About Wiltshire life
May . 2014
Are you looking to buy or rent that perfect country cottage or family home in Wiltshire?
If you are looking to buy or rent that perfect country cottage or family home in Wiltshire then you have picked a great place to live in. With its sweeping chalk and limestone downland and pretty valleys and vales, this sizable (1,345 sq miles), mainly rural county, stretches from Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire in the North to Dorset and Hampshire in the South with Somerset to the West and Berkshire to the East.
Introduction to Wiltshire life
The bulk of the county’s population of 613,000 live along the M4 corridor to the North with Swindon, Chippenham and Marlborough being the main towns, the former being the largest and known for its engineering, electronic and manufacturing industries. To the West are a number of smaller towns such as Trowbridge, Melksham and Westbury that grew from the 19th Century wool industry.
To the South of the market and brewing town of Devizes on the Kennet & Avon Canal is the large expanse of Salisbury Plain known for its military training grounds and prehistoric archaeology with Stonehenge and Avebury being amongst the most famous Neolithic sites in the World.
Property in Wiltshire
Rural View sell and let village homes, farmhouses and country property in South Wiltshire. This lovely agricultural area being made up of five river valleys called the Chalke, Nadder, Wylye, Woodford and Bourne Valleys. Rather confusingly, the rivers running through the Chalke and Woodford Valleys are actually the Ebble and Avon respectively whilst the Western end of the Wylye Valley is known as the Deverill Valley and the upper reaches of the Nadder Valley are called the Donheads! These rivers cut through rolling chalk downland, much of which is classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and all join up near or at Salisbury to become the River Avon.
Salisbury’s roots go back to the Iron Age hill fort of Old Sarum before construction of the iconic cathedral began in 1217. This attractive medieval city holds twice weekly markets and is well known for its arts, schools, hospital and the many historic buildings around the Cathedral Close. The railway station has direct mainline services to London (Waterloo).
Just to the West of Salisbury, at the gateway to the Nadder and Wylye Valleys, is the small town of Wilton; the ancient capital of Wessex, site of the riverside stately home of Wilton House and once famous for the quality of its carpet production.
Despite its military connections, Warminster’s name is thought to derive from the River Were and owes its prosperity in the middle ages from corn, cloth and bell making. Close by is the Longleat Estate with its stately home, safari park, holiday centre and boating lake at Shear Water whilst Stourhead is much loved for its splendid National Trust owned gardens.
The southern border of the county forms part of Cranborne Chase, a large chalk plateau, the highest point being at Win Green with views as far as the Isle of Wight.
5 little known facts about Wiltshire
- The largest Chinese restaurant in the UK is The Pagoda Palace in Swindon
- Bremilham Church, Malmesbury measuring just 13 x 11ft, is the smallest church in Britain with a single pew for 4 people & standing room for 6
- The Britpop band Oasis took their name from an Inspiral Carpets tour poster in Noel & Liam Gallagher’s bedroom; one of the venues was the Oasis Leisure Centre in Swindon
- The phenomenon of crop circles originate from the 1980’s in North Wiltshire particularly around the Marlborough Downs & Pewsey Vale area
- The people of Wiltshire used to be known as Moonrakers following excise men catching smugglers trying to retrieve contraband hidden in a pond at night; the criminals said they were raking the moon’s reflections on the surface of the water to gather cheese