2003 by shuifanglj


									                       MALMESBURY TOWN GUIDE
                        The History of Malmesbury
                             Version 2005.1
                 Produced & Researched by MThreeW.co.uk
2005 The Market Cross goes under covers for a month for major restoration work.
Also, plans continue to develop for a new hospital, and a 2 million pound extension to
Malmesbury Abbey.
2004 Lord Suffolk caused huge public outcry after he knocked down his 14th
Century pub, The Suffolk Arms, and sold the land for housing. The Knoll House Hotel
and Athelstan Garage sites were also converted into housing cul-de-sacs in this year.
A body found on the Knoll House building site was identified as Amanda Edwards, a
playschool worker from Brinkworth, the man suspected of her murder was found
hanged shortly after.
2003 The WC's in the town centre were voted in the Top 5 smelliest toilets in the UK
by a BBC documentary.
2003 The town's leisure centre opened its new indoor swimming pool, with
adjustable floor.
2002 Malmesbury gets a new secondary school, previously it was spread over two
sites in the town.
2002 Dyson announces 700 job cuts in favour of cheaper costs in Malaysia.
2001 Dec 8: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visit Malmesbury for the
first time. They were due to visit earlier in the year but were put off by the foot and
mouth epidemic.
2000 Oct 30: The most expensive floods in memory, causing tens of thousands of
pounds of damage.
1998 Malmesbury makes international stars out of two Tamworth pigs after Butch
and Sundance escaped from the Park Road abattoir. They swam the Avon and hid in
woodland for five days. Both the abattoir and woodland have now been demolished for
1993 James Dyson set up his first vacuum cleaner factory on Tetbury Hill, in the
same building as pioneering electrical firm Linolite used to produce fluorescent tubes.
1993 Athelstan Cinema was demolished. After nearly ten years of being left derelict,
it was decided to build three houses on the site. Workers were shocked to find about
20 skeletons while laying the foundations... The site neighbours the Abbey Graveyard.
1985 Linolite moved to Tetbury Hill from it's previous site overlooking Daniel's Well.
A mini housing estate called the Maltings now stands on the riverbank, named after a
malthouse which used to stand there. Linolite closed in 1993, the building was taken
over by local entrepreneur James Dyson.
1983 Fields in the north-east of the town were used for a major housing estate called
Reeds Farm... it's still being developed to this day.
1982 Malmesbury Station's hotel and pub, The Flying Monk, was closed down and
1980 The Abbey Cloister Gardens were officially opened to the public by Princess
1971 One of the town's most popular pubs, The Black Horse Inn was demolished and
is now an estate called Barley Close. Also, council flats were built at Bremilham Rise
after the former union workhouse was knocked down.
1970 The fate of Malmesbury's train station is decided... it became an industrial
estate. Some of the buildings still standing today are clearly station houses.
1968 The Almshouses and St John's Court were finally renovated to be used as
private housing.
1968 11th July - saw the worst floods in mid-summer since records began.
1965 Meanwhile, winter time in this year saw some of the worst, but more seasonal,
floods since records began.
1964 With the closure of the railways, a pub near the station which was always
popular with commuters, called the Railway Inn, was renamed The Flying Monk Inn
after Eilmer, our world-famous clergyman. Time was called for the last time in 1982... it
was demolished to make way for the town's first, and only, supermarket.
                       MALMESBURY TOWN GUIDE
                        The History of Malmesbury
                             Version 2005.1
                  Produced & Researched by MThreeW.co.uk
1963 31st August - A re-enactment of the fatal Eclipse tragedy took place in the town
centre. (See 1881)
1963 Work begins on dismantling the railway through Malmesbury.
1962 Goods are stopped from being transported via Malmesbury Train Station.
1957 The town received its first proper library after the previous reading room was
demolished at the end of Oxford Street. Public conveniences now stand there. The
new library is still in service and stands by the Cross Hayes car park.
1951 The last commuter train left Malmesbury to stop in Swindon, a town well known
for its railway origins. The old station is now used as an industrial estate and long stay
car park. There are still traces of where the railway used to run through the town... And
although the tunnels have been closed off, some sites are still visible from the town's
many footpaths.
