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The Malmesbury Area



In Wiltshire's north-western corner, the Malmesbury community area shares the Cotswold scenery of its neighbour, Gloucestershire, especially around Sherston and Malmesbury itself. Further east, around Minety, is thinly-populated clayland, part of the former forest of Bradon, and here several large tracts of woodland remain. Dauntsey, the area's southernmost parish, occupies a wide clayland valley, Dauntsey Vale, now crossed by the M4 motorway. Dividing the two geological regions, Oolitic limestone to the west, Oxford clay to the east, is the valley formed by the southward-flowing River (Bristol) Avon, whose headwaters meet at Malmesbury. The river is augmented by streams flowing into it near the Somerfords from east (Brinkworth Brook) and west (Gauze Brook). Crudwell, Oaksey, and Minety, along the area's northern edge, are drained by the Swill Brook, a tributary of the Thames