Wiltshire

The county of Wiltshire is notable for its pre-Roman archaeology. The Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age people that occupied southern Britain built settlements on the hills and downland that cover Wiltshire. Stonehenge and Avebury are perhaps the most famous Neolithic sites in the UK.

Two-thirds of Wiltshire, a mostly rural county, lies on chalk, a kind of soft, white, porous limestone that is resistant to erosion, giving it a high chalk downland landscapeThe largest area of chalk in Wiltshire is Salisbury Plain, which is used mainly for arable agriculture and by the British Army as training ranges.

Some of the famous people to have come from or live in Gloucestershire are: Jeremy Corbyn (politician), Sir Christopher Wren (architect), Michael Crawford (played Frank Spencer), Sir Terry Pratchett (author), Sir James Dyson (Inventor), Phil harding (Time Team), Will Carling (rugby player), David Mitchell (comedian and actor), James Blunt (musician),  Diana Does (actress),

Interesting Facts

Population: 706,300 (2016)

County Town: Trowbridge

  • The local nickname for Wiltshire natives is “Moonrakers”. This originated from a story of smugglers who managed to foil the local Excise men by hiding their alcohol, possibly French brandy in barrels or kegs, in a village pond. When confronted by the excise men they raked the surface to conceal the submerged contraband with ripples, and claimed that they were trying to rake in a large round cheese visible in the pond, really a reflection of the full moon. The officials took them for simple yokels or mad and left them alone, allowing them to continue with their illegal activities. Many villages claim the tale for their own village pond, but the story is most commonly linked with The Crammer in Devizes.
  • The Kennet & Avon Canal is a total of 87 miles and links London with the Bristol Channel. The Caen Hill Locks are a flight of 29 locks between Rowde and Devizes with a rise of 1 in 44 gradient or 237 feet in 2 miles.
  • The Wadworth Brewery in Devizes still use traditional Shire Horses to deliver all of the beer locally within a 2.5 mile radius?
  • Did you know that Poldark was filmed in Corsham? The Land-locked market town became Truro for the hit BBC series.
  • Did you know that most of the village scenes in the 1968 Doctor Doolittle film were shot in Castle Combe? Contrary to the usual tales of everyone loving the experience, villagers were greatly annoyed by some of the actions of the film crew. The most obvious example of this concerned an ugly dam built for the movie: Ranulph Fiennes, at the time in the SAS, tried to blow it up, for which he was later fined £500.
Towns of Wiltshire (links to Wikipedia page)