1951 Part of Kings' Heath, a collection of properties owned by the town's
Commoners, was returned to its rightful owners by the War Agriculture Committee
when rationing became unnecessary after the Second World War.
1950 The Almshouses, built for the town in 1694, were disused and boarded up. The
Kings Heath properties were renovated for private homes 18 years later.
1941 The town's Silk Mills were closed down. The buildings, based at the edge of the
River Avon, are now used as blocks of stylish flats.
1941 Good news for employment in the town, light bulb company Linolite moved to
Malmesbury. It was established in the Capital back in 1902 but was demolished in the
Blitz. The firm, which was one of the founders in mass-production light bulb
technology, then moved to new premises on Tetbury Hill in 1985.
1940 WWII started and the War Agriculture Committee took over Kings' Heath.
1940 The London Blitz - one of the many buildings destroyed by this attack was a
humble light bulb factory. After the war, the owners of Linolite moved out of the
capital, into Malmesbury.
1940C Cowbridge House was taken over and used to - allegedly - research and
develop radar testing as the War grew in size. It's thought that the first successful
radar trial took place here in Malmesbury.
1939 Poland was invaded by Germany - so England started the Second World War
against them.
1935 Athelstan Cinema opened. It was demolished in 1993 but closed years before
that. Since then Malmesbury has not had a picture house.
1930 The town's first cinema was opened.
1928 What remained of the Abbey went through some major restoration work.
1927 The Duck & Son brewery in the town centre was demolished. The building, next
to the Civic Offices and town museum, was rebuilt and is now home to a playgroup and
tourist information among other things.
1925 After just 28 years, Malmesbury Hospital was closed down and moved to the
south edge of the town. This building is now The Whole Hog pub.
1924 Millennial celebrations took place at Burton Hill School to mark 1000 years
since Athelstan was elected King.
1912 The Market Cross, at the top of the High Street, was renovated.
1910-Present House of Windsor
1907 Lady Suffolk established a lace-making school in the town, as she feared the
skill was dying out.
1905 A 20 mile per hour speed limit in the town centre was repealed. It was altered to
30 mph to bring the town in line with other built up areas, but was changed back in
1903C The town's last open-air baptism took place on Abbey House grounds.
1902 The Old Technical School was built. That became a secondary school, a
Grammar School and is now a Primary school at the base of Tetbury Hill, although
there are plans to demolish it in favour of a new site.
                      MALMESBURY TOWN GUIDE
                       The History of Malmesbury
                            Version 2005.1
                 Produced & Researched by MThreeW.co.uk
1901-1910        House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
1900 A small priory was built on the edge of town. It was demolished in the 1960's
and is where the Priory Roundabout gets its name.
1899 The first known Methodist Church was established in the town.
1889 The death of James Harris III - the third Earl of Malmesbury.
1897 A new hospital was built in the town centre. It was closed and moved again in
1925. The building is now popular pub, The Whole Hog.
1886 The Municipal Reform Act changed the way the town was run, rulers were
forced to fall in line with other parts of the country. (See 1835)
1881 The then MP for Malmesbury, Walter Powell was a man of adventure... he set off
from the Cross Hayes on a voyage in a hot air balloon called Eclipse. He was never
seen again.
1880 The Railway Hotel was built to cater for travellers heading through the town
and workers on the new rail tracks.
1880 With more people learning how to read and write, Walter Powell MP built a
'reading room' or library in Silver Street, it's now a disused church.
1877 The Railway came to Malmesbury. Tracks and tunnels were completed linking
us with the rest of the West. To celebrate, 300 people went on a free trip to Dauntsey
and back. It cost more than 87 thousand pounds to build, even in those days!
1875 Work to complete the railway line created huge employment in the town.
1872 St Aldhelm's Catholic church was built in the town centre.
1854 The Town Hall was built, and is still used today.
1852 St Paul's Church was demolished. The clock tower remains and is still in use
next to the Abbey.
