Wiltshire map - Framed Picture - 12" x 16"
Wiltshire is a landlocked county in South West England.
Wiltshire is characterised by its high downland and wide valleys. Salisbury Plain is noted for being the location of the Stonehenge and Avebury stone circles, and as a training area for the British Army.
The county, in the 9th century written as Wiltunscir, later Wiltonshire, is named after the former county town of Wilton.
Wiltshire is notable for its pre-Roman archaeology.
In the 6th and 7th centuries Wiltshire was at the western edge of Saxon Britain. The Battle of Bedwyn was fought in 675 between Escuin, a West Saxon nobleman who had seized the throne of Queen Saxburga, and King Wulfhere of Mercia.
In 878 the Danes invaded the county.
At the time of the Domesday Survey the industry of Wiltshire was largely agricultural; 390 mills are mentioned, and vineyards at Tollard and Lacock. In the succeeding centuries sheep-farming was vigorously pursued.
During the Civil War Wiltshire was largely Parliamentarian. The Battle of Roundway Down though was a decisive Royalist victory.
In 1794 it was decided at a meeting at the Bear Inn in Devizes to raise a body of ten independent troops of Yeomanry for the county of Wiltshire, which formed the basis for what would become the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry.
The local nickname for Wiltshire natives is "moonrakers". This originated from a story of smugglers who managed to foil the local Excise men by hiding their alcohol kegs, in a village pond. When confronted by the excise men they raked the surface to conceal the submerged contraband with ripples, and claimed that they were trying to rake in a large round cheese visible in the pond, really a reflection of the full moon. The officials took them for simple yokels or mad and left them alone, allowing them to continue with their illegal activities.