Saturday, 28 April 2012

May lunchtime talk

The Wiltshire Lands bought for an Oxford College is the subject of the May lunchtime talk to be given by Dr Angela Smith on Wednesday 9th May.

The land in question was acquired by Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester as an endowment for the new Corpus Christi College in Oxford, which was founded in 1517.

Lunchtime talks commence at about 1.10pm and last approx. 45 minutes.  Bring your sandwiches and we will provide tea or coffee.

Tickets cost £4 (£3 WANHS members) but prior booking is not required.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Evening tours of Alton Barnes and Alton Priors

Local Historian David Carson will be leading guided walks of Alton Barnes and Alton Priors on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer months.

During 'a tale of two villages' learn a host of fascinating facts covering the two churches, what the villages used to look like, the civil war, and eye witness accounts of the machinery riots of 1830.

The walks start from St Mary’s Church in Alton Barnes at 6.30pm and finish about 8.00pm. Car parking is available at St Mary’s Church, Alton Barnes.

Advance booking essential - maximum 20 people per tour. Visit our website to book on-line:

Wednesday 25th April
Wednesday 23rd May
Wednesday 27th June
Wednesday 25th July.

COST: £12 adults (under 16’s £8)

See the Snake's head fritillary at Cricklade

North Meadow in Cricklade is famous for its interesting flora, especially the Snake’s head fritillary, which is best seen in late April. The Nature Conservancy Council has estimated that 80% of the British population of this plant are found here, due to the ancient Lammas Land Management regime, a special type of common land.

Cricklade (motto in loco delicioso – in a delightful place) is the only town in Wiltshire on the Thames and can trace its origins at least as far as the Iron Age. Considered of importance to the Romans, Saxons and Normans, it was the Saxons who created the basic road layout of the present town by raising an earthen rampart around their settlement and building a timber wall in the time of King Alfred.

St Sampson’s Church is an ancient Celtic dedication, and there is evidence of Saxon work in the present church, although the nave is predominantly C13th. Many Norman details remain inside, including some rare heraldic carvings and an Elizabethan altar table.

St Mary’s Church at the north end of the High Street was built on the foundations of a Saxon Chapel, but was extensively restored in the mid C19th. It is now a Catholic Church.

11.30am - Meet at lay-by near North Meadow
1pm - Lunch (bring a picnic or in Cricklade).
2pm – St Mary’s Church
2.30pm – St Sampson’s Church.

This outing is limited to 25 persons.
COST: £10.00 PER PERSON (including donations to the two churches. Book on-line via our website.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Britain's Cold War

Our evening lectures series Britain's Cold War: A Disappearing Legacy starts on Wednesday 18 April at 7pm. It's not too late to book a place - go to - for more details.

The lecture series runs for six weeks and there will be two Saturday outings.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Stuck what to do with the children at the end of the holidays?

Come along to our 'Portraits of the Past' activity and create textile portraits based on characters from history.

Friday 13th - 11am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 3pm. All ages welcome, although we would ask that children under 8 be accompanied. Pre booking essential. £3.50 per child. Book on-line or contact the Museum shop.

Prehistoric Wiltshire: new gallery at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum

Come along and find out more about our exciting HLF funded project for new Bronze Age galleries at the Museum. Find out what stories we will be able to tell in the new galleries and how our collection will be displayed.

This special Lunchtime Talk, on Thursday 12 April, will be given by our Director, David Dawson. Start time us 1.10pm and is expected to last about 45 minutes.

What Makes Devizes Special?

An illustrated lunchtime talk by our former Librarian Dr Lorna Haycock.

Wednesday 11 April 2012 starting at 1.10pm - come early as Lorna's talks are always popular. Bring your sandwiches, we will provide tea/coffee.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Imber Open this weekend

Imber will be accessible between 6 and 9 April 2012, the Ministry of Defence have advised.

This is an opportunity to visit the village on Salisbury Plain which was evacuated in 1943 for military training and remains so today. The Grade I Listed church will be open. The church is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust which has spent a considerable sum of money on its repair and conservation. Amongst its treasures are 13th and 15th century wall paintings; also, a 17th century table of changes for bell ringers.

St Giles Church will be open on the following dates and times:

Friday 6 April between 1200hrs and 1700hrs (Good Friday)

Saturday 7 April between 1000hrs and 1700hrs

Sunday 8 April between 1115hrs and 1700hrs (Easter Sunday)

Monday 9 April between 1000hrs and 1700hrs

On Easter Day there will be an Easter Egg Hunt in the churchyard. This will be open to all children who, on finding a token, will be given a chocolate egg. So bring the children for a fun few hours.

On Easter Monday afternoon a visiting team of bell ringers from Devon will attempt a full peal on the church bells. This will take approximately two and a half hours to complete.

Exhibitions on Imber village and its church will be on view in the church throughout the weekend. Refreshments will be available whilst the church is open.

Only the metalled roads from Warminster, Gore Cross (A360), Heytesbury and Bratton and the track leading to the church should be used. You can see an outline map of how to reach Imber by going to the Find Us page.

All other areas are out of bounds to the general public. Read the latest SPTA Newsletter for detailed safety information regarding the Salisbury Plain Training Area.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

We are open this Easter weekend

The Museum will be open over the Easter weekend:

Friday 6 April - noon to 4pm
Saturday 7 April - 10am to 5pm
Sunday 8 April - noon to 4pm
Monday 9 April - noon to 4pm.

Normal museum admission charges will apply. There will also be drop-in holiday activities for children on Easter Monday.

Our Archive and Library will be open Friday 6th - noon to 4pm. Please contact us in advance if you woiuld like to view specific material.