1852 The Silk Mills opened on the Avon riverbank.
1841 Eton taught James Harris III became the third Earl of Malmesbury, and took a
seat in the House of Lords. During his time he helped to build up good relations with
Napoleon, and delayed war between Austria and Sardinia. He died in 1889
1835 Rather than being democratic, Malmesbury was managed by a corporation. The
Municipal Reform Act set out to change that, but for some reason Malmesbury was
excluded from the change in law until several years later.
1834 Malmesbury Union Workhouse was built. It was knocked down in 1971 to build
the Bremilham Rise housing estate.
1832 The Great Reform Act came into effect. Up until then Malmesbury was a 'rotten
borough', often having two electorates in power... the law stopped burgesses from
electing their favoured MP's, giving more power to the people.
1802 Abbey Row Baptist Church opened.
1801 England, Wales and Scotland officially became the United Kingdom.
1800 James Harris II was made the first Earl of Malmesbury.
1791 The year of the American Bill of Rights.
1790C The main Abbey Gateway was demolished. It was an archway which, if still
standing today, would join the Whole Hog to the flower shop opposite.
1784 Nancy Hanks was born in Malmesbury - (That's Abraham Lincoln's mother.) -
On the Reeds Farm estate, a cul-de-sac has been named after her.
1783 A new organ was built in the Abbey. The present organ was installed in 1985
1746 James Harris II was born. Taught at Winchester, this well-attached negotiator
worked within the Government to maintain friendship with overseas allies - something
his grandson would continue.
1721 England appoints it's first Prime Minister, Robert Walpole.
1714-1901        The House of Brunswick
1707 The first recorded mention of 'the United Kingdom', although this wasn't made
official until 1801.
                       MALMESBURY TOWN GUIDE
                        The History of Malmesbury
                             Version 2005.1
                 Produced & Researched by MThreeW.co.uk
1703 The death of Hannah Tywnnoy, aged 33. She was killed by a tiger which had
escaped from a travelling circus. Her gravestone is still standing in the Abbey
cemetery. In remembrance, a Close on the Reeds Farm estate is named after her.
1694 The new Almshouses were built. A plaque still stands on the wall, which reads:
 Memerand that whereas King Athelstan did give unto the free school within the
Burrough of Malmesbury ten pounds, and to the poor people my Almshouse at St
John's. Ten pounds to be paid yearly by ye. Aldermen and Burgesses of ye same
Burrough. That now Michael Weekes Esquire, late of this said burr, and now citizen of
London, hath augmented and added to ye a-4 sd gift. Viz, to ye sd Almshouse. Ten
pounds more, to be paid yearly at St John's afore sd. Within sd burr, and by his
Trustees for ever, and hath also given to ye Minister of this Towne for ye time being.
XXs, by ye year for ever to preach a sermon yearly on ye XIXth day of July, and to his
said Trustees XX by the year beginning on ye 25th day of March. Anno Dom 1694
1693 The Royal Arms of both William III and Mary II were given to the Old
Corporation, and still hang above the main chair in the Court House.
1689 A new constitutional monarchy is put in place. William III and Mary II become
joint monarchs because of it. (see 1693). The British Bill of Rights also went into great
detail about the military, court and legal systems and taxes.
1688 A Revolution brought in new ways of governing, and control of the town
returned to its old ways.
1670C Malmesbury took delivery of its first fire engine, thought to be one of the first
in England. Back then you had to pay a separate fire tax, and a special plaque was put
on the side of your house to prove you had paid. If you didn't, fire crews wouldn't put
out the blaze. The engine was last used in Malmesbury around the year 1700 and is still
on show today in Athelstan Museum.
1670 Charles II of England and Louis XIV of France plan to restore Roman
Catholicism to England after dozens of attempts to phase the religion out in favour of
Protestant beliefs.
1660C The West Wing of the Abbey collapsed, just a couple of years after St Paul's in
London burnt to the ground in the Great Fire.
1659 - 1660     Richard Cromwell
1655 England is divided into 12 military districts by Oliver Cromwell.
1653 - 1659     Oliver Cromwell
1635 The town gained corporation power. A team of learnéd residents were given
control of the town in a similar way to a District Council nowadays. This was known as
a 'rotten borough'.
