Milston

A small village, joined to Brigmerston, set in the Avon Valley between Durrington and Figheldean, deep in the middle of Salisbury Plain.  

 

Although only consisting of a hand full of houses it is steeped in history. It has its own church - St Marys', situated at the foot of the hill, down the main street.  Opposite the Church is Addison House, where the famous poet once lived. This was the rectory originally, later Colonel Bartlett lived there, then Mr A Parsons the farmer. 

 

Next to the church is the old house, frequented by many official dignitaries during the Second World War.  It is a good way off the main road and down at the bottom of a small, snug Wiltshire Valley, it stands in the middle of Milston.

 

It is a fiendly comfortable looking house of flint stone and the villagers say it was built 400 years ago when, obviously, it was intended as the home of a large and happy family.

During the war, if you looked closely you could see the unfriendly coils of barbed wire stretched across its gates, along the hedges and the paths, before the three doors.  Iron bars shut in the window of the room that was once the nursery: in addition to all the other windows as well.

 

Oddest of all are the numerous telephone wires leading into the house, for what Milston family would need more than one telephone?  These private wires were humming with messages to and from the War Office and Downing Street and even Buckingham Palace. From here in this house without a name, were drawn up the tentative plans, which eventually became the nucleus or the great project on which the Allied invasions of Normandy was built.

 

Officers of high rank came to "The Old House" to confer with General Frederick Edgeworth Morgan, whom Mr Churchill named in the House of Commons, as head of the British and American staff who surveyed the invasion project.

 

Field Marshall Lord Wavell used to come down here, so did the Prime Minister.

Once King George VI made a visit.  The people of Milston knew all along that something big was taking place within "The Old House" but as Alfred Cook, a lorry driver who was born in Milston of Milston parents describes it: "We have had a lot of important people down here in my time. We knew there was a lot going on in that house there, but, of course we never talked about it to outsiders".  Which is the way the people of Milston helped to keep the secret of "The Old House".

 

Just a mile away is Syrencot House, the secret Military establishment used to plan the Normandy landings.

If you have any queries or wish to purchase a photograph, please contact me:

 

+44 7831237759

dcrh@supanet.com

 

If you wish to send a donation to the Alzheimer's Society, please print out and send with a form from their dedicated page.  This will inform the Society that your donation came via this website!  

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Comments

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  • Sarah Mitchell (Wednesday, September 11 19 10:31 pm BST)

    Hi there is a wonderful picture you took of a dear friend of mine on his journey to the gdsf this year. It is in the western daily press dated 22/08/19 Carl Brown roading the Marshall to gdsf. I cannot locate this picture on any website to purchase and was hoping i could purchase through yourself many thanks Sarah

  • John Baines (Friday, April 05 19 03:45 pm BST)

    Have you any photogaphs of James & Crockerills yard in Durrington? Their MD Peter Barber owned the Burrell Scenic Road loco 'Prince of Wales@ and other engines including Burrell roller 'Daffodil'

  • Zoe Read (Saturday, March 02 19 07:08 pm GMT)

    I see you already have dates for this one but I wondered if you would consider adding Purbeck Rally to your event list?
    9th -11th August
    worgret road, wareham, dorset, BH20 6AB
    Raising funds for Forest Holme Hospice Charity & other local causes.

  • Andrew Gray (Wednesday, February 20 19 07:55 pm GMT)

    Is that Mr Dimmer and the train made at Durrington Sec Modern, I started there 1963 and left 1968. Mr Dimmer (Regg) was such a great teacher. Wonderful set of images to treasure. p.s we met today at the Boscombe Down Tornado fly past.

  • Jamie (Saturday, September 01 18 01:39 am BST)

    Hi!

    I am Jamie. One of the coalomen from last weeks steam fair. I know you mentioned taking lots of photos of us and it would be lovely to see them. Please get back to me when you can with prices ect i will most certainly purchase a few! In the meantime i will admire wgat you have on your page here already, hope you enjoyed the show! Speak soon

    Regards
    Jamie

  • Don Russell (Friday, August 17 18 08:51 am BST)

    Hullo, found your site when looking for GDSF info. I was wondering if you had any information regarding engines travelling to the GDSF. I read engines will be raising money for cancer on there journey but I cannot find any info regarding route and timings.Thanks

  • Brian Moore (Saturday, August 04 18 12:40 pm BST)

    Thanks David: Brian

  • Peter Freeman (Thursday, May 10 18 09:56 pm BST)

    Fantastic site, easy to read and great pics! Keep up the good work.

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