Historical tour turns up interesting facts about Melksham

This Is Wiltshire: istorial Association members outside Melksham Town Hall istorial Association members outside Melksham Town Hall

Another warm evening saw a large group gathering outside Melksham's sizeable church for the second of our summer discovery walks, for a tour around the town’s blue plaque trail as guests of the Melksham and District Historical Association.

After a brief introductory talk, we set off along Church Walk admiring its old houses mainly dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

Pausing briefly at our first blue plaque on the Bear Inn, we moved on to the Town Bridge, built in 1814 to replace a much older version destroyed in a storm.

Further blue plaques followed: The old Reading Rooms, the first and second Cottage Hospitals, and 1 Bank Street, formerly the home of Quaker bank owner Robert Fowler in the late 18th century, and later his daughter Rachel who was a benefactor to the town, founding the Almshouses in Bath Road and building New Hall (on the Market Place).

The Market Place, which dates from the 13th century, ended our tour, surrounded by a collection of notable buildings including the Town Hall, the old Police Station, and the King’s Arms, formerly a busy coaching inn.

We now take a break until our meetings recommence in October. Contact Jenny Ladd on 01373 830514.

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