1622 It is noted that the Almshouses in St Johns Street were being used as a
hospital. This is the same site as the current Almshouses, which were built in 1694.
1616 The first meeting of the Borough Court took place in the Court House in a
district of town which was known as Netherwalle - as it falls outside the town wall - but
within the confines of the River... this area runs from where the High Street meets
King's Wall to Town Bridge, including St John Street and Baskerville.
1607 Abroad, the Brits build their first settlement in America: Plymouth, Connecticut.
1603-1649 and 1660-1714          The House of Stuart
1600C The Abbey Brewery was renovated. It's now an apartment and is privately
1590 Some major building work in the town... the Abbey Spire was completed. It was
23 feet higher than Salisbury Cathedral at 427 feet and stood for around 70 years.
1590 A number of properties, including St John's Hospital, were sold to the
1588 Another famous Malmesbury resident was born. Thomas Hobbs was extremely
learnéd and it's rumoured he taught Charles II. Once again, his name remains in the
Reeds Farm Estate.
                      MALMESBURY TOWN GUIDE
                       The History of Malmesbury
                            Version 2005.1
                Produced & Researched by MThreeW.co.uk
1580 Abbey House was modernised and enlarged. The Gardens are now open to the
public and prove a popular tourist attraction.
1555 England returns to Roman Catholicism and hundreds of Protestants were
burned at the skate.
1553 Lady Jane Grey took over the throne from Edward VI, but only lasted nine days
1542 Historian John Leland commented on their being a 'poore hospitale' on the
outskirts of town on the Chippenham Road. There's no mention of this in a document
written in 1545... It could be where the town's present hospital now stands.
1539 The Dissolution of Malmesbury Monastery. There were only 13 monks left
there. Led by Robert Selwyn, they decided to close. The same thing happened around
this time to Glastonbury Abbey - this led to lots of fights and riots, looting and
1509 The reign of Henry VIII brought about several changes which altered
Malmesbury for good.
1500 Around this time Malmesbury Abbey's original spire (standing at 404ft)
1490 The Market Cross was built. The octagonal structure was built to mark the
centre of town. It is easy to find and was, and still is, used as a meeting point by
1485 Start of the House of Tudor
1483-1485 Richard III (Crookback)
1483 Edward V
1470 Henry VI takes over from Edward IV temporarily
1461-1483 Edward the Fourth's reign (Also known as the Black Prince)
1411 The Guildhall was built and owned by the Old Corporation. The building, on
Oxford Street next to the Civic Offices, is now a pub.
1403 Battle of Shrewsbury
1396 Richard II (who was 29) married Princess Isabella of France, who was just
seven years old!
1377 - 1399      Richard II started the reign of Lancastrians and Yorkists
1376 Lots of new reforms are brought into place by the so-called 'Good' Parliament
after years of corruption.
1348 The Black Death reaches England and sweeps across the nation.
1295 Knights and burgesses from the Malmesbury area are called to join others from
across England to set up the country's first representative parliament by Edward I.
1265 The first attempt at creating a national parliament. Burgesses from all major
settlements are called to London.
1223 Saturday market trading at St Pauls Church was stopped.
1216 A medieval castle in the town was destroyed by Walter Loring. The remains,
along Kings Wall, have been converted into a house which overlooks St Adhelm's
1216 Henry III was made King aged just 9
1206 King John granted the 'fee-farm', which is the money raised from rents and
profits, to the Abbot of Malmesbury for £20 a year. He also bought Malmesbury Castle
(on Kings Wall) and demolished it, so the monks would have more land.
1180 It's believed Malmesbury Abbey was completed at around this time.
       1154 - 1189       Henry II: start of Early Plantagenets period
1143 William of Malmesbury (real name William Somerset) died. He's respected as
the second best English medieval historian that lived.
1141 Empress Matilda
1140 A rogue warrior by the name of Robert invaded Malmesbury Abbey, and
massacred any monks who didn't flee the building. He'd previously taken over Devizes
                       MALMESBURY TOWN GUIDE
                        The History of Malmesbury
                             Version 2005.1
                  Produced & Researched by MThreeW.co.uk
1140 Historian William of Malmesbury completed his second book. Between the
Historia Novella and the Gesta Regum he'd written a complete guide to Britain's history
up to this date! Another book of his was the Bodleian Library which contained details
of former Norman Kings. This took ten years to compile and is the most
comprehensive guide of the time.
