‘Mr Toagis’s Stonehenge’

"An exploration of an uncelebrated benchmark in replica 'henge' monuments to mark the tenth anniversary of Clonehenge". From cake to cucumbers, Brian Edwards looks at the history of people creating replicas of the English heritage site, whether this be a re-imagining of the original structure, or a reproduction of their current state. Edwards also touches upon an Orwellian connection to this practice.

Aftermaths of war: Bristol in three civil defence plans, 1939-1967

"Three civil defence exercises covering Bristol – in 1939, the 1950s and 1960s – not only have an eerie fascination for their word-pictures of a city plunged into imaginary wars; the written scenarios also throw light on what concerned the scenario writers. As the likely damage in war became more than the authorities could handle, so the planners’ responses took a sinisterly authoritarian turn"

‘Slandering the Poor’: Maud Davies and Life in an English Village

"The title of this article was the headline in the Warminster & Westbury Journal, January 1910, for a report of a recent meeting of Corsley Parish Council. Most places would be delighted if anew book was published about them, but when in 1909 a young scholar produced a study of this parish on the edge of the Longleat estate, between Warminster and Frome, the council tried to suppress it and have it withdrawn". Jane Howells provides an insight into the controversy, and why the council attempted to keep it quiet.

Imagining ‘Silbury and Parnassus the same’: Edward Drax and the Batheaston Vase Adventure

"Despite assuring readers of his Ancient History of Wiltshire in 1812 that, 'We speak facts not theories', the Stourhead antiquary Sir Richard Colt Hoare (1758-1838) found the facts about Silbury Hill hard to come by. 'This stupendous artificial mound of earth cannot fail to arrest the attention of every passenger from Marlborough to Bath,' he wrote. 'An attempt was made to open it some years ago by a Dorsetshire gentleman, Colonel Drax'... But who was Drax, and what was his interest in Silbury?"

William Crouch of Englishcombe and Wellow (1503-1586): M.P., Ruthless Property-Dealer, Administrator and Trouble-maker

16th century Cornish historian, Richard Carew, marvelled at the way in which ‘the golden shower of the dissolved abbey lands rained well-near into every gaper’s mouth. Among those with open mouths eager to receive this monastic bounty in the Bath area was William Crouch. Bettey provides insight into one the most unscrupulous men of this era, who seized the opportunity of the sale of monastic property to amass huge wealth.

‘A Larger Loaf for Less Money’: the ‘Chartist Riot’ at Devizes on Easter Monday, 1839

"The People's Charter developed and published by the London Working Men's Association on 6 May 1838 represented an attempt to change the political system of Britain". Rob Cumming looks at the state of play in Wiltshire ahead of the 'Chartist Riot' in Devizes, taking into the Chartist goals in the region and how their goals were viewed across the country and in government.

‘In goode and perfect remembraunce’: life and death in 16th Century Wiltshire

"Wills can reveal a great deal more to us than the material value of the dead. As Alex Craven argues here, wills also shed light on some of the ways in which national changes in religious practice impacted upon the lives of women and men in sixteenth century Wiltshire".

Farming Practices on the Lands of Bath Abbey and Hinton Charterhouse Priory during the Sixteenth Century

"The scramble among the aristocracy, gentry and merchants to obtain and keep some of the stream of former monastic property which became available after the dissolution of 1536-40 led to numerous legal disputes. They have left a rich store of evidence concerning the monastic estates and the purposes for which they were used". Bettey looks at how farming practices shaped local industry in the region, and how it shaped the region.

The Feast of the Not So Innocents: A Christmas Story

In a tale of Christmas anarchy, John Chandler follows the aftermath of a fatal altercation between a vicar, and one of the canon's servants in the house of choristers. The article considers the changes made to how different sections of the church interact, as well as how disputes are settled when things get out of control.

‘A larger handsomer animal’: a brief history of the Wiltshire Horn sheep breed

This article uncovers the genetic history of Wiltshire’s own breed of sheep: the Wiltshire Horn. Looking right back to the ancient origins of the sheep, Virginia Bainbridge covers the farming practices and environmental factors that played a role in the evolution of this breed.