Wiltshire

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Wiltshire

(wĭlt`shĭr, –shər) or

Wilts,

county (1991 pop. 553,300), 1,345 sq mi (3,484 sq km), S central England; administratively, Wiltshire is a unitary authority (since 2009). The administrative center is SalisburySalisbury
or New Sarum
, town (1991 pop. 36,890), Wiltshire, S England. A market town, Salisbury was founded in 1220 when the bishopric was moved there from Old Sarum. Squares or "checkers" are characteristic of the regular plan of the town.
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. More than half of Wiltshire is occupied by the chalky Salisbury Plain and by the Marlborough Downs. Primarily an agricultural county, Wiltshire affords large areas for sheep grazing in the uplands, and the fertile valleys of the Lower Avon, the East Avon, and the Kennet rivers have extensive dairy farming. SwindonSwindon,
borough and unitary authority (1991 pop. 127,348), S central England. Swindon was a small village until 1841, when the Great Western RR opened its locomotive and car works there.
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, the leading industrial center but now administratively separate from the county, is known for its locomotive works.

Shropshire is rich in historical associations. At StonehengeStonehenge
, group of standing stones on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, S England. Preeminent among megalithic monuments in the British Isles, it is similar to an older and larger monument at Avebury.
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, Avebury, and Silbury Hill are the largest and oldest monuments of the early British, dating back 4,000 years. Old SarumOld Sarum
, site of a former city, Wiltshire, S England, just N of Salisbury (New Sarum). Excavations and scanning technologies have revealed remains of a British Iron Age fort, the Roman station Sorbiodunum, and a later Saxon then Norman town in the old settlement's mound.
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 was a bishopric until the 13th cent., when the office was transferred to SalisburySalisbury
or New Sarum
, town (1991 pop. 36,890), Wiltshire, S England. A market town, Salisbury was founded in 1220 when the bishopric was moved there from Old Sarum. Squares or "checkers" are characteristic of the regular plan of the town.
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, famous since then for its cathedral. WiltonWilton,
town (1991 pop. 4,005), Wiltshire, S central England. Carpets have been made in Wilton for centuries. Felt and farm machinery are other important products. Three sheep fairs are held annually. Wilton was an ancient capital of Wessex and the residence of Saxon kings.
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, known for its carpets, was once the capital of the powerful Saxon kingdom of Wessex, where in the 9th cent. many of King Alfred's battles against the Danes were fought. His grandson, Athelstan, is buried at MalmesburyMalmesbury
, town (1991 pop. 2,552), Wiltshire, S England. Agricultural and electrical engineering are important to the local economy. Malmesbury is famous for its Benedictine abbey, founded in the 12th cent., of which only the nave remains.
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 Abbey, and according to legend, Queen Guinevere spent her last days in the nunnery at AmesburyAmesbury
, town, Wiltshire, S central England. Located on Salisbury plain, the town is among the oldest continuously settled locations in Great Britain. In 980 the widow of King Edgar founded Amesbury Abbey, where Queen Guinevere of Arthurian legend is said to have died.
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. Notable Wiltshire residents of the past include Joseph AddisonAddison, Joseph,
1672–1719, English essayist, poet, and statesman. He was educated at Charterhouse, where he was a classmate of Richard Steele, and at Oxford, where he became a distinguished classical scholar.
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, John DrydenDryden, John,
1631–1700, English poet, dramatist, and critic, b. Northamptonshire, grad. Cambridge, 1654. He went to London about 1657 and first came to public notice with his Heroic Stanzas (1659), commemorating the death of Oliver Cromwell.
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, John GayGay, John,
1685–1732, English playwright and poet, b. Barnstaple, Devon. Educated at the local grammar school, he was apprenticed to a silk mercer for a brief time before commencing his literary career in London.
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, George HerbertHerbert, George,
1593–1633, one of the English metaphysical poets. Of noble family, he was the brother of Baron Herbert of Cherbury. He was graduated from Cambridge.
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, and Sir Christopher WrenWren, Sir Christopher,
1632–1723, English architect. A mathematical prodigy, he studied at Oxford. He was professor of astronomy at Gresham College, London, from 1657 to 1661, when he became Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford.
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.

Wiltshire

 

a county in southern England. Area, 3,500 sq km. Population, 501,200 (1973). Agriculture is a mainstay of the economy. Industry includes food processing (mainly milk and meat products) and the production of railroad equipment (Swindon), agricultural machines, industrial rubber (Melksham and Bradford-on-Avon), carpets (Wilton), and clothing (Trow-bridge).

Wiltshire

a county of S England, consisting mainly of chalk uplands, with Salisbury Plain in the south and the Marlborough Downs in the north; prehistoric remains (at Stonehenge and Avebury): the geographical and ceremonial county includes Swindon unitary authority (established in 1997). Administrative centre: Trowbridge. Pop. (excluding Swindon): 440 800 (2003 est.). Area (excluding Swindon): 3481 sq. km (1344 sq. miles)
References in periodicals archive ?
Welcome to Wales' latest Michelin-starred gastronomic hotspot - the sedate English county of Wiltshire.
I RECENTLY visited my home county of Wiltshire and read in the local paper that the Wilts County Council, not renowned for its forward thinking, had invested in three machines for mending potholes and was investing in some more
William Temple, The Case as it now Stands Between the Clothiers, Weavers and other Manufacturers with Regard to the Late Riot in the County of Wiltshire (London, 1739).
The protester said: "It should be noted that the Moonrakers legend is based on the county of Wiltshire, not the county of Yorkshire.