August 27th, 2012
.July 26th, 2012.
Alan Carter, researcher and webmaster of Devizes Heritage has moved. His contact details have changed apart from his e-mail address CONTACT ALAN
July 24th, 2012
The fields on Oliver's castle and around its car park are full of poppies at the moment. Link
July 21st, 2012
Devizes Chamber Choir held a very succesful concert with music to celebrate to celebrate two Diamond Jubilees on Saturday July 21st in St Mary's Church in Bishops Cannings. It was held in front a packed church audience. For details click here.
June 18th, 2012
Devizes Chamber Choir Summer Concert 2012
in St Mary's Church, Bishops Cannings
Saturday, 21 July 2012 at 7.30pm
Music to Celebrate the Diamond Jubilees of Two Queens
Director - Pamela Kempton
The programme will include pieces from Handel, Mendelssohn, "Oliver!" and Gilbert and Sullivan dedicated to Queen Victoria's reign and death;
And the Beatles, Abba, "Queen", Howard Goodall and Edward Elgar to invoke Queen Elizabeth's long reign.
Tickets £8 at the door or from choir members
March 16 2012
Nicky Robinson used to live in Besborough Lodge on the canal. She has written a comprehensive and very interesting artcle on its history.If any one has new information on the Lodge please contact us
November 30th, 2011
I have finally got around to uploading 12 photos of the Battle of Cheriton in Hampshire in the summer of this year. These slides are nos 53 to 66. This splendid event was organised by the Battle of Cheriton project and the Sealed Knot. This was the battle when Waller avenged his Roundway Down defeat by Hopton. I suspect not many ate like this in 1644!!!
November 27th, 2011
I have updated the Devizes Prison (County House of Corrections) page and added a separate photogallery for it.
November 15th 2011
I have added 20 Civil war re-actment photos of the Battle of Chippenham held in the summer of 2011. They start at slide 32 in this link
November 5th, 2011
Devizes Chamber Choir announces its Christmas Concert
Christmas Music and Carols for Choir and Audience
Conductor: Pamela Kempton
Handel: Messiah in 3 minutes!! and Sweelinck: Hodie Christus natus est
Saturday 3 December 2011
at 7.30 pm in St. John's Church, Devizes
Tickets £8 from the choir, Devizes Books, and on the door
under 18s free
October 22nd, 2011
The Lawrence Society of Art Annual Exhibition will be held in the Corn Exchange, Devizes from Wednesday 9th November to Saturday 12th November inclusive.
Admission free. Come and see the varied and talented works on display.
September 27th 2011
I have updated the Archaeology and Prehistory page. "Digital Digging" is a very interesting project with a website. Links are given to resources such as Marden Henge, the Sanctuary at Avebury and Wiltshire Hillforts. There website is given at Prehistory
September 25th, 2011
Which Devizes Church is this? Where was I when I took the photo? Alan Carter I have added some interesting sections to the online history links page
Wiltshire Notes and Queries was an Antiquarian and Genealogical journal published between 1893 and 1916 in Devizes. It has some interesting historical articles on Wiltshire with some good photogtaphs. Control and click on the blue link below to get the various volumes.
WNAQ 1893 - 1895 Volume 1
WNAQ 1896 to 1898 Volume 2
WNAQ 1899 to 1901 Volume 3
WNAQ 1902 to 1904 Volume 4
WNAQ 1905 to 1907 Volume 5
WNAQ 1908 to 1910 volume 6
WNAQ 1911 to 1913 Volume 7
WNAQ 1914 to 1916 Volume 8
and "Marlborough in Olden times" an article from Memorials of old Wiltshire 1906
August 31st, 2011 The Devizes Street Fair was held on August 28th in the Market Square. There were a very interesting selections of stalls, entertainers, food and cafe outlets and a rock climbing wall.Photo - gallery
August 21st, 2011
The Crammer Pond wall rebuilding project is nearing completion in August 2011. There have been problems with funding and St. James Church has finally raised their share. The project was delayed by nesting moorhens in the spring and now in August the problem of oil contamination has raised its financial head. Hopefully the Highways Department can be persuaded to pay to clear up the cost of this road pollution. Photos of the new wall, the barrage and machines in the pond carrying out this much needed project appear at the two following locations the rebuilding PG and the Crammer Pond and Green PG
August 14th, 2011
Devizes Chamber Choir summer concert a great success. This exciting and varied concert was performed at Urchfont Parish church before an audience of 112 people. Dr. Pamela Kempton received an enthusiatic response from the choir and audience alike in her first concert with her new choir.
