HELLO WORLD
HELLO WORLD
Presented by Wiltshire Churches Together Click on any thumbnail for a full-sized picture

Salisbury Cathedral
(Anglican Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary). In 2008 it celebrated the 750th anniversary of its consecration in 1258, the main body having been completed in only 38 years. At 123m/404 ft, it has the tallest spire in the UK.


Stonehenge.
These large standing stones 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury form the centrepiece of England's most important and complex Neolithic and Bronze Age monument. This World Heritage site is thought to have been constructed over a 1200 year period from 3000 BC onwards. As built, the circle consisted of 30 25-ton stones in a 33 metre (108 ft) circle, capped with a ring of 30 lintel stones, mortoise and tenoned together. Inside the circle was a 'horseshoe' arrangement of a further 10 upright stones and 5 cap stones, each weighing 50 tons.
Avebury
stone circle is one of the finest and largest Neolithic monuments in Europe, being about 5,000 years old. This ancient monument consists of a large henge (a ring bank with a ditch inside the bank), several stone circles, stone avenues and barrows. You can freely wander among the stones, and the village, set in the centre, is a great location for dining out.


Kennet and Avon Canal.
The 87 mile (140 kn) Kennet and Avon Canal links Bristol and London. From Bristol to Bath the canal follows the Avon Valley. The route then goes through Bradford-on-Avon, Trowbridge, Hungerford and Newbury, where it joins the River Kennet, joining the River Thames at Reading. Construction started in 1794, and the toughest section at Caen Hill was left till last. This section was built by expert canal builder John Rennie, who also built the imposing Dundas Aqueduct on this canal. The 237 feet (72 metres) hill is climbed by three groups of locks. The middle group of 16 locks shown here tackles the steepest part of the climb. The inter-lock pounds extend at right-angles to the line of the canal due to the steepness of the hill, and are a haven for wildlife. The pump at the bottom of the hill can pump 32 million litres of water per day back to the top. A haven for dog walkers and ramblers, there is an excellent cafe giving breathtaking views half-way up.


Castle Combe
is renowned for its attractiveness and tranquillity, and for fine 14th century buildings including the medieval church. It features in films 'Doctor Doolittle' and 'Warhorse', and is the setting for several novels. This Cotswold stone village nestles in the steep-sided Bybrook River valley. The cottages in the main street, leading up to the 14th Century market cross, are neat, extremely old, and tiny by today's standards. Castle Combe is a good starting out point for a country walk towards Ford, ideally with a dog for company and binoculars for bird watching. After walking down the main street and crossing the river bridge, the river (often alive with trout), is seen running downstream alongside the road and on under a stone footbridge, where a country footpath leads off to the left up the side of the valley and through wooded country on to Ford.


Devizes
has about 500 listed buildings. Devizes Castle was built by Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury in 1080. Devizes was a textile town, trading in white woollen broadcloth, serge, drugget, felt and cassimere cloth, and in the 18th century had the largest corn market in the West Country. To a large extent Devizes shopping has avoided being taken over by the usual suspects, and traditional butchers greengrocers and a market hall remain in business and thrive. Perhaps the folk of Devizes treasure old fashoined values more than most.


Bradford on Avon
lies 8 miles (13km) southeast of Bath, in the hilly countryside between the Mendip Hills, Salisbury Plain and the Cotswold Hills, and is a popular tourist destination. The town is partly in the Avon Valley, and partly on the steep valley side. The building on the town bridge was originally a chapel, the weather vane on top taking the form of a gudgeon, an early Christian symbol. It then bacame a lock-up. The bridge was enlarged from an earlier packhorse bridge. The local industry was textile manufacture. Many historic weaver's cottages remain. The Saxon church of St. Lawrence dates back to 705, and may have been founded by St. Aldhelm.


Marlborough
is a historic market town on the old coaching route from Bath to London. It hosts a yearly Jazz Festival and has one of the widest streets in Britain, this being put to good use in the annual Mop Fairs, taking place on the Saturdays either side of October 11th. The neighbouring Savernake Forest was established by William the conqueror as a favourite Royal hunting ground. Due to a liking for thatched roofs, Marlborough suffered serious fires in 1653, 1679 and 1690. Thatch was then banned in the town by an Act of Parliament.


Lacock
is a picturesque village 3miles (5kn) southeast of Chippenham. The village has been used as a film and television set, notably for the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, the 2007 BBC production of Cranford. It has also made brief appearances in the Harry Potter films Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Lacock Abbey adjoins the village, this being made famous by William Henry Fox Talbot, a pioneer in photography. The Great Tithe Barn is an interesting building to visit. Nearby Reybridge is a good place to set out for a short walk to Lacock.  
Biddestone
This beautiful village lies a few miles west of Chippenham. Cyclists can get to Biddestone (mostly) along quiet country lanes. The small Norman church of St. Nicholas houses an interesting collection of organs. The more adventurous can carry on along a very narrow single track road down into Slaughterford, which lies on Bybrook, a tributary of the Bristol Avon. An idyllic spot, ideal for riverside rambling and dog walking. In the past local churches have used this location for open air adult baptisms. The remains of a paper mill and a corn mill can still be seen there.


Great Western Railway Museum, Swindon
The site of the GWR railway works in Swindon has been sympathetically redeveloped to house an excellent railway museum and an Outlet shopping centre. Together these offer a great day out for all family. The musuem tells the story of God's Wonderful Railway, particularly emphasising the employees culture of service and their dedication during the dark years of the second world war. The shopping centre retains original workshop architecture and artefacts, such as gantry cranes, drilling machines and engine wheels - a source of heritage and nostalgia for so many families in Swindon whose livelihoods were tied up with the railway.


The Peto Garden, Iford
Mediaeval Iford Manor lies near a small stone bridge over the River Frome. In 1899, following a lifetime of travelling and collecting, Harold Peto, architect and leading figure in the Arts and Crafts Movement bought Iford Manor, and dedicated his next 34 years to transforming the manor garden and its backing wooded hillside into a world-class Italianate garden. The visitor will be stunned by the beauty, calmed by the tranquility, and amazed at how much imaginative garden design can be condensed into such a small area. The garden has ponds, terraces, topiary, statues, columns, walks, lawns, and a cloister, where every summer Opera and Jazz performances are held. The cream teas are also very good on a lazy summer afternoon.


Calne.
When the Harris Pork factory closed in 1983 a large area of Calne town centre was laid bare, and the livelihood of one fifth of its townsfolk ended. Calne has since recovered, just as it did when its 18th Century broadcloth industry came to an end. Today light industry and IT businesses in Porte Marsh Industrial Estate on the edge of town prosper and provide employment, and the population has grown. A local landmark is the Calne White Horse at Cherill, on the edge of North Wessex Downs.


Stourhead Mansion and Gardens
were gifted by the Hoare family to the National Trust
in 1946. They had lived there since 1717. The mansion was built in the Palladian style between 1721 and 1725, but rebuilt in 1902 following a fire.