About Royal Wootton Bassett

 

On Sunday, October 16th 2011, in a moving ceremony,the town received the Letters Patent from Princess Anne on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen and became Royal Wootton Bassett. The town is only the third in British History to receive this honour. This honour was given to the town because of the support and respect given to the brave servicemen and women who tragically lost their lives in defence of our country. 11143144_822649034490274_3641388198063000846_n copy

 

Town hall

 

The location of Royal Wootton Bassett just two miles from junction 16 of the M4, makes it an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding countryside and discover its many visitor attractions.

Royal Wootton Bassett’s best known landmark the Town Hall was built at the end of the 17th Century, it owes its existence to the political ambitions of the Hyde family (the Earls of Clarendon) who presented the building to the town, and also had the market charter renewed.

The upper floor of the hall was a council chamber built on 15 pillars, while below there was a store room for market goods and also a Blind House or lock-up, in which drunks were detained overnight. The building was extensively restored in 1889 when the Blind House disappeared.

The Town Hall now houses a museum which opens Saturdays 10.00-12.00 in the winter and Saturdays and Wednesdays 10.00-12noon in the summer when volunteers are available.

Town Hall Museum –

Winter Opening Hours 2016

Our last Wednesday is 14th December. We reopen on Wednesdays on 15th February. (Closed on Wednesdays during January and part of February).

Our last Saturday is 17th December. We reopen on Saturdays on 7th January.

If you have an interest in local history then you could be a Museum Steward for a couple of hours Wednesday or Saturday morning. Please ring Steve on 01793 631448 or Marilyn on 01793 855227.    Thank you.

toqn hall

Wednesday is Market Day

It’s market day in Royal Wootton Bassett. Come and have a browse at a variety of stalls by the Town Hall, High Street.

You might meet our Town Crier and Swordbearer, Owen Collier, who cries for the market every Wednesday morning. With a number of wonderful uniforms, we are very proud of our Town Crier!

Would you like to have your own market stall? Just give us a call on 01793 850222.

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Royal Wootton Bassett’s Jubilee Lake is to be found a short distance out of town on the Malmesbury Road copy 2

 

 

Angling Club Contact: Mr T Strange 01793 346730.

Water Safety Advice for Anglers, please see link :  http://www.rlss.org.uk/water-safety/water-safety/water-safety-advice-for-anglers/

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Wilts & Berks Canal – On the 30th January 1793 the Earl of Peterborough chaired a meeting in Royal Wootton Bassett Town Hall which eventually led to the building of the Wilts & Berks Canal. The canal was officially opened on the 14th September 1810, linking the Kennet & Avon Canal at Semington to the River Thames at Abingdon. Nine years later a branch was constructed joining Swindon to Latton on the Thames & Severn Canal. By 1900 boat movements had almost totally ceased and in 1914 the canal was officially abandoned.

In 1977 a group was formed called the Wilts and Berks Canal Amenity Group (W&BCAG) whose aim was to totally restore the canal using as much of the original route as possible. In recent years, to publicise the restoration and as a mark of the progress made, boat rallies have been held in a rewatered section at Templars Firs.

 

 

about5St Bartholomew and All Saints church is 15th century except for a 14th century window with modern glass. On Monday nights the sound of the bells ring out in Royal Wootton Bassett High Street, the earliest bells date back to the four that were cast in 1633, it was only much later, between 1669 and 1871, that the church tower was built. The tenor bell, one of the original four, which weighs almost a ton and bears the inscription “Come when I call to serve God all”. The restoration was commemorated in 1662 with the addition of another bell. The final three, bringing the total to the current eight, were added in 1889.