Notable People

St Edmund RichSt Edmund Rich: Beloved 13th century vicar in Calne and later Archbishop of Canterbury.

John PymJohn Pym: Sometime MP for Calne. Statesman and leader of the Commons whose defiance of King Charles 1 in 1642 led to the Civil War.

1st Marquess of Lansdowne1st Marquess of Lansdowne: who was Prime Minister at the time of the American War of Independence.

Dr. Joseph PriestleyDr Joseph Priestley: At the nearby estate of Bowood House, Joseph Priestley isolated oxygen and discovered its properties in 1774; there is a plaque in the town centre commemorating this. He ended his days in America.

Dr. Ingen-HouszDr Ingen-Housz: a Dutchman, who had previously worked in Vienna on an antidote to small-pox, discovered photosynthesis. He died in Calne. His is buried in the crypt at St Mary`s.

Samuel Taylor ColeridgeRev. William Lisle BowlesSamuel Taylor Coleridge: There is a plaque on the wall of the house where Samuel Taylor Coleridge stayed from 1814 to 1816 as part of the Morgan household whilst writing his Biographia Literaria. He and others of the Lake Poets used to visit the wildly eccentric Revd William Lisle Bowles", vicar of Bremhill.

Walter Goodall GeorgeA Calne lad, the athlete Walter Goodall George, held the world record for the mile from 1886-1915. He did much of his early training on the downs around Calne, often running with hounds of the Beaufort Hunt.

General George S. PattonGeneral Patton: the overlord of the D-Day landings, stayed in a farmhouse in Heddington during the weeks beforehand.

David HemmingsDavid Hemmings: The actor lived in the Old Mill in Calne for many years up until his death in December 2003. His funeral was held at St. Mary's Church in the town. His grave is in the churchyard of St Peter’s Blacklands, one of several beautiful little churches within Calne District.

Sir Arthur C ClarkeCanon John CollinsDuring the two World Wars there were vast RAF hutted camps at Yatesbury and Compton Bassett. Here pilots and Observers were trained in World War1 and Radio and the new ‘hush-hush’ Radar operators were trained in World War2. Sir Arthur C. Clarke, of space exploration fame, was a radar instructor and the radical Canon John Collins was chaplain.

Many well-known people did their National Service there. Between 1938 and 1965, when Yatesbury closed, 150,958 RAF personnel passed through its gates. Now it is as if it had never been. All that remain are green fields; a memorial; 2 listed WW1 hangars and the Officers’ Mess; the 42 graves in the churchyard of young men who never completed their training in WW1 and the memories of those who trained here in WW2.

The RAF (Yatesbury) Association holds a reunion here every summer.

Based on source content from Wikipedia and from local historians