1120C A quote from William of Malmesbury about why he started writing history
books: "Thence it came that not being satisfied with the writing of old I began to write
1100C A wall was built around the town to protect those inside... a standard building
project for large towns of the time. With conflicts becoming evermore common, more
than the River Avon was needed to keep the town safe. Incredibly, some of the wall still
remains today and can be seen if you look up towards town from Malmesbury Bowls
Club. It's known there were four gates into the town through the giant wall.
1095 William of Malmesbury was born. He was the greatest historian of that time and
was taught at Malmesbury Abbey School. His accuracy to detail had never been seen
before. Apparently the Glastonbury monks asked him to research their own
1086 The Domesday Book was published, Malmesbury is the first mentioned
Wiltshire town.
1067 Work begins on the Tower of London
1066 Harold II from the Danish Line
1066-1141 Start of the Norman line with William the First
1042 - 1066 The period of the House of Wessex is restored
1040-1042 Hardicanute (Died after drinking too much)
1035-1040 Harold Harefoot
1016 Edmund Ironside from the House of Wessex
1015C Mealdelmesbyrig was how the town was known in Olde English. The name has
been linked to the word 'Maildulf' which can be translated as 'The Black Prince'. It later
evolved to become Malmesberrie. The name 'Malmesbury' also translates to 'a number
of burial grounds on a hillside'.
1014-1042 The Danish Line took over from the House of Wessex temporarily
1014 Svein Forkbeard from the Danish Line
1010 A milestone for Malmesbury. Brother Elmer made himself some wings and
made the first attempt at human flight. He broke both his legs after jumping from the
south side of the Abbey. He landed in the High Street, (by modernday standards,
outside the Cancer Research shop). Bizarrely, he was prepared to try it again, saying
the only reason he crashed was because he didn't have tail-feathers. The other monks
banned him from ever experimenting with flight again.
1000C Around this time, the town was known as Ealdelmesbirig - most likely named
after a ruler.
0980 Developments in the area start to become more commonplace with the
Foundation of Amesbury Abbey, near Stonehenge.
978-1087 House of Ethelred
975-978 The reign of Edward the Martyr
0974 Edgar allows the monks to return to their rightful home. (see below)
0958 All monks were expelled from the Monastery under the ruling of Eadwig.
955-959 Eadwig started to rule Wessex and later in the year became King of All
940-946 The reign of Edmund the Magnificent - the first ruler of the House of Edmund.
0941 The death of King Athelstan in Gloucester. It's believed he was buried at
Malmesbury Abbey.
939-978 House of Edmund
0937 King Athelstan granted Kings' Heath to the townsmen in return for their help in
a war with the Danes.
                       MALMESBURY TOWN GUIDE
                        The History of Malmesbury
                             Version 2005.1
                 Produced & Researched by MThreeW.co.uk
0933 King Athelstan's brother, Prince Aelfweard was drowned while on his way to
0925 Despite the death of Edward the year before, it wasn't until now that Athelstan
was crowned king.
0924 Some references suggest this was the year Malmesbury was given its official
charter mark, but there is a much stronger belief which suggests this occurred in 880.
0924 Athelstan becomes King of Wessex after being elected into power, and soon
after, ruler of most of England. He was the first king to be anointed at a coronation. He
also appointed a number of sheriffs as he was a keen crime fighter.
0900C The district of Mercia began south of Tetbury, following the River bank. That
made Malmesbury the furthest Northern point in the whole of medieval Wessex.
0890C Norsemen and Vikings had continued to move South. Both the Angles and
Saxons decided to join forces to make an alliance... knowing how the strongest King
was Alfred of Wessex.
0880 The official chartered year that Malmesbury was recognised as a borough (by
Alfred the Great), even though life's known to have been here for 1,400 years previous.
