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Wiltshire Gazetteer

Not on the South Coast, not really West Country, and certainly not part of the Midlands or the Home Counties, Wiltshire is resolutely itself, Wessex to the core.

Lackham Museum of Agriculture and Rural Life

Location

Wiltshire Map

OS Ref: ST 925 700

Last Visited: 1989

Gloucester Old Spot - Lackham College

Gloucester Old Spot - Lackham College

Once part of Lackham Agricultural College, I remember it chiefly for the immaculately tended lawns and the citrons.

Now a wedding venue and conference centre, it is no longer open to the public.

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Littlecote House

Location

Wiltshire Map

OS Ref: SU 304 704

Last Visited: 1980

Littlecote House

Littlecote House

Littlecote House

Littlecote House

Fine old Tudor Manor House that was once the home of the Wills tobacco family until, in the 1980s, it was bought by some prat who tried to turn it into a theme park: "The Land that Forgot the Time", or some such nonsense.

It is now a hotel described as "tudor-style" by its current owners. Given that this is where Henry VIII courted Jane Seymour, that seem to be understating it a bit. It is no longer open to the general public.

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Maud Heath's Causeway

Location

Wiltshire Map

OS Ref: ST 947 757

Last Visited: 1980

Maud Heath's Causeway

Maud Heath's Causeway

Maud Heath was widow who in 1474 put money and land in trust to be used to make and maintain a causeway from Wick Hill to Chippenham Clift for the benefit of all "to walk dry shod".

For most of its 7 kilometres (4.25 miles) it little more than a raised pavement, but at Kellaways it becomes a causeway proper, raised up on a series of brick arches. This section was rebuilt in 1811.

External Links and References

  • External Links

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St Mary's Church, Odstock

Location

Wiltshire Map

OS Ref: SU 151 260

Last Visited: 2011

St Mary's, Odstock

St Mary's, Odstock

St Mary's Church, Odstock dates from 1297 and, although extensively restored and remodelled in 1870 by J. Fowler of Louth, still retains the feel of an Early English church.

The most famous resident of the graveyard is the gypsy Joshua Scamp, an innocent man hanged for the theft of a horse; a crime his son-in-law later confessed to.

The story goes that on the anniversary of his death, the gypsies would drink copiously in the local inn and then gather around Joshua's grave.

St Mary's, Odstock

St Mary's, Odstock

When the rector and churchwardens put a stop to this by locking the church door and uprooting the briar rose which the gypsies had planted on Joshua's grave, the gypsies put a curse on anyone who locked the church door in the future.

St Mary's Odstock

St Mary's
Odstock

Strangely, two churchwardens who defied the curse met with untimely deaths, and the rector then threw the church key into the nearby River Ebble. The church remained unlocked for many years.

It was not until 1992 that new keys were made and, following a service of blessing and rededication of the church by the Assistant Bishop, thus far, the curse appears to be having no effect.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Church of St. Mary
      Full text of Nicholas Pevsner's entry in The Buildings of England: Wiltshire, 1975 amongst other things.
      http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/en-319531-church-of-st-mary-odstock-
    • In Search of Joshua Scamp
      Ignoring all the paranormal waffle this site has the text of a contemporary account of Scamp's hanging, and the Journal of Gypsy Law Society's record of the curse.
      http://www.twilightshadowsparanormal.co.uk/insearchofjoshuascamp.html

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The Pepperbox

Location

Wiltshire Map

OS Ref: SU 212 248

Last Visited: 2010

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

Salisbury from Pepperbox Hill

Salisbury from Pepperbox Hill

The Pepperbox is a small octagonal two-story folly on Pepperbox Hill, vaguely resembling a 17th or 18th century pepper box or pepper pot.

It has fine views to the north-west over Salisbury and more restricted views to the south.

It was built in 1606 by Gyles Eyre, a local landowner. Some say that it was so that he could look down on his neighbours; others that it was a lookout for the ladies so that they could follow the progress of the hunt.

Marconi used this site as a receiving station during his demonstrations to the services at Salisbury, and in the Second World War it was used as a lookout post by the local Home Guard. It is now bricked up and looks rather lonely.

External Links and References

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Shearwater

Location

Wiltshire Map

OS Ref: ST 853 421

Last Visited: 2014

The Jetty, Shearwater

The Jetty, Shearwater

Shearwater Lake on the Longleat Estate is a beautiful spot. Mostly of interest to the fishing community, there is a pleasant walk to be had along the far side of the lake away from the road.

Shearwater

Shearwater

It can be extended into the surrounding forestry plantations, but they are a little dull as far as I could see.

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Stops Hill Tunnel, Hindon

Location

Wiltshire Map

OS Ref: ST 917 321

Last Visited: 2014

Stops Hill Tunnel

Stops Hill Tunnel

Not much is known about the Stops Hill Tunnel on the Tisbury to Hindon road.

It appears to have been built by Alderman William Beckford in the late 18th century as part of the extensive garden and landscape development of his Fonthill Gifford estate.

This could have been either to ease the gradients, or to segregate the public road from the park.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Parishes: Fonthill Gifford
      Dry as dust entry in the Victoria County History that mentions the tunnel in passing.
      http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/wilts/vol13/pp155-169

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Wilton Carpet Factory

Location

Wiltshire Map

OS Ref: SU 099 314

Last Visited: 2010

Wilton Carpet Factory

Wilton Carpet Factory

Wilton Carpet Factory

Wilton Carpet Factory

Wilton Carpet Factory

Wilton Carpet Factory

Now re-branded as the Wilton Shopping Village, the old carpet factory site is now entirely given over to a retail experience. However the site is very interesting in its own right, and it is a shame that they no longer offer guided tours.

There are some display boards in the lobby outside the toilets giving a brief history, but it really could do with some more information on what the various buildings were used for when the factory was in its heyday.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Wilton Carpets
      Somewhat confusing site relating to the factory and its current products. There are about us sections scattered all overt the place, which have little on the history of the factory.
      http://www.wiltoncarpets.com/
    • Wilton Shopping Village
      More on the retail experience.
      http://www.wiltonshoppingvillage.co.uk/

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Wilton Windmill

Location

Wiltshire Map

OS Ref: SU 275 615

Last Visited: 1986

Wilton Windmill

Wilton Windmill

Only working windmill in Wiltshire and the surrounding counties. Built in 1821 and worked commercially for over one hundred years, it then lay idle until it was restored in 1976.

Just to confuse matters, there are two Wiltons in Wiltshire. This is the Wilton near Great Bedwyn, and not the home of the former carpet factory outside Salisbury.

Check the Wilton Windmill's website for opening times etc.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Wilton Windmill
      Single page with some details of opening times etc.
      http://www.wiltonwindmill.co.uk/

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