The Arlington Heights Civic Association (AHCA) recently approved a Friendship Community Relationship between the association and Bibury Parish, a community located in Gloucestershire, England.
“The purpose of the relationship is to open lines of communication between the AHCA and Bibury Parish to create an atmosphere of goodwill between the two communities,” said Mark Murawski, Friendship Community delegate for the civic association.
Bibury Parish is the home of the Village of Arlington, which appears to have been the namesake of Arlington House and, subsequently, modern-day Arlington County.
The community of about 650 people is located on the River Coln in Gloucestershire, about 83 miles west of London. (For information on the community and its highlights, see the Website at www.bibury.com.)
A Friendship Community relationship primarily consists of exchange of correspondence between members of the community regarding history and other areas of mutual interest. The program provides the opportunity to generate interest and support among both communities.
“Because Bibury Parish is not similar in size to Arlington, it does not qualify for the Sister City program. As such, a community-to-community program was created,” Murawski said.
Bibury (pronounced “Buy Burry”) can trace its roots at least as far back to the historic 1068 Domesday Book, which reported the results of a survey of English lands to King William I. At the time, the hamlet was known as “Becheberie.”
Though the Arlington Heights neighborhood can’t trace its roots back quite that far, it too has historic provenance, having in 2008 been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
While some other sources point to a different source for Virginia’s county of Arlington being named as it was, Murawski and others point to the Custis family of Virginia’s connection to the Village of Arlington in England. The village lent its name first to a large 17th-cnetury manor house downstate and, in the early 1800s, to the Arlington House plantation in Northern Virginia built for George Washington Parke Custis and, through marriage, passing into the hands of Robert E. Lee prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, when it was seized by the federal government.
It was in 1920 both to honor Lee and to differentiate what then was known as “Alexandria County” from the adjacent town (later city) of Alexandria that the General Assembly renamed Alexandria County as Arlington County.
Arlington Heights itself, from which the neighborhood and its civic association gets its name, has been in use as a geographic descriptor since the early 19th century. The current boundaries of the civic association are Arlington Boulevard, South Fillmore Street/Walter Reed Drive, Columbia Pike and South Glebe Road. The neighborhood is home to about 1,000 households and 50 businesses.