In AD 853, Ethelswitha (sister to Alfred the Great) married the King of Mercia in Chippenham.
 Alfred was then a boy of four and the wedding was held on the site of St. Andrew's church. According to Bishop Asser's Life of King Alfred Chippenham was, under Alfred's reign, a royal vill; historians have also argued, from its proximity to the royal forests at Melksham and Barden, that it was probably a hunting lodge.
Alfred's daughter was also married in Chippenham.

Danish Vikings successfully besieged Chippenham in 878, though Alfred escaped. Later that year Alfred decisively defeated the Danes at the Battle of Ethandun, whose forces then surrendered to Alfred at Chippenham (ushering in the establishment of the Danelaw).

John Aubrey born at Easton Piers or Percy, near Kington St Michael,near Chippenham , Wiltshire, on 12 March 1626.

" an English antiquary, natural philosopher and writer. He is perhaps best known as the author of the Brief Lives, his collection of short biographical pieces.

He was a pioneer archaeologist, who recorded (often for the first time) numerous megalithic and other field monuments in southern England, and who is particularly noted as the discoverer of the Avebury henge monument.

 The Aubrey holes at Stonehenge are named after him, although there is considerable doubt as to whether the holes that he observed are those that currently bear the name."

... a very colorful life - wikipedia HERE

Eddie Cochran

On 17 April 1960, American singers Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent , and songwriter Sharon Sheeley were involved in a car crash in Chippenham at Rowden Hill.

Cochran died as a result of his injuries and a memorial plaque was erected near the site. Each year Chippenham hosts an Eddie Cochran festival

Wikipedia HERE



The Wansdyke

The ditch and bank runs from the Avon valley south of Bristol, over Morgan's Hill near Devizes to Savernake Forest near Marlborough in Wiltshire.


It is not as familiar to many people as Offa's Dyke or Hadrian's Wall, but it is one of the largest linear earthworks in the UK.


 Wansdyke was originally a large bank with a deep ditch in front - on the south side, and it runs in an east-west alignment. This points to a perceived or actual danger from the north. Who the builders were is not known.


 The Wansdyke stems from the Anglo-Saxon god Woden; this does not mean that it was necessarily the Saxons who built it. 


more HERE


Tan Hill

.....this is a strange one

Hill figure and stone circle 

Formerly, Tan Hill had a hill figure of a white horse, sometimes called the Tan Hill Donkey due its notably large head.

The truth about its existence was originally unknown, with the only direct evidence coming from author Kathleen Wiltshire, who in her book Wiltshire Folklore, published in 1975, wrote about the small donkey being still party visibile

"on Tan Hill, though the legs have become quite overgrown... This pony or donkey is 75 feet from nose to tail, which stretches down much like that of the Uffington horse, and its head is very large.".


She went on to write that in "the 'valley' between Tan Hill and Rybury Camp stands a miniature stone circle of nine upright sarsen stones about four feet in height, in the centre of which lies a prostrate stone, about the length of a man. A pathway leads up to the 'donkey' from the circle."[ The figure subsequently became known as Mrs Wiltshires Donkey.     

  wikipedia HERE  

could it have looked something like this picture on the right ?


Oliver's Castle 

History and  Archaeology of this beautiful Iron Age fort.


Prehistory & Archaeology around Devizes

Above: West Kennet Long Barrow near Avebury. Built around 3650BC it was in use as a cemetery for about 1000 years and 50 skeletons were found. Their ancestors built Silbury Hill.

Above: Silbury Hill is the largest man-made mound in Europe. It compares in height and volume to the contemporary Egyptian pyramids. It was probably completed in around 2400 BC and contains no burial. Its significance is linked as a place of "worship "  for the permanent springs and river near it. Water was essential for life in chalk country.

more from HERE