the county possess what is one of the country's most striking antiquities in the stone circle of Stonehenge.
Wiltshire contains some remarkable examples of ecclesiastical architecture including the Early English Salisbury Cathedral, Malmesbury Abbey and many fine parish churches.
There were engineering works at Devizes and Chippenham; railway works at Swindon; some iron was mined and smelted at Westbury. Wiltshire was formerly a centre of the cloth trade. Bacon curing and the manufacture of condensed milk provide employemnt for a considerable number of people in the county.
Legend tells of the origin of the name moonrakers, as Wiltshire smugglers were known during during the heyday of smuggling in the 17th and 18th centuries. Some of the inhabitants of Bishops Cannings were smuggling kegs of brandy beneath a wagon-load of hay when they heard horses approaching and hurriedly threw the illicit casks into a pond which was nearby. The two excise men who emerged from the darkness searched the smugglers' hay-wagon and, apparently satisfied, departed. They were suspicious however and returned to find the villagers trying to recover the contraband from the pond with their hay rakes. Upon asking the smugglers what they were doing, the excise men were shown the reflection of the moon on the water and told "Zomebody 'ave lost thic thur cheese and we-m a-rakin' for 'un in thic thur pond." The 'sophisticated' excise-men left the yokels to their efforts aand returned to Devizes.
During the Local Governemnt Re-Organisation of 1974, Wiltshire was one of only four counties in England to remain unaltered.