August 3rd, 2011,
Devizes Chamber Choir announces its summer concert for 2011. It will be held at Urchfont Parish Church on Saturday August 13th at 7.30 pm. Tickets cost £5 at the door or from Devizes Books. Prospective or new members might like to come along and see the choir, meet members and think about joining. The new season's rehearsals begin on Tuesday September 6th at Sheep Street Baptist Church at 7.30pm. We will be preparing for a joint concert with the Swindon Choral Society and the Christmas Concert.
August 2nd, 2011
The August newsletter of the Cavaliers of the Devizes Millennium White Horse has been published on this website. It contains important decisions about the future management of the White Horse. The AGM on September 30th will discuss if and in what form the Cavaliers Society should continue. This news letter is aso provided as a link off the Cavaliers Page on this website
June 27th, 2011
The Wiltshire Heritage Museum has since its inception in 1853 published a valuable Journal on Archaeology and natural history of wiltshire. Google boks has been allowed to digitise some of these journals. Devizes Heritage has put these into a readily usable page for readers of this website. WANHS online will take you to this page. An index for the first 24 years is also supplied. This provides a valuable resource in the comfort of your own home to study Wiltshire's history and archaeology.
June 23, 2011
Further to the Chippenham History announced yesterday I have added History of the Borough and Town of Calne by A.E.W. Marsh 1903. This is a superb search-able on-line History. In addition I have reorganised the General History Link page
June 22nd, 2011
I have found a useful online and seachable History of Chippenham by the Reverend J.J.Daniell that he wrote in 1894. It has an interesting section on the Civil War from 1642 to 1650.
Chris Scott and Alan Carter have agreed to write a book about the Battle of Roundway Down and its impacts on the south west and the more local area. We welcome ideas or information on the Royalist and Parliamentary armies, pensions of the maimed soldiers and any soldiers who fought there . Please contact Alan by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01380 723519
June 15th 2011
Alan Carter has abstracted some details of young Tommy Lawrence living at the Bear Inn in Devizes from James Waylen's 1859 "History of Devizes" where his father was the landlord. This has charming details of some of the celebrities who visited him and some family details.
June 14th, 2011
The Lawrence Art Society now has their website run off the Devizes Heritage site. They have a page in the Culture section. Their site gives contact details for new members, their programme for 2011/12, notice of a major exhibition on November 8th, 2011. A short biography of Sir Thomas Lawrence is given along with a growing photogallery of his paintings.
June 13th 2011
An article on the old Roundway Hospital - the Wiltshire Asylum for the Insane - 1851 to 1995 has been added to the History page. A photogallery of old and new photos is also provided.
May 7th 2011.
Conference on "The English Civil War in the south west with a focus on the Battle of Roundway Down 1643 and its consequences" - April 30th, 2011.
The conference was well attended and turnd out to be most enjoyable. 62 delegates listened to the 5 speakers. There were information stationsprovided by Devizes Heritage, the Batlefield Trust and military equipment brought by Alan Turton and, Gary Walling of the Sealed Knot. 23 people went on the Battlefield tour the following day May 1st. A short report and photos are provided on the Conference page. Below Alan Carter addressing the conference in the elegant Devizes Town Hall ballroom.
