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Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

Pictures of Malmesbury

a Historic Market Town in the county of Wiltshire

About Malmesbury

Malmesbury lies in a favoured hill-top position above the River Avon, spanned along this stretch by six bridges. The town stakes its claim to be the oldest borough in England on the fact that it was granted a charter in the year 924 by King Edward.

The town has some notable buildings and these include St.John's Almshouses and the impressive 16th-century fine stone Market Cross. The Green Dragon Inn has a 14th-century window, and the Bell Inn is of interest. Important to the town is the splendid ruins of the 12th-century Benedictine Abbey - all that remains of an Abbey founded here in the 7th-century. The magnificent nave survived the Reformation and became the parish church. The south porch contains fine examples of Romanesque Sculpture and the figures of the apostles surmounted by an angel are perhaps the best to be seen in any English church. The Norman interior has 14th-century lierne vaulting and there is a 15th-century tomb, complete with reclining effigy, said to be King Athelstan. There is a rare watching loft situated above the nave arcade. The church has beautiful stained glass including a window commemorating a monk who broke his legs attempting to fly with home-made wings from the roof of the original abbey in the 11th-century. The church has many other beautiful treasures that are doubtless a legacy of the great wool-trading days from which the town prospered and gained stability.

Interestingly, the philosopher Thomas Hobbes was born here in 1588 and John Aubrey, the country antiquary was educated at the local grammar school in the 17th-century. Apart from wool and textiles, the town also had a lace making industry. This is an old town that is well worth seeing, it has the appearance of timelessness, and is as though modernity had passed it by. The town offers a rich historic experience, it is a conservation area that contains many listed buildings, at the same time it offers excellent shopping and recreational facilities both in the town and the lush green countryside beyond.

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Nearby attractions..

Malmesbury Abbey

Malmesbury Abbey (11 Pictures)

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