The Later History Of Wiltshire

The county of Wiltshire has a broad and varied history. It has a longstanding association with the military. We have already seen that Wiltshire is significant due to its location as an ancient battleground. This tImage result for The Later History Of Wiltshireradition continued past pre-history into more modern eras.

17th century Britain was split apart by the English Civil War. Wiltshire was mostly on the side of Cromwell’s Roundheads. They used pikes, swords and muskets to fight against the King, Charles I. On 13 July 1643 Wiltshire became the site of the Battle of Roundway Down. Despite the county being in favour of the Parliamentarians it was a victory for the Royalists. 600 Roundheads were killed and 1000 were captured.

The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry has a history that stretches back to 1794. In this year there was a meeting at the Bear Inn in Devizes. This formed the basis of what would become the Yeomanry that we know today. This group are well known for their service in the modern wars that Britain has taken part in. This includes the Boer War, World War I and World War II. During these conflicts the Yeomanry served with great distinction both abroad and at home. Today the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry are known as the Y (RWY) and B (RWY) Squadron. They are based in Swindon and Salisbury respectively.

In the nineteenth century the county served as an important route to transport cargo from Bristol to London. The Kennet and Avon Canal were built for this purpose and were heavily relied upon until the GWR (Great Western Railway) was developed. After this Wiltshire was used less for transportation. Today it is mostly a tourist destination for those who want to visit the historic site of Stonehenge. The area is also host to the Glastonbury Festival which attracts large crowds each year.