"The emphasis on the commemoration of Ralph Vaughan Williams this year should be about the moral greatness that comes from such a commitment to art... Go out, and listen to his music - and not just the obvious, popular favourites - and you will begin to see dimensions to this titan you had not thought existed." Simon Heffer
Ralph Vaughan Williams
The famous British composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams was born in The Vicarage in Down Ampney, where his father - The Reverend Arthur Vaughan Williams - was vicar. Ralf was baptised at All Saints' Church, by the vicar of Latton, a neighbouring parish. As it so happened, the Rev'd Hyde Beadon was himself a hymn writer. Little did he or RVW's parents know that one day Ralph would become one of the celebrated composers of the twentieth century and edit The New English Hymnal.
Although RVW did not live for long in the village of Down Ampney, he certainly had an affection for his place of birth. He named one of his most famous hymns tunes after the village, which accompanies the words of the hymn "Come down, O love divine".
2022 marks the 150th anniversary of RVW's birth and at Down Ampney we are intending to celebrate this important anniversary.
For more details of events at Down Ampney in 2022 - please see the RVW events page.
"Visiting the beautiful church at Down Ampney recently, I was hugely impressed by the way All Saints' celebrates the life and work of Ralph Vaughan Williams. He is one of our greatest Englishmen and it is right and uplifting that his native village is so proud of him."
Simon Heffer April 2022