13 Facts About Wiltshire


Wiltshire is characterised by its high downland and wide valleys.

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At the time of the Domesday Survey, the industry of Wiltshire was largely agricultural; 390 mills are mentioned, and vineyards at Tollard and Lacock.

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In 1794 it was decided at a meeting at the Bear Inn in Devizes to raise a body of ten independent troops of Yeomanry for the county of Wiltshire, which formed the basis for what would become the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, who served with distinction both at home and abroad, during the Boer War, World War I and World War II.

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Around 1800 the Kennet and Avon Canal was built through Wiltshire, providing a route for transporting cargoes from Bristol to London until the development of the Great Western Railway.

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The largest area of chalk in Wiltshire is Salisbury Plain, which is used mainly for arable agriculture and by the British Army as training ranges.

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The gross domestic product level in Wiltshire did not reach the UK average in 1998, and was only marginally above the rate for South West England.

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Wiltshire has thirty county secondary schools, publicly funded, of which the largest is Warminster Kingdown, and eleven independent secondaries, including Marlborough College, St Mary's Calne, Dauntsey's near Devizes, and Warminster School.

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Wiltshire is home to a University Technical College, UTC Swindon, specialising in engineering.

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Wiltshire is one of the few remaining English counties without a university or university college; the closest university to the county town of Trowbridge is the University of Bath.

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Roads running through Wiltshire include The Ridgeway, an ancient route, and Roman roads the Fosse Way, London to Bath road and Ermin Way.

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In general, Wiltshire is well served by rail, with 14 stations within its boundaries, although towns not served include Calne, Marlborough and Devizes.

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Airfields in Wiltshire include Old Sarum Airfield and Clench Common Airfield.

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Airports with scheduled services near Wiltshire include Bournemouth Airport, Bristol Airport, Cardiff Airport, Exeter Airport, Gloucestershire Airport, Oxford Airport, Heathrow Airport and Southampton Airport.

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