Explore North Wiltshire’s rich heritage by embarking on an historical tour of the area, which includes visits to some of the most picturesque towns and villages in the West Country, and a wide variety of places of interest. As with the first volume, which concentrated on the south of the county, it is presented by best-selling author Henry Buckton.
North Wiltshire is indisputably a land of contrasts. It contains some of Britain’s best known prehistoric monuments, such as the Avebury Stone Circle, Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow, all of which are featured. This ancient landscape is explained superbly by David Dawson, Director of the wondrous Wiltshire Museum in Devizes, which holds many treasures of its own. The area is largely rural and full of beautiful old-world villages, such as Castle Combe, Aldbourne and Pewsey, and is also adorned by several of the county’s famous white horses.
However, North Wiltshire was also at the heart of Britain’s industrialisation and you will enjoy an in-depth feature on the Kennet and Avon Canal, very much the M4 motorway of its day. The canal was restored after years of neglect and is now a delightful waterway. Crofton Pumping Station, which was an integral part of the canal system, is home to the oldest working steam engines in the world still performing the job they were built to do. Other important industries featured are Avon Rubber in Melksham, and the Harris pork processing factory in Calne. You will also see how railways helped the area to expand, particularly in Swindon where the Great Western Railway was such a major employer, and there is an interesting feature on the county’s only heritage line, the Swindon and Cricklade Railway.
Other highlights include visits to the attractive towns of Bradford-on-Avon, Chippenham, Marlborough, with a focus on the beautiful Merchant’s House; Corsham, where we spotlight the 17th century Almshouse and Schoolroom; and Malmesbury, with its majestic Abbey and stimulating Athelstan Museum. Throughout our journey, rare archive images are blended with stunning modern film to create an unforgettable portrayal of this enchanting corner of England.
Also available now:
Discovering Wiltshire Volume 1
A beautiful historical tour of South Wiltshire, including visits to Salisbury, Old Sarum, Imber, Trowbridge, Stonehenge and many other towns, villages and places of interest.