Find out about what we have been doing recently and learn about some of our discoveries.
AGM: 4th July 2015 and Private Tour of Avebury Manor
Our AGM was held on Saturday 4th July, 3.30pm at The Study Centre, Avebury. This was followed by a private tour of Avebury Manor with National Trust Curator Dr Rosamund Cleal F.S.A. M.C.I.f.A. This was an exciting opportunity to explore with experts and view spaces not normally open to the public.
Study Day: Saturday 17th October 2015, People and Places
The 2015 Study Day People and Places provided another informative and enjoyable event. Over 100 people were entertained by four superb speakers, who provided an insight into the fascinating lives of people who built their houses and farmsteads. We learnt how their life stories can give us a deeper understanding of buildings.
AGM: 2nd July 2016 and tour around the Old Bishop’s Palace
The 2016 AGM was held at Salisbury and South Wilts Museum, a Grade I Listed building in the Cathedral Close, formerly known as ‘The King’s House’. After the meeting we were treated to an interesting and informative tour of the Old Bishop’s Palace from its grounds by Tim Tatton-Brown, former consultant archaeologist to the Cathedral.
Study Day: 28th October 2017 Inns, Alehouses and Taverns
A full house revelled in the chance to absorb the intoxicating history of places for drinking and hospitality. Our speakers shared their detailed knowledge on how inns and alehouses evolved to meet changing needs. For speakers and talks click here.
Book: Wiltshire Almshouses and their Founders by Sally Thomson, £10.50
Hot off the press! Now available is Sally Thomson’s fascinating book on the history of Almshouses in Wiltshire. The first comprehensive study of Almshouses in the county. Many of these buildings display fabulous architecture, and some have very early origins. The 248 page book is well researched, packed with information and has 250 beautiful illustrations. The stories of their charitable founders are a treat. This is WBR’s most recent publication, click here for a copy. See publications page for more WBR books.
Celebrity: Dan Cruickshank
On the 11th December TV presenter and art historian Dan Cruickshank came to the History Centre to give a talk on Avebury and South Wraxall Manors. Dorothy Treasure did the initial study on Avebury Manor when the National Trust first purchased it in the mid-90s. She had a lively exchange of views with Dan on the day.
Would you like to become a volunteer?
We are seeking new volunteers to join our team who are making a record of Wiltshire’s historic farm buildings. You can find out more details about the Farmstead Project here. For further information contact Tim Mayhew on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome our new Treasurer Clive Henly, who will be taking over from Geoff Browning in 2015. We wish Geoff well on his move to pastures new.
AGM: 15th July 2017 and tour of Great Chalfield Manor
Members and guests were warmly welcomed by Robert Floyd at Great Chalfield Manor for our 37th AGM. Afterwards, Robert gave an immensely enjoyable tour of this delightful Grade I moated house of c.1465-80, along with Paul Jack, specialist on the work of Architect, Sir Harold Brakspear.
Dated Features Project
Do you like taking photos? Why not get involved in our new project recording date stones and other dated features? To find out more about the project click here.
Enriching the List
WBR has been invited by Historic England to take part in an exciting new initiative to help make the online list of listed buildings more up to date and relevant. In recent weeks WBR volunteers have been searching through our archives looking for interesting historical facts about Wiltshire’s listed buildings to upload on to Historic England’s Enrich the List website. Volunteer Kylie Coles told us, “I’ve loved working on this. It’s been absolutely fascinating delving into WBR records and discovering so much detail about individual buildings. I never knew we had collected so much diverse material over the years: it’s staggering, and this project has provided a great opportunity to share it.” To learn more about Enrich the List and find out how you might be able to make your own contribution click here.
New Lifetime Membership
Becoming a Lifetime member is satisfying way to make a substantial difference to WBR resources. We urge you to give it serious consideration. Your extra support will be warmly received. To download a membership application form click here.
New Student Membership
Students can now join WBR at a reduced annual fee of £5. Open to anyone undertaking full or part-time courses. Students can find opportunities with WBR to be very rewarding. Please encourage anyone you know who is interested to get in touch for a dedicated student membership form.
2018 Annual Study Day
A date for your diary – the 2018 Study Day is in October 2018. Watch this space for more details.
The Intriguing History of ‘The Compleat Artist’
An unusual, quaint former Art Shop with fascinating history and a wealth of architectural detail sits by the bridge on Crane Street, Salisbury. The building had a dual role as both a summer house and a bridge to an island in the River Avon. The full story, by WBR historian Louise Purdy, has just been published in the Sarum Chronicle 17. Click here
Park and Garden Surveys in Wiltshire
We have recently become custodians of the records of The Wiltshire Gardens Trust (WGT). Material is held alongside ours, available to view. WGT members have been researching and recording gardens for their design and planting since 1986. Records contain park and garden surveys as well as all kinds of information relating to a building’s site. To find out about a specific garden, please contact us or the WGT.
Drop in to see us at Beechcroft Community Library, Swindon
We have recently acquired a table display at Beechcroft Community Library in Stratton St Margaret where we will be providing information and selling books, most at discounted prices. Sales proceeds are divided between WBR and the new community facility run by volunteers. WBR specialist draughtsman Clive Carter will be available most Tuesdays. He will be delighted to see you. If you have any questions about Wiltshire or Swindon buildings and cannot make it to the Chippenham office pop in.