Devizes Heritage is a website about the history, every day life, the green areas and open spaces around Devizes and its villages.

Devizes has a rich history with hundreds of important old buildings. It is situated in beautiful down land and has a rich current cultural life and an excellent Festival programme.

 

Above: Devizes Town Hall built around 1800 and the Norman St. John´s Church ca 1110 AD

 

Links are in blue, click on these for other web pages on this site; about the town's history its buildings and their historic residents, the Castle, Civil War battles, our Churches, old and modern schools, the Railway and Devizes Prison.  

 

Alan Carter, the webmaster, is now living in Peru, but still editing this website, writing a book on the battle of Roundway Down with Dr Chris Scott and pursuing his interests in photgraphy and ancient human migration to South America. Details are in the updated Contact and About page.  

 

The site is now large and you will find the the Search function useful. It searches only this site.

 

Click History  for information about prehistory and archaeology, the Castle  Devizes in the Civil War and the battle of Roundway Down 1643, our Churches, historic and listed houses, the Railway in Devizes, existing and past Schools, and the old Prison with details of some public hangings. 

 

Below: Every Thursday is market day in the Market Square in Devizes.

Above: the beautiful fountain in the Market Place. It was built in 1879 by public subscription to honour Thomas Sotherton Escourt ,Devizes MP and Home Secretary in 1859.

 

Click Buildings for extensive coverage of the listed and special buildings in Devizes, e.g. the Bear, Corn Exchange and Brownston  House etc are discussed in some detail.

 

Open Spaces for information about the Green, the Downs around Devizes, Roundway Hill and Oliver’s Castle, Drew's Pond, our White Horses and footpaths. 

Above: Devizes castle; built in 1840 on the site of the Norman castle -1080 motte and bailey, 1120 a stone fortess.The old castle was much larger than the modern one.

 

Below is St.John's Church; this was built at the same time as the Castle in the early 12th century by Bishop Roger of Salisbury.

Above: St. John the Baptist Church on Long Street in late evening light. The Tower held the Town gunpowder reserve in the Civil War and was handed over to Lord Hopton when he was beseiged for 3 days in July 1643.

  

The town developed around the Norman castle and Churches; the archaeological evidence is discussed. This is a developig section and it contains only a small section on Avebury but this will develop over time.

 

Click Galleries for photos on heritage topics.  

 

Below: Oliver's Castle, an iron age hill fort in Bromham Parish.  

Above Devizes and Roundway Down were the site of a major English Civil War battle in July 1643. St. Johns and St James Churches both bear scars of the Siege of Devizes . The King's army lifted the Siege and defeated Waller's Parliamentary up near Oliver's castle. There were 600 killed. Alan Carter, DH webmaster and Dr Chris Scott are researching the history of the battle and its impact, as part of the Civil War, on the area; the book will be published in 2013.

 

Please e-mail Alan Carter, at Devizes Heritage via the Contact  page or directly via

 

alancarter702@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Devizes from Roundway Hill. The green park land in the foreground is part of the New Park, Roundway which from the early 1700s to 1955 was home to 4 very significant Devizes families. See the Roundway House page.

 

The white building (back right) is Hillworth House . This 1830s house is the focal point of Hillworth Park which has undergone a £1.9 million improvement programme opening up the two areas of the old park and providing wider and better access from Hillworth Road. There are new courts, a rock climbing boulder, improved play facilities for children, a café, with a meeting room, and has conserved the grade 2 18th century Pavilion. The project was a Devizes Town Council initiative with joint funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Above: the Park in use during the hot summer.The Hillworth Park Gazetteer documents the Park and its history.

 Above: is an unusual photo of Devizes Castle . This photo was taken from the Tower of St. James Church - this church was originally part of Bishops Canning and it is set next to the historic   Crammer Pond and Green below.  

Modern Cultural events  Devizes is rich in community groups and spirit. There are fairs, carnivals and parades throughout the year. Click on the blue link to see photos of what has been happening in Devizes recently.The market place provides a venue for fairs and carnivals. There is a photogallery of these, click on the blue link to look at it. 

Above: Monday Market Street leading to the Norman St. Mary the Virgin Church. This was the site of the first market in Devizes from the 12th century and of a 16th century burning of a religious martyr.

 

Below: Morris dancing in the market Square. Devizes market is held in the historic  Market Square every Thursday. French markets are held there too from time to time.

 

 

 

Below - the famous Caen Hill Locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal at Devizes

Place image here

Below: the super basket swing in  the Green playground by the Crammer Pond.

Below a 7 foot monocycle and juggler in the Brittox Devizes.

Below: Pewsey Vale butterfly.