Pictures of Wilton
Wilton was once a county town, it has also been a bishopric, a Royal residence and is one of the oldest boroughs in England. In 871 King Alfred founded an abbey here, this stood on ground now occupied by magnificent Wilton House, designed and rebuilt by Inigo Jones following a fire of 1647. The house contains sumptuous furnishings and fine paintings including works by Rubens, Van Dyck and Tintoretto.
In this flourishing town there were once 12 churches, although today hardly any of these remain and generally Wilton is known for its fine carpets, it was probably the first English town to manufacture them and was encouraged in this by the Earls of Pembroke. The Wilton Carpet Factory is situated close to Wilton House, here visitors can explore the world of carpet manufacture in its authentic setting around an 18th century courtyard. On display there are exhibits from 300 years of carpet making, there are also interesting demonstrations of hand-weaving.
The church of St.Mary and St. Nicholas is one of the town's most treasured possessions, it is a true architectural showpiece that was built at the behest of the Russian Dowager Countess of Pembroke, between 1881 and 1844. It lies on West Street, on the site of a former medieval church. The church is built in the Romanesque style depicting the style of the basilica in Lombardy and was designed by architects T.H. Wyatt and D. Brandon. Both the interior and exterior of the church are breath-taking in their beauty, there are fine marble columns which came from Porto Venere and stained glass from France.
The fact that Wilton is somewhat overshadowed by Salisbury, which is just a short riverside walk away, does nothing to detract from the charm of this old town. It has many good examples of Georgian property, most notably in Kingsbury Square. There is a fine market cross near to the Market House of 1738, a War Memorial to the dead of World War One and Two, and it broad streets contain several attractive shop fronts, these include antique shops. Visitors can expect to find interesting inns, excellent hotels and a good choice of restaurants.