A Brief History
Situated in the heart of west Wiltshire, Trowbridge is a vibrant town with truly ancient roots. Wander through streets where Romans, Saxons and Normans have all left their mark.
In the 13th century it was the headquarters of a Magna Carta Baron; one of the 25 who forced King John to sign the ‘great charter’ at Runnymede in 1215 – a copy of which is on display at Salisbury Cathedral.
The town’s historic Market Charter also dates back to the 1200s and today it still plays host to a well-attended weekly street market every Wednesday. Trowbrige also has a rich textile heritage with a long history of woollen cloth production beginning in Anglo-Saxon times and expanded in the 14th century. This left a superb architectural legacy, ranging from the fine 18th-century homes of wealthy clothiers, to the rare Handle House, which was used to dry teasels, and former mill buildings.
Today Trowbridge has a number of independent retailers, national chains and markets, as well as a vibrant arts and cultural scene. Trowbridge Town Hall Arts acts as a hub for the development of artistic activity providing opportunities for all in the community to be inspired by arts, culture and heritage.
At St Stephen’s Place you will find an Odeon cinema complex, a wide range of family restaurants and a hotel.Trowbridge Museum highlights the town’sfascinatingheritage as the centre of woollen cloth production in the west.
The scale of cloth production was once so great the town became known as ‘the Manchester of the West’.
Trowbridge’s West of England woollen cloth was supplied to members of the Royal family including: the current Queen who purchased Culloden Tartan for her first Trooping of the Colour from Trowbridge Mill, Palmer and McKay.
The Community Sensory Garden next to Trowbridge Park at the back of the Town Hall offers peace and tranquillity close to the town centre.
Annual Events & Entertainment
The Active Festival in July offers free activities for all ages. Trowbridge also stages its own Heritage Festival in September while Trowbridge Arts Festival and Carnival both take place in October and the town hosts a Victorian Christmas event with an exhibition, storytelling and gifts in December.
Trowbridge has a vibrant shopping centre, The Shires, and an array of independent outlets. Box Steam Brewery is an award-winning independent brewery run by three generations of the Roberts family based in the nearby village of Holt.
For a choice of where to eat in Trowbridge take a look here.
Places to Stay
Elegant: The Polebarnis a family owned and run boutique style townhouse hotel in the centre of Trowbridge.
Heading towards the ancient town of Bradford on Avon, you’ll find Widbrook Grange which is a fine Georgian country house hotel, peacefully located in 11 acres of grounds.
Quirky: Widbrook Barnsfeatures seven separate converted barns, a gypsy caravan and shepherd’s hut offering enchantment, adventure, mystery and fantasy at Widbrook, Bradford on Avon.
Affordable: The town also has a wide range of budget accommodation available.
Trowbridge is south of the M4, three miles south east of Bradford on Avon and has good rail links from Bristol and Southampton.
With the Kennet & Avon Canal situated just to the north of the town, visit the Barbara McLellan narrow boat which runs public trips on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. In nearby Bradford on Avon you’ll find Towpath Trail Bike and Canoe Hire featuring top quality bikes and Canadian canoes. Just over a mile out of the town centre is Southwick Country Park home to the Hope Nature Centre with its alpacas, donkeys, rabbits, chickens and other animals. To the north-east of Trowbridge is the pretty village of Hilperton with its own marina and tranquil walks along the canal towpath.
For further information please see www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/trowbridge