A FORMER mayor of Warminster has praised a decision to install 20 new blue plaques to highlight the town’s heritage.

Cllr Sue Fraser, the proprietor of S L Corden & Sons hardware store and a Warminster resident for the past 27 years, is delighted with the new plaques.

She said: “I think it’s brilliant. It’s a really good project. The plaques are highlighting buildings that people did not know the history of before.”

The plaques are located mainly on Warminster’s historic buildings and include the Chapel of St Lawrence, founded in the early 1200s, and The Old Bell, Warminster’s oldest surviving inn, recorded as The Bell as long ago as 1483.

The town council has taken over responsibility for the heritage blue plaques, which have cost £8,000 to install.

Many were originally installed by the Civic Trust before it closed. The trust had been formed to protect the town’s heritage and character.

Town clerk Fiona Fox said: “Over the years the condition of many of the plaques became quite poor and so it was agreed to audit the condition of the plaques with a view to replacing those that were in the poorest condition.

“The new plaques have already brought much praise from those who have seen them for the clarity of the wording and the quality of the signs.

“The wording on some of the plaques was changed with the assistance of former members of the Civic Trust and members of Warminster History Society to make sure that they were as accurate and up to date as possible.”

The historic buildings include The Old Meeting House, Warminster Athenaeum, Portway House, The Chantry, the Organ Inn, the Lord Weymouth Grammar School, Craven House, Wren House, Warminster Maltings, the Union Workhouse, the Literary Institution, Chinn’s Court, the Masonic Hall, the Yard House, the home of Dr Edwin Sloper Beaven at Eastway and Warminster station.

The Blue Plaque Trail highlights some of the more important buildings and takes around two hours to complete. It may be completed in either direction.

Brief details are given on the map but not all of the buildings are open to the public. Copies of the map can be downloaded from warminster-tc.gov.uk/documents/BluePlaqueTrailv2.pdf