 there was a small station, Beanacre Halt, on the outskirts of the village on the road towards Whitley. The halt was designed to provide local services using steam railmotors.

Notable buildings

Beanacre Old Manor is from the 14th century, with later renovation and additions including a chapel of c. 1500, and is Grade I listed. Pevsner describes the house as "a most interesting survival". Not far away is Beanacre Manor, c. 1600 with a 17th-century dairy, and Grade II* listed. Beechfield House was built c. 1870 for Richard Keevil, a local gentleman farmer. It is now a hotel.

Religious sites

The Anglican Church of St Barnabas was built in 1886, in 13th-century style, and is a chapel of ease for the parish church of St Michael at Melksham; the 14th-century font came from there. A Baptist chapel was built in 1846 and closed in 1967

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