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Wiltshire

Wiltshire (including Swindon) is in the South West of England. It has a population of around 680,000 and covers approximately 348,000 hectares. Here is a list of nearby or neighbouring counties: Berkshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset.

County flag of WiltshireWiltshire is a landlocked county and has a landscape of wide valleys, the chalk grasslands of Salisbury Plain and ancient forests. Among the counties attractions, most shrouded in mystery are the stone circles, which were built thousands of years ago during the neolithic period and each year hundreds of thousands of people visit the World Heritage sites of Stonehenge and Avebury. Whilst there are various theories regarding the meaning and purpose of the stone circles, they continue to capture our imaginations as they have done for generations. National Trust properties in Wiltshire include the eighteenth century house and garden of Stourhead and Avebury Manor and Garden, which was built during the sixteenth century. Performing arts venues in Wiltshire include Salisbury Arts Centre, Swindon Arts Centre, the Athenaeum Centre in Warminster, the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon and the Pound Arts Centre in Corsham.

Among the most visited places in Wiltshire is Salisbury Cathedral, which was built during the thirteenth century and is considered to be the greatest Gothic cathedral in England. Other famous sites include The Iron Age Hill fort of Old Sarum, which was later occupied by Romans, Saxons and Normans. For a taste of the art and architecture of previous centuries there are country houses such as Longleat, which also has a Safari Park. Wiltshire Museum in Devizes has exhibits reflecting the art, archaeology and history of Wiltshire, whilst Coate Water Country Park provides a pleasant day out, with its varied wildlife and visitors can also see a 1930s Art Deco diving board by the reservoir. Other attractions in Wiltshire include picturesque Castle Combe Village, Trowbridge Museum and Art Gallery, Westbury White Horse, Corsham Court, Great Chalfield Manor and the ruins of Old Wardour Castle.


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Ralph Bates

(Born 1899 in Swindon in Wiltshire), Fiction

He wrote nine novels between 1933 and 1950, his last one being The Dolphin in the Wood.