22 04 2011
The final programme and speaking order for the Conference on the "Civil War in the West with a focus on the Battle of Roundway Down" has been published. Programme
The conference is at Devizes Town Hall on Saturday April 30th, 2011.
We ask that those not yet registered for the conference do so soon. The Tour on Sunday is filling up and it is restricted to those attending the conference. The cost is £5 and details will be given at registration on Saturday April 30th. More information is given at Conference
09 04 2011
The Kennet and Avon Canal pages have been expanded with more information and photos. There are now three files; the Outdoor use of the Canal around Devizes, the History of the whole canal and a photogallery Above right Photo of Caen Locks by Neil Maw.
Please register for the Conference on the Civil War in the West and the Battle of Roundway Down. Date 10.30 am to 4.30 pm April 30th 2011 at Devizes Town Hall. Speakers include Professor Malcolm Wanklyn, Chris Scott, Dr Glenn Foard, Alan Turton and Alan Carter. For details see the webpage Conference. In Devizes tickets are available at Devizes Books.
07 04 2011
The Castle is now being marketed for weekly rental purposes. Only £8000 per week will allow you to step where monarchs fought and played! Go to the Devizes castle page.
06 04 2011
The Drew's Pond Wood web page and the its separate photogallery have been reorganised and upgraded. It is definitely worth a new look.
27 03 2011
The Hillworth Park pages have been updated with new photos and information on the Heritage Lottery Project. The Park's regeneration programme, funded between the Town Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund, has started. On the Home page is photo of the Park from the southern car park which shows that the central hedge and many trees have been taken down. The Park's eventual new and more useful layout can now be better understood. Work is underway to conserve the Grade 2*historic garden pavilion - right. The development of the Park's new facilities will begin this Spring and be finished in 2012.
21 03 2011
Four photos of Devizes Castle have been added to the
Photogallery. Two of the South Tower and two of "Nut Walk" the flat walkway over the "sally port" on the west side of the Castle. This was walk was a favourite stroll for the Kings and Queens of England in the 13th and 14th centuries who visited their Castle from time to time.
17 03 2011
Dr. Glenn Foard's work on the battle of Bosworth was shown on "Time Team" last night. Glenn led a team of archaeologists that has discovered the true site of the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 where Richard III was defeated by Henry Tudor who then seized the throne as Henry VII - father of Henry VIII. His analysis of the cannon ball finds has proved crucial to this
success "Time Team and Bosworth"
Dr. Foard (on right in the photo left will be talking at the Conference in Devizes on April 30th about the artillery finds that have been made and future archaeological work on Roundway Down that he hopes to start in 2012.
01 03 2011
Lord Hopton's full account of the retreat from Lansdown, the Siege of Devizes and the Battle of Roundway has been included in the 17th century accounts of the battle of Roundway.
It is item 4.
25 02 2011
Please register for the Conference on the Civil War in the West and the Battle of Roundway Down are now available for purchase. Date April 30th 2011 at Devizes Town Hall. Speakers include Professor Malcom Wanklyn, Chris Scott, Dr Glenn Foard, Alan Turton and Alan Carter. For details see the webpage Conference. In Devizes tickets are available at Devizes Books.
24 02 2011
A biography of John Anstie (1743 - 1830) woollen manufacturer in Devizes has been written by Marlene Lewis of the Devizes U3a Local History Group. It is an extensive addition to our site.
17 02 2011
In 1141 Count Hervey, of Brittany purchased Devizes castle from King Stephen. But following the KIng's capture at the Battle of Lincoln later that year Queen Matilda's triumphant forces besieged the castle and Hervey was allowed to return to Brittany. James Waylen in his wonderful History of Devizes has drawn an engraving of this Siege. Whilst not accurate it does give us an idea of the 12th century Devizes castle. This is shown in detail on the Devizes Castle and castle photogallery web pages.
