Wiltshire, England
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Corsham, Wiltshire, England         OS Map Grid Ref: ST869705
 The County of Wiltshire
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A small town in Wiltshire about 8 miles east of the city of Bath and 4 miles SW of Chippenham, usually considered to be southern tip of the Cotswolds. The A4, until its replacement by the M4 motorway, the main route between London and Bristol, via Reading and Bath, runs through the northern part of the town.

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Corsham Court & Gardens

Built around and Elizabethn House dating from 1582, by Capability Brown, John Nash and Thomas Bellamy, the house houses many art treasures by names such as Adams, Caravaggio, Chippendale, Lippi, Michelangelo, Reynolds, Rubens and Van Dyck.
fax:   +44 (0)1249 701610


see also:   Museums of Wiltshire

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Corsham Court & Park
Dating back as far as
1582, Corsham Court on the north-east edge of the town has been the seat of the Methuen family since 1745. The present house and grounds were built around the original Elizabethan mansion by 'Capability' Brown, John Nash and Thomas Bellamy.

Weavers' Cottages, Church Street
The gabled weavers' cottages are typical of the
18th century with the curved heads and volutes of their porches. The first floor door was used to take delivery of raw wool for the looms.

31 High Street
Inscribed '
1703 ' on the gable and now housing the town's Tourist Information Centre, the house was rerstored by the wealthy 18th century cloth merchant from Lacock, William Arnold, who established his business in the town. Before the industrial revolution centralised production, weaving was a cottage industry and Arnold supplied local weavers with spun wool, collecting the woven cloth for cleaning and finishing before its sale in London   see also: The Wool Industry.

'The Porch ', 33 High Street
The house is a mixture of
17th, 18th and 19th century styles.

42 High Street
The former home of the Spackman family, the building was used for storing
gunpowder to blast Brunel's record-breaking Box Tunnel of the GWR and for subsequent quarrying operations. The block of shops caught fire in 1849 and the heat of the conflageration was so intense that paint inside the opposite houses in High Street blistered - the explosions of the gunpowder were heard ten miles from the town.

70 High Street
The present shop stands on the site of the former parish workhouse where able-bodied inmates were put to work in the town's cloth industry, surrendering 2p of each shilling earnt to the Master of the poorhouse. The village pump stood on the opposite side of the High Street.

'Cheviot House ', 76 High Street
The house is a monument to the prosperity brought to Corsham by the arrival of the
Great Western Railway and the consequent expansion of the local quarrying industry. The older core of the building (the original rubble wall of the house is still visible on its right-hand-side) was faced with ashlar with moulded cornices and parapets.

'The Old Malt House' standing behind Cheviot House, served as Corsham's cinema during World War I. In the 1930s it was used as a laundry and, following World War II, it was converted into three studio dwellings by the artist Paul Methuen (the 4th Baron).

78 High Street
The gabled house with its mullioned windows is typical of a house in the High Street in the
17th century.

'Royal Oak ', High Street
The public house dates from the
mid-19th century.

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William Arnold
The wealthy
18th century cloth merchant from Lacock established his business in the town and refurbished his house at 31 High Street which is now the town's Tourist Information Centre.

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The Roman road from Silchester to Bath ran along what is now the southern boundary of the parish, as does the enigamtic Wansdyke, a vast ditch running from Somerset to Savernake Forest on the Marlborough Downs, which appears to be post-Roman and may have been a defensive structure built for defence by the Saxons of Wessex against attacks from Mercia.

Corsham Manor

Corsham was a royal manor before the Norman Conquest of 1066 and King Ethelred the Unready (978-1017) is recorded as staying at the manor house at Corsham while hunting in Melksham Forest. The Confessor (1042-1066) gave the manor to Tostig, his brother-in-law and the 4th son of the powerfull Earl Godwin, but Tostig's villiany resulted in his banishment and the forfeiture of his estates and their reversion to the Crown.

When The Conqueror came into possession of the manor, he gave the church and its lands to the Abbey of Cean as a thanksgiving for his victory at Hastingswhile the secular manor was was granted on terms to various of his feudal vassals. Henry III (1216-72) granted the manor to his brother Richard, Earl of Cornwall, who farmed it out at an annual rent.

The manor frequently became part of the dowery of English queens in the 14th and 15th centuries - so much so that it was named, for a time, 'Corsham Reginae' (see also:   Cricklade). During the reign of King Henry VIII (1509-1547), the manor became the property of two of his wives; Catherine of Aragon (until 1536) and Katherine Parr (until 1548).

