Wiltshire Publications

History set in stone as Westbury’s blue plaque trail completed

Ian Cunningham Chair of the Tourism Group with Forma Chair David Tout. Blue Plaque Trail - Westbury

Ian Cunningham Chair of the Tourism Group with Forma Chair David Tout. Blue Plaque Trail – Westbury

WESTBURY’Shistoric blue plaque trail has been completed and now marks some of the oldest and most important buildings in the town.

The trail currently has 10 plaques, all designed to give a brief insight into the history of Westbury  and positioned on notable buildings in the town centre, with plans to add more in the future.

The initiative, led by the town council’s tourism group, was completed this summer.

Long-time Westbury resident and former town council employee Barbara Mantle started the project during her time at the council.

Barbara said, “I’m very pleased to see the trail completed and think everybody involved has done a great job.

“The plaques were chosen to be put on the most prominent buildings in the town centre, and they form a nice walk through Westbury. I recently walked the trail as part of the Music & Arts Festival and it was really very interesting.

“It was made especially so by Steve Hobbs, who was instrumental in the project. We relied on him, as a county archivist with a great interest in Westbury, for our historical information.

“I’d also like to say how much I appreciate the interest and co-operation shown by all the property owners involved. All the buildings are listed so needed individual planning consent, but they were all a great help.

“The trail is not part of a national scheme, but is very much a local project specific to Westbury. I look forward to the town council completing phase two.”

Westbury, which was first mentioned in literature in the 11th century, was once an important centre for the woollen cloth industry, with which many older buildings are associated.

The plaques that are now in place commemorate the Laverton, Prospect Square, Bitham Mill, the Old Town Hall, The Lopes Arms, All Saints Church, the library, Angel Mill, Westbury Swimming Pool, and 35 Church Street.

A leaflet containing more information will soon be circulated to local residents.

Current chair of the tourism group, councillor Ian Cunningham said, “The trail looks absolutely splendid and I’m very impressed with it. I think people who don’t know the history of Westbury will be  pleasantly surprised by the quality of architecture and the town’s past.”