A Renowned sculptor and her designer and engineer husband were killed together in a car crash on the A36 near Upton Lovell on Tuesday afternoon.

Althea and Antony Barrington-Brown, who lived in the village, died instantly when their Ford Focus collided with an 18-tonne Ross Hillman Ltd aggregates lorry at around 3.20pm.

The driver of the tipper lorry was a 56-year-old Melksham man. He sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene by ambulance staff.

Friends and neighbours said the couple were very well known in the village as they had lived there for many years, and were deeply involved in the community.

The Rev Ian Duff, a retired vicar who lives in the village, said: “They were much loved by everyone in the village, and people here are still in shock about what happened.”

The 75-year-old sculptor, who used her maiden name Wynne in her professional life, featured in the Wiltshire Times last year when she re-painted the elephant sculpture in front of the nearby Toran restaurant.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, Mrs Barrington-Brown had her work displayed in exhibitions around the world, and was commissioned for works in London developments and parks, for hospitals and even on board the cruise liner Queen Elizabeth II.

Her 84-year-old husband, whom she married in 1982, was also a designer, sculptor and engineer, and built the couple’s house himself 11 years ago.

He photographed one of the most iconic images of the last century, of DNA researchers James Watson and Francis Crick with their double helix model at Cambridge University in 1953.

The photograph is now at the National Portrait Gallery.

He was awarded an MBE for services to heritage and to the community in Codford and was a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

Between them the couple had seven children.

Painter Nick Andrew, of Crockerton, organises the Wylye Valley Art Trail, in which Mrs Barrington-Brown has taken part since it began in 2001.

He said: “It is a terrible shame, they were both well-known in the art community.

“Althea was always very lively and full of enthusiasm for her own work, and for everyone else’s as well.

“Her house was an exhibition venue for the trail and was one of the most popular, as there was always so much going on there.”

A police investigation has been launched into the accident, which closed the A36 for eight hours on Tuesday.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the collision, or anyone who may have seen the vehicles involved before the collision, to call PC James Trafford of the Serious Collision Investigation Team on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.