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Bradshaw’s Guide


This is a parliamentary borough, on the Great Western Railway, in North Wiltshire, on the river Avon, but not otherwise remarkable, except, as being a great seat of the cheese trade. Population, 7,075, who send two members to parliament. A little cloth and silk are made. It has two tanneries, a foundry, four banks, a new Town Hall and Market House, built for £12,000, at the cost of J. Neeld, Esq., M. P., of Grittleton, and a long bridge on 23 arches. The old church large and handsome. In the time of Alfred it was a city of strength, and was taken by the Danes in 8S0. It is delightfully situated in a valley on the south bank of the river Avon, by which it is almost surrounded.

In the neighbourhood are Lacock Abbey, seat of – Talbot, Esq., the inventor of Photography; Bowood, the seat of the Marquis of Lansdowne; Sloperton, formerly the seat of Moore, who died in 1852, and is buried at Bromham, near Spye Park, the Starkies’ seat. At Bremhill, the poet Bowles died, being the vicar, in 1850. Corsham House, Lord Methuen, is a Tudor building, with a gallery of Dutch and other masters. Castle Combe, in a sheltered hollow, on a branch, of the Avon, is the seat of G. P. Scrope, Esq., who has written the history of this ancient barony.

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