A little bit of history
Devizes castle has been subjected to many a power struggle over the years. From the conflict between Stephen and Matilda in the 12th Century. To the English Civil War, when Royalists lost control and Parliament had the castle dismantled. The Victorians later rebuilt the castle, which, though not open to the public, can be seen from various points around the town.
Beyond the castle, Devizes history is inextricably linked to the textile trade and Georgian times from which many of our buildings date. Off Market Place, Long Street is particularly admired for its Georgian facades.
Need to know
Local legend has it that one full-mooned night Customs and Excise officials happened upon local bootleggers with illegal barrels of drink. The bootleggers quickly hid their barrels in the Crammer duck pond, holding them down with rakes and telling officials they were raking the pond for the moon. The officials, the legend goes, wrote off the 'moonrakers' as village idiots, leaving them to their bounty.
Every Thursday Devizes hosts a general and produce market. The town is also home to a number of mouthwatering delicatessens, health food shops and specialist food shops including Plank's Farm Shop in Urchfont, which has a lovely café, and Country Butcher's which sells first class local meat. You'll also find Marks and Spencer's Food, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Morrisons as well as a Waitrose in nearby Melksham. And once you have all your ingredients sorted, Ma Cuisine is a huge kitchenware shop in the Market Place that will meet the need of even the most demanding cook. There are also several independent ladies clothing boutiques in Devizes as well as some good shoe shops. But for a solid day's retail therapy, we always head up the road to Bath, Cribbs Causeway in Bristol, the Outlet in Swindon or Salisbury.
WHETHER YOU LIKE CULTURE, HISTORY, KEEPING FIT OR THE GREAT OUTDOORS, THERE'S PLENTY TO DO IN DEVIZES.