0878 Documents show King Alfred the Great spent his winter in nearby Chippenham
- but a surprise Viking attack forces his army into the Somerset Levels. During the
battle, a group ran by a fighter called Guthrum is held in Chippenham for three weeks.
0871 The House of Alfred brought about the first Saxon Kings, Alfred, Edward and
our very own Athelstan.
866-871 The reign of Aethelred
0860 Wessex is made out of the four previous districts of Kent, Essex, Surrey and
860-866 The reign of Aethelbert
855-860 The reign of Aethelbald
0839 The start of Saxon reign under the house of Alfred; starting with King Egbert.
0802 It's the first time in history the name 'Wiltshire' is mentioned... A warrior called
Ealdorman Weohstan of Wiltshire is killed in the Battle of Kempsford.
0802-1016 The reign of the House of Wessex
0789 Start of the Viking invasion
0760C Glastonbury Abbey is extended
0740 Reign of Ine
0720C A stone church is built onto the side of Glastonbury Abbey by King Ine.
0709 The death of Aldhelm. He died in Doulting in Somerset. His body was carried to
Malmesbury and stones with crosses were set in the ground approximately every
seven miles between the two towns. He was buried in the Abbey, next to the Bishop of
Worcester (Egwin).
0700C Aldhelm also found fame as a poet with his work being used as late as the 12th
century. It's also thought he could play pipes and the harp.
0705 An area known as the See of York is divided between the Abbot of Malmesbury,
St. Aldhelm an 'Daniel of Winchester'.
0700 Aldhelm writes to King Gerren of Dumnonia, asking that his Kingdom fall in line
with the beliefs of the rest of Rome.
0700C Aldhelm built England's first ever organ (on record) described as a "mighty
instrument with innumerable tones, blown with bellows, and enclosed in a gilded
0675 The Abbey was founded by St Aldhelm on the site of his old tutor's hermitage,
St Maildulf. In the same year King Osric founded Bath Abbey.
0675 Documentation shows 'Caer Bladon' had been renamed 'Mealdumesburg'
0672 Aldhelm became the Abbot of the Monastery of Malmesbury after completing
his education.
                       MALMESBURY TOWN GUIDE
                        The History of Malmesbury
                             Version 2005.1
                 Produced & Researched by MThreeW.co.uk
0660C As Christianity began to be introduced in the UK, Aldhelm chose the hilltop as
one of his centres to spread religion.
0640C St. Maildulph moves into Malmesbury from his monastery in Ireland.
0639 Aldhelm (son of Kenten) was born in Wessex. Documents say he grew up to be
very clever thanks to his tutor St Adrian at Cantebury. He could write and speak Greek,
was fluent in Latin and able to read the Old Testament in Hebrew. It's believed he was
related to King Ina.
0628 The Battle of Cirencester.
0611 Ceolwulf reigns over the land.
0534 First Early West Saxon Kings started with Cerdic.
0493 Apparently St Patrick died in Glastonbury - although other information
suggests this was not the case.
0450 Towns across Britain come under an even greater threat from Saxon raids.
0449 Start of Anglo-Saxon reign
0449 The Romans finish their invasion of England and Wales after around 400 years.
They gave up trying to take over Scotland, and built Hadrian's Wall to clearly mark their
0448 The country is swamped by a plague, famine and a civil war. It's thought the
problems were a result of weaknesses by the rulers.
0063 Joseph of Arimathea visits England on his first Christian mission - and stopped
at Glastonbury. It's rumoured this is where he brought the Holy Grail. If only Monty
Python had been told!
0043C The Roman Conquest reached South England, including Malmesbury.
0033 Just to add some perspective: the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
0000 Around this time, it's thought Malmesbury was known as Caer Bladon named
after the River Bladon, now the Avon.
0055BC Julius Caesar invades Britain for the first time - leading to the start of Roman
0500BC Archaeological digs uncovered a number of Iron Age tools and with the use of
carbon dating, scientists have been able to prove that people were living on the
Malmesbury site some 2,500 years ago.


                       MALMESBURY TOWN GUIDE
                        The History of Malmesbury
                             Version 2005.1
                 Produced & Researched by MThreeW.co.uk

To top