16 02 2011
Considerable new information has been added to the Inns of Devizes page. Informaton on all the licensed 1818 pubs, with their landlords, is given. Details on the Pelican in the Market Place since 1818 has been added. A lot of information on ale and beer prices and brewers since the 1550s has been added. The White Swan in the Market Place was operating in 1630 - new information. A Beadle and Ale taster was given a house in the Market Place in 1654 etc.
15 02 2011
I have added Lord Clarendon's important 17th century account of the Civil war to two places on this site. This comes courtesy of the fantastic Google books electronic (digital) programme.
Bookings for the Roundway Down battlefield Tour on Sunday May 1st are rolling in quite strongly. This tour is open only to registered participants of the Saturday April 30th Confernce in Devizes. If you are considering the Tour please register as detailed at Conference
01 02 2011
Devizes Heritage is increasing in popularity; in January 2010 we received 425 unique visitors and in January 2011 it had gone up to 2482. A unique visitor is one person counted as 1 throughout the month however many time she visits.
I have added 2 old prints, a copy of the Dore 1759 map around the market place and a 1973 map of Devizes with historic sites annotated. These are at the beginning of the Old photos and prints photogallery
28 01 2011
I have added a small piece on the Devizes Union workhouse that existed between 1836 and 1948. I have done a brief analysis of the 1881 census of the workhouse inmates. I have never seen a photograph of the workhouse - if any one has one please send me a copy to share with our readers.
23 01 2011
A request to those interested in the Conference in Devizes on Aprl 20th, 2011 on the Civil War in the
West with a focus on the Battle of Roundway Down -. please register for the conference and request a place on the Battlefield tour on Sunday, May 1st as mentioned on the link above.
21 01 2011
Two interesting photos have been added to the Devizes Brewers' page and two different ones to the Inns of Devizes photogallery.
20 01 2011
Six new photos of Devizes castle have been added to the castle photogallery page. One of them shows the early 18th century brickwork of the tower which supported one of the two windmills that were used to grind rapeseed oil and snuff. The English Heritage
listed building description for Devizes castle has been updated - see the bottom of the Castle webpage.
14 01 2011
A link to a detailed description of the development of the Railway in Wiltshire and a separate detailed map of railways and canals has been added to the Railway page. The detailed history is searchable online too.
12 01 2011
- I have added a location map for the old Northgate brewery that operated from 1839 to 1885 on the brewers and brewing pages.
- Two very important links have been added to the History links page. James Waylen wrote two books in the 19th century which are essential for the Devizes and district historian. The full searchable texts for his "Chronicles of Devizes 1839" and "History of Devizes 1859" are available through these two links.
08 01 2011
Simon Marsh, Trustee of the Batlefields Trust, has sent me the biography of Sir John Digby. He was a Colonel of Horse (cavalry) in Lord Wilmot's Army sent from Oxford to relieve the Siege of Devizes in July 1643. He was part of the horse that chased off Sir Athur Haselrigge's parliamentary cavalry from the battlefield over Roundway Down and forced them down the slopes of Oliver's Castle to their deaths in the Bloody ditch. Details are in section 3 of the 17th century accounts of the Battle of Roundway Down.
06 01 2011
- A new web page has been added to the History section. It contains a history of Brewers and brewing in Devizes since the 16th century. There are still many gaps and readers with additional information are urged to contact Devizes Heritage.
- The Devizes Culture page has been updated with new photos and links to the Wharf theatre, the White Horse Opera, the Carnival web site and the Christmas concert of Devizes Chamber Choir in ST. John's.
05 01 2011
A Happy New Year to all our readers.
