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History of Devizes

History of Devizes
  • council: Devizes Town Council
  • population: 11,296
  • phone code: 01380
  • postcode area: SN10
  • county: Wiltshire

The charming historic market town of Devizes lies at the very heart of Wiltshire.

Founded in Norman times at the boundaries of surrounding villages, the town grew up around the castle. The outline of the town walls shows in the 'D' shape of the centre which retains its mediaeval street plan. The town is compact and, being on the level, easy to walk round.

Some buildings have survived from the 16th Century including the renowned hat shop in St John's Alley. In the Civil War the town was the centre for the nearby Battle of Round way Down and the castle demolished. Rebuilt in Victorian times as a residence it is now private flats.

The town prospered in Georgian times when many of its finest buildings were erected. Today Devizes can boast nearly 500 listed buildings, probably the highest concentration anywhere in England.

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