The estate passed out of royal hands during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) who sold it to her Lord Chancellor and favourite, Sir Christopher Hatton (1540-91), for �5,000. Later, Hatton fell out of the monarch's favour and had to sell the manor at a loss.

The manor passed through various hands, notable amongst them was Sir Edward Hungerford who was a prominent Parliamentarian during the Civil War of (1640-1645). It was Sir Edward's widow who built the Almshouse adjacent to Corsham's Cricket Ground.

In 1745, the manor was purchased by Paul Methuen to house his art collection and has remained in the Methuen family since then.

Brunel's Great Western Railway

The building of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's (1806-1859) broad-guage Great Western Railway from Corsham to Box involved the cutting of the record-breaking Box Tunnel - at two miles long, the longest railway tunnel in Europe. Work on the tunnel commenced in 1836 but the human cost of its 5-year construction was so awful - no less than a hundred men dead - that it was opened without ceremony on June 30th, 1841.

A ton of gunpowder a week was used at the height of the tunnel's construction and this was stored at No. 42 High Street, after the completion of the tunnel, powder was stored there for quarrying. The building caught fire in 1841 and the explosions could be heard ten miles away.

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This time-line has been generated for this page from our general time-line
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1582Building of the Elizabethan house which became the basis for Corsham Court, Wilts.
1745Paul Methuen acquires Corsham Court, Wilts., which remains in the Methuen family
1784Britain\'s first mail coach service runs between London and Bath (along what is now the A4)
1836Work starts on the 2-mile-long Box Railway Tunnel of the GWR between Corsham Box in Wiltshire
The longest railway tunnel in Europe at the time
1841.Jun.30Opening of the record-breaking 2-mile-long Box Railway Tunnel of the GWR between Corsham and Box in Wiltshire without any ceremony because of the horendous loss of life during its construction
1849Fire at 42 High Street Corsham, Wilts., used as a gunpowder store for quarrying - the explosions could be heard 10 miles away
1895Creation of Corsham Parish Council (Wilts.)
1989Decommissioning of the Burlington nuclear bunker near Corsham in Wilts. built in the 1950s
Thesite continuestobe maintained by a smallnumberof staff at acost of about �1-milliona year
2000.MayCorsham Parish Council becomes a Town Council (Wilts.)

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Box Railway Tunnel

Links to Other Sites

. . . . . the inclusion of these links to other sites is for the interest and convenience of visitors to this site only and does not imply any endorsement of the products or services offered by the individuals or organisations involved nor the accuracy of the information contained therein . . . . .


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  Wiltshire, England
5 km SW
  Wiltshire, England
8.5 km SE
  Wiltshire, England
5.7 km NW
  Wiltshire, England
7.8 km SW
  Wiltshire, England
4.6 km SE
  Wiltshire, England
9.6 km NW
  Wiltshire, England
12 km SW
  Wiltshire, England
10 km SE

Lacock Fox Talbot Museum
Lacock nr Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 2LG
A museum of photography comemmorating William Fox Talbot who was the inventor of the modern photographic negative.
5.3 km SE
Trowbridge Museum
  The Shires Shopping Centre,
Court Street, Trowbridge, Wilts. BA14 8AT
The museum is housed in Salters Mill, the last working woollen mill in the town. The large collection of machinery tells the story of the towns wool industry and includes possibly the best surviving of a Spinning Jenny. There is also a reconstruction of a
10.6 km SW
Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum
Downside, Stockley Lane, Calne, Wiltshire SN11
Cars from 1924-83, classic motorbikes and memorabilia.
13.1 km NE
Devizes Museum
41 Long St, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 1NS
World famous Neolithic, Bronze and iron age collections.
17 km SE
Wiltshire Heritage Museum
41 Long Street, Devizes, Wilts. SN10 1NS
The archaeology collections trace the history of people in Wiltshire from the earliest times - Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, Saxon, and Medieval. The Recent History gallery describes different aspects of life in Wiltshire in more m
17 km SE
Woodland Heritage Museum and Woodland Park
Brokerswood, Wiltshire BA13 4EH
80 acres of woodland with nature trails, walks, visitor centre and adventure playground.
18.8 km SW

Camping Sites
Blackland Leisure Ltd
Stockley Lane, Calne, Wiltshire   SN11 0NQ
13.5 km SW

