Sunday, 19 July 2009

Warminster, Wiltshire



Warminster is a town in western Wiltshire, England, by-passed by the A36, and near Frome and Westbury. It has a population of about 17,000 and is part of the West Wiltshire district. The town's name is believed to be derived from the name 'Were-minster'. The River Were runs through the town and can be seen running through the middle of the town park. The Minster church of St Denys sits on the River Were. The name Warminster first occurs in the early 10th century


Battlesbury Camp
History
The town was first settled in the Saxon period, though there are the remains of numerous earlier settlements nearby, including the Iron Age hill fort Battlesbury Camp and Cley Hill, the latter a site operated by the National Trust.
There are indications that a Middle Iron Age settlement may also have been situated just west of the town.
The town's prosperity following the growth of the wool trade in the Late Middle Ages caused the erection of many magnificent structures, including the Minster Church of Saint Denys, in a yew grove sacred from pre-Christian times, and including an organ originally destined for the then under-construction Salisbury Cathedral.

Middle Ages
During the Middle Ages the town became famous not only for its wool and cloth trade but also for its great prosperity as a corn market (it was second only to Bristol in the West of England). Many of the buildings which survive in the Market Place owe their origin to the great corn market days when they were used as stores and warehouses, or as inns and hostelries for the buyers and sellers who came from many miles around.

Civil War
During the Civil War (1642-1645) the town is thought to have changed hands at least four times between the Royalist and Parliamentary supporters. When James II came to the throne in 1685 the local gentry and the Wiltshire Militia supported him against the Duke of Monmouth who was defeated

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