Our location means thousands of tourists pass through our village every year. However very few stop to take in the sites. The Leigh is a great place to explore if you're a fan of old churches with strange tales, of river walks and enjoy nature reserves.
This section features useful information about the Leigh's main attractions, with links to nearby towns and tourist facilities.
In the village...
The Chancel may be small, unassuming and hidden away, but it is a real church on consecrated ground with room for a congregation (albeit in single figures) and an annual service in the summer.
A church was first built on this site in 1250, when it's believed the hub of the village was further north than it is today.
But poor ground conditions took their toll. Following another costly renovation project to stop the building collapsing into marshy ground, the decision was made in 1896 to deconstruct All Saints Church, and rebuild it stone by stone half a mile to the south.
An end section of the original church was left behind, made stable and converted into a smaller chapel. This was to ensure the surrounding graveyard would remain a holy site. This is what remains on the Chancel site today.
In 2017, The Chancel was used in an episode of the BBC hit Poldark where it's exterior featured as 'The Old Meeting House'
All Saints building work
Originally built: 1250
Renovated: 1729, 1736, 1757, 1784
Deconstructed and moved: 1896
Following on from the above text, the rest of Leigh's only remaining church can be found on Swan Lane.
All Saints was constructed in 1720, but has only been at it's current location since 1896. The church was rebuilt piece by piece, and is thought to be a replica of the original building, minus one end (as the Chancel was not relocated with the rest of the church).
The new location was closer to the village's residents, and was next door to a newly built school (which closed in 2004 and is now a private house).
Occasional services are held at All Saints Church. The building is also used for community meetings and events, with a more long-term plan afoot to rent the building for private functions.
The church building is only open during services or special occasions, however the gates to the grounds and graveyard are always unlocked.
All Saints today
Rev. Judy Ashby
Diocese of Bristol (Upper Thames group)
Now owned and maintained by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (WWT), this former World War II military base is now one of the largest natural hay meadows in the UK.
RAF Blakehill was opened in 1944, and used mainly by British and Canadian forces. The air force only used this base for eight years. The runway was not maintained and, over the decades, nature reclaimed it.
In the 1990's, the military left the site permanently, leaving behind an ideal piece of land to create a nature reserve.
Today, visitors are welcome to explore Blakehill Farm. Birdwatchers can look for kestrels, whinchats and owls, ecologists can hunt out rare wildflowers and grasses, and wildlife enthusiasts can search for dragonflies, snakes and deer.
The best time to visit is in late Spring. Special events are held at the site during the summer.
Currently manage 37 nature reserves across Wiltshire
Waterhay is part of the much larger Cotswold Water Park complex.
Upper Waterhay is a nature reserve managed by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. It is a wildlfower meadow where you can find, depending on the time of year and weather conditions, white snakeshead fritillaries, marsh marigold and lady's smock, along with butterflies, mayflies, birds and wild mammals.
The lakes of Waterhay are managed by the Cotswold Water Park Trust, and provide excellent habitats and wetlands birds. The fields and lakes are interspersed with footpaths which, wildlife aside, link the Leigh to nearby villages and towns.
One of England's most famous footpaths - The Thames Path - comes through Waterhay. This 184 mile path follows the River Thames from it's source near the village of Kemble to the Thames Barrier in London.
Thames Head to Waterhay: 008 miles
Thames Barrier to Waterhay: 176 miles