Marlborough in Wiltshire

Thursday, 16 August 2012 - 01:02 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Marlborough College Court © Dabbler

Marlborough College Court © Dabbler

Marlborough is a market town and civil parish in the English county of Wiltshire on the Old Bath Road, the old main road from London to Bath. It is reputed to have one of the widest high streets in Britain, second only to Stockton-on-Tees. The town is on the river Kennet.

William II established the neighbouring Savernake Forest as a favourite Royal hunting ground and Marlborough Castle became a Royal residence. Henry I observed Easter here in 1110. Henry II stayed at Marlborough Castle in talks with the King of Scotland. His son, Richard I (Coeur de Lion) gave the castle to his brother John, in 1186. King John was married here and spent time in Marlborough. He even established a Treasury. In 1204 King John granted Charter to the Borough which permitted an annual eight-day fair, commencing on 14 August, the vigil of the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady (15 August), in which “all might enjoy the liberties and quittances customary in the fair at Winchester“. He also established that weekly markets may be held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. These continue to this day. Later Henry III was also married here. Henry III held Parliament here, in 1267, when the Statute of Marlborough was passed (this gave rights and privileges to small land owners and limited the right of the King to take possession of land). This seven-hundred-year-old law states that no-one shall seize his neighbour’s goods for alleged wrong without permission of the Court. Apart from Charters, it is the oldest statute in English law which has not yet been repealed. The castle fell into disrepair by the end of the 14th century but remained Crown property. Edward VI then passed it to the Seymour family, his mother’s relatives.

In 1689 King William III gave Sir John Churchill, the famous army general, the title of 1st Duke of Marlborough. The family seat is Blenheim Palace near Woodstock in Oxfordshire. The former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Spencer Churchill was a member of his family.

Wilts Market © geograph.org.uk - Ron Strutt Old Hughenden Yard © geograph.org.uk - Jonathan Billinger High Street from St Peter's church roof © geograph.org.uk - Brian Robert Marshall A view along High Street © geograph.org.uk - Brian Robert Marshall Town map © Przemysław Jahr Marlborough College Court © Dabbler
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High Street from St Peter's church roof © geograph.org.uk - Brian Robert Marshall
In 2004 Marlborough celebrated 800 years of its Town Charter, among the celebrations was a street play by the Marlborough Players entitled “Wheels of Time” and a visit from HRH Prince Charles.

Every summer the town holds a jazz festival with local pubs, clubs, hotels and various other venues playing host to live jazz music over the course of a weekend. Every October the high street is closed for the two Saturdays either side of 11 October for the Marlborough Mop Fair. This was originally a hiring fair for agricultural workers seeking employment but now has become a funfair. The right of the town to close the road to hold the fair is set down in the 1204 Charter.

On the north side of the high street is the Merchant’s House, which is currently under restoration but part of which is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays in summer. The house was built following the Great Fire of 1653. It was the property of a silk merchant and, rarely for a house of this type in a town centre, still retains its original room pattern. Notable are the wall paintings recently uncovered, which are undergoing conservation. One room painted in a striped pattern, copying silk hangings, is perhaps unique in Great Britain.

Read more on Marlborough Town Council, Marlborough Visitor Guide, Facebook Marlborough, Marlborough College, Wiltshire Council and Wikipedia Marlborough. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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