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Welcome to Calne
THE market town of Calne in North Wiltshire is a town in which past and present stand side by side. The town sits in the north of Wiltshire, with
Chippenham to the west, Marlborough to the east and Devizes to the south.
It lies in an attractive countryside below the Marlborough Downs, on the little River Marden. Calne was a prosperous woollen centre in the Middle Ages, but in more recent times, the town became the centre for famous Wiltshire meat products, and in particular bacon.
In fact, the Harris bacon factory was so famous it was the reason for re-locating the railway through Calne. Both the bacon factory and the railway connection are now gone, but the town has prospered with new businesses on its industrial estates and has grown in size over the last two decades.
It retains many old and interesting buildings as well as reminders of its former canal links. Other areas of interest include, Doctor's Pond, the place where Joseph Priestley is said to have carried out his experiments that that led to the discovery of oxygen.
In a dominating position close by is St Mary's Parish Church, a fine example of a 12th to 15th century church. The tower is of the 17th century and replaced an earlier structure; the long nave roof has fine tie-beams; there is a splendid organ case and an ironbound chest set in a huge log.
In the churchyard are several interesting tombs and another commemorating the King of the Gypsies is set in the wall. Nearby the village of Cherhill has a famous white horse, well worth a visit. Close too is the Neolithic stone circle of Avebury and the mysterious Silbury Hill.
Both Bristol and Swindon are within commuting distance.
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Things to see and do
Cherhill White Horse
Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village