Downton is a village of 3000 plus inhabitants situated on the River Avon, just six miles south of Salisbury, surrounded by lovely countryside. It is designated a service centre for several nearby villages. Village amenities include:
The White Horse Inn – https://www.whitehorsedownton.co.uk/
The Bull – https://www.bullhoteldownton.com
The Wooden Spoon
The Borough Café – https://www.theboroughcafe.co.uk
Plus several shops including the Co-op, Butchers and Post Office
Bus service – X3 from Salisbury to Bournemouth
Road links – both Bournemouth and Southampton are little over half an hour away
Railway station – Salisbury is the nearest
The Memorial Hall was built in 1840, on land donated by the then Lord Radnor, not as a village hall but as a public school for boys. It became a Public Hall in 1896, when the current primary school in Gravel Close was built, and renamed the Memorial Hall after the Great War. The two storey new extension, housing the pre-school on the ground floor and two state of the art meeting rooms upstairs, was completed in November 2018. The whole building was renamed the Downton Memorial Centre.
The primary meeting room is called the Bonvalot Room. This room is dedicated to Second Lieutenant Edward Bonvalot who was fatally wounded in the First World War in 1915. After the war his mother, Mrs Elizabeth Bonvalot, purchased the land adjacent to the Memorial Hall to create a garden, now the Memorial Gardens, in memory of her son.
The secondary meeting room is called the Centenary Room to commemorate the 100th year anniversary since the end of the Great War; the new extension was opened on the weekend of this anniversary in November 2018. This room is dedicated to the 44 soldiers and seamen from Downton Parish who fought and died in the war and to all who returned.
The Memorial Centre is owned by the Downton Parish Council and leased to the Memorial Hall Trust. The latter is a registered charity, run by a committee of Trustees and local organisation members. Users are many and varied from the thriving Friday Country Market, to art groups, children’s activities and various keep fit classes plus business meetings and ad hoc parties including the occasional wedding.
Registered Charity No: 305507