Possibly named after ‘Merle Barrow’ said to be the burial site of Merlin, magician to King Arthur. The barrow is now located in the grounds of Marlborough College.
Nearby are neolithic, bronze and iron age settlements, Avebury being the
and the important Roman settlement of Cunetio at the junction of the London to Bath and Winchester to Cirencester roads.
The present town developed in both Saxon and Norman times and boasts one of the widest High Streets in the country – its unified character arising from its rebuilding in 1653 following the great fire.
The town has an excellent selection of shops, pubs and cafes in the High Street and the various fascinating back alleys and small courtyards with medieval timber framed houses which escaped the great fire.
Cardinal Wolsey was ordained as a priest in St.Peters Church in 1498.
Market town in the centre of the county. The town surrounds the site of the first castle built by the Bishop of Salisbury in 1080 and said to have been the finest castle in Europe at the time.
The town has many fine Georgian houses and is home to Wadworths, one of the largest family breweries still operating in the country. Local pubs still receive their supplies by horse and dray.
Just one mile north of the town is one of the engineering wonders of the inland canals. The Caen Hill flight of locks raise the Kennet and Avon Canal 237 ft. within a distance of 2 ½ miles.
Within sight of the locks is Roundway Down the site of a famous royalist victory during the civil war where 4000 parliamentary troops are said to have perished.
An excellent centre for exploring the county with a wide range of facilities and shops for the visitor.
A garrison town sitting below the western escarpment of Salisbury Plain. Its prosperity originated not only from its wool and cloth trade but from its Corn Market, second only to Bristol in the West of England.
Nearby is the world famous Longleat Estate with its renowned Safari Park
and Stourhead, the supreme example of an 18c landscape garden in the country.