Smallbrook House Hotel
Smallbrook House, Staverton, Wiltshire   BA14 6NX
10.3 km SE
Fieldways Hotel & Health Club
Hilperton Rd, Trowbridge, Wiltshire   BA14 7JP
11.8 km SE
The Old Manor Hotel
Trowle, Wiltshire   BA14 9BL
12 km SE
The Polebarn Hotel
Polebarn Rd, Trowbridge, Wiltshire   BA14 7EG
12.7 km SE
Hotel Bythesea
Bythesea Rd, Trowbridge, Wiltshire   BA14 8HR
12.8 km SE
Curriers Arms
High St, Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire   SN4 7AB
23 km NW
The Crown Hotel
131 High St, Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire   SN4 7AY
23.2 km NW

Police Stations
Bradford-on-Avon Police Station
Avonfield Avenue, Bradford - On - Avon, Wiltshire   BA15 1JD
10.9 km SE
Trowbridge Police Station
Polebarn Rd, Trowbridge, Wiltshire   BA14 7EP
12.6 km SE
Calne Police Station
Silver St, Calne, Wiltshire   SN11 0JF
12.8 km W
Westbury Police Station
7 Station Rd, Westbury, Wiltshire   BA13 3JL
19.2 km S
Wootton Bassett Police Station
Lime Kiln, Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire   SN4 7JJ
23.5 km NW
Cricklade Police Station
High St, Cricklade, Wiltshire   SN6 6DF
32.8 km NW

Post Offices
Holt PO
180 The Common, Holt, Wiltshire   BA14 6QL
8.4 km SE
Semington PO Stores
High St, Semington, Wiltshire   BA14 6JR
10.3 km SW
Seymour Rd PO
Seymour Rd, Trowbridge, Wiltshire   BA14 8LS
12.3 km SE
Post Office
1a Roundstone St, Trowbridge, Wiltshire   BA14 8DJ
12.6 km SE
Phelps Parade PO
21 Phelps Parade, Calne, Wiltshire   SN11 0HA
12.8 km NW
Brook Road PO
72 Brook Rd, Trowbridge, Wiltshire   BA14 9DL
12.8 km SE
Bratton PO
Melbourne St, Bratton, Wiltshire   BA13 4RW
18.6 km SW
Queens Square PO
2 Queens Square, Westbury, Wiltshire   BA13 3LR
19.2 km SE
Westbury PO
42 Edward St, Westbury, Wiltshire   BA13 3BG
19.3 km SW
Purton PO
5 High St, Purton, Wiltshire   SN5 4AA
28.1 km NW
Tilshead Sub-PO
High St, Tilshead, Wiltshire   SP3 4RX
28.1 km SW
Cricklade PO
High St, Cricklade, Wiltshire   SN6 6BX
32.6 km NW

Public Houses
The Longs Arms
Wraxall, Wiltshire   BA15 2SB
6.9 km SE
The Plough Inn
rd Leigh, Wiltshire   BA15 2RW
8.5 km SE
Lansdowne Arms
Church Rd, Derry Hill, Wiltshire   SN11 9NS
8.8 km W
The Old Ham Tree Inn
Ham Green, Holt, Wiltshire   BA14 6PY
8.8 km SE
The Tollgate Inn
Ham Green, Holt, Wiltshire   BA14 6PX
8.9 km SE
The Fox & Hounds
9 Farleigh Wick, Bradford - On - Avon, Wiltshire   BA15 2PU
9.1 km SE
The Dog & Fox
33 Ashley Rd, Bradford - On - Avon, Wiltshire   BA15 1RT
10.2 km SE

Video Sales & Hire
Unit 1 , The High St, Calne, Wiltshire   SN11 0BS
12.8 km NW


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Wiltshire - Corsham and Box
  The "Britain in Old Photographs" series
  by A Wilson, 1990

The church of St Bartholomew, Corsham, Wiltshire
  by Harold Brakspear, publisher
British Publishing Co.

The church of St Bartholomew, Corsham, Wiltshire: A short history of the building
  by Harold Brakspear, publisher British Publishing Co.

Corsham, Wiltshire, the official guide
  , publisher British Publishing Co.

Wiltshire Pew Rents: Westbury, Wilton, Corsham
  , ed. Beryl Hurley, publisher Wiltshire Family History Society, 1996

The church of St. Bartholomew, Corsham, Wiltshire: A short history of the building abridged from the larger work written by the Late Sir Harold Brakspear
  by Harold Brakspear, publisher British Publishing Co.

Lady Margaret Hungerford Almshouse and Free School,Corsham,Wiltshire,1668-1968
  by Ernest Hird, 1997

The Wiltshire Woollen Industry in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
  by GD Ramsay, 1943

Recommend a Book for this Page


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