I have added some photos to the Devizes Castle page and the Castle photogallery page too. The aerial photo below was taken in about 1960 and shows the castle and its relation to the Town
04 12 2010
West Kennet Avenue, Avebury in snow and mist
Three photos of the snowy Avenue at Avebury have been added to the Open Space photogallery
01 22 2010
I have annotated a photo of Roundway Down from "Coatefield Hill" above Windsor Drive, Devizes. This was used by besieged Royalists as a view point when Waller's forces were elsewhere. Colonel Slingsby of the Royalist Foot had a view in 1643 of the Parliamentary Cavalry being chased miles across the Down. He may have been near where this photo was taken or in the castle. This is discussed in section 5 of this Link
27 11 2010
A new Cultural events page has been added to the Home page. It starts with yesterday's lantern parade and will over time record what is happening in the our beautiful market Town.There is a photogallery of lantern parade photos too.
26 11 2010
I have added the full account of the Battle of Lansdowne, the retreat to Devizes and the Battle of Roundway Down by Colonel Walter Slingsby of Lord Mohun's Regiment of Foot onto the website. He commanded the Royalist Foot (Infantry) that lost 40 men fighting Waller at the ford in Rowde. He was an important eye witness to the Battle of Roundway Down. The Retreat and Battle of Roundway section is item 5 in Appendix 2 and the full account by him of both battles is at Lansdown and the Roundway Down.
23 11 2010
Chris West has supplied a post card of Escourt Street in about 1910. it shows the British Lion, formely the Ship. The pub looks good with its natural stone facing. The photo is towards the bottom of the Inns of Devizes page and is the first photo in the photogallery. More information on the history of this pub would be welcome.
22 11 2011
A) Notice of a major Conference in Devizes
"The Battle of Roundway Down 1643 and the Siege of Devizes -. reinterpreted". A day conference for civil war enthusiasts, academics and the public.
Date: April 30th 2011 from 10 am until 4.30 pm at Devizes Town Hall, Wiltshire.
Speakers: Professor Malcom Malcom Wanklyn, Dr. Glenn Foard, Alan Carter and Alan Turton
Tickets £15, concession £12 (OAP, students, Battlefield Trust members).This conference is organised by Devizes Heritage and the Battlefield Trust. Full details at .Conference
B) Inns of Devizes I have edited the article from the County History of Wiltshire volume 10 and included it on the Inns of Devizes page. It gives a very interesting account of our pub heritage. Don't forget to look at the Pubs Photo gallery too..
C) A new page on the History of the Cloth industry This includes the wool, cloth and textile industry in the Devizes area. This industry is of course was for centuries the foundation of the wealth of Devizes.
21 11 2010
Chris Henley has supplied Devizes Heritage with a photo of the old Great Western Inn on Station Road. This has been added to the Inns web page with a short history; a Wadworth's pub serving the railway travellor, known since at least 1868 and demolished in 1982. A larger version of the photo appears in the Pubs photogallery,
16 11 2010
Some photos from a November walk in Roundway Covert have been added to the photogallery; blue skies, fog below, we can see through the trees now and views open up
Scott Pinkowski in the USA has sent us some photos of his grandfather in Devizes in world war 2 and his story of his service throughout England and Europe. I am grateful to him for this memorial to a now dead GI and ally of the UK against the Nazi tyranny.
12 11 2010
Devizes Castle has a new owner. Devizes Heritage can now reveal that Julia Dempster, an international interior designer with her own busines in Dubai, has bought the property which was up for sale at an asking price of £2 million. Let us hope that her ambiton to own the whole castle buildings and grounds will eventually lead to public access to Devizes' historic heart. A full history of Devizes Castle is included in the history section.
A further first hand account of the battle of Roundway Down has been added to Appendix 2;it is now the first account. This was obtained from the Thomason Tracts in the British Library. It was written by a Colonel in Waller's Parliamentary Army after they had fled to Bristol. It was published in London only a few days after the battle.
23 10 2010
James Waylen also wrote a History of Marlborough in 1854. I have extracted the pages on the Civil War Siege of Marlborough December 1642 and included the months up to the battle of Roundway Down in July 1643. The looting and firing of Marlborough led to the surrender of Devizes to the King in March 1643 with out a shot being fired, they had learned by example.