P R O F I L E
Former Town Hall (now the museum)
Royal Wootton Bassett
Today Wootton Bassett has a population of about 12,000. It lies five miles west of Swindon. The first recording of its existence under its early name of Wodeton was in a charter dated 681. In around 1690, its striking half-timbered town hall was built atop 15 pillars, so a market could be held underneath.
The last monthly cattle market took place in 1939, shortly afterwards, the town's Crimean war gun was removed to make munitions as part of the war effort. These days the stalls on the Wednesday market sell dog chews, budgie seed, bread, cheese, fruit and vegetable. The Town Hall, thoroughly restored in 1889, at the cost of Sir Henry Bruce Meux, is a half-timbered decorated stone structure, with oak staircase; the upper part forms a reading-room and a museum. Prior to the restoration the upper walls were plain. The Town Hall still contains the original stocks but unfortunately not the Crimean field gun. Today it is the local museum.
This raises the question where did the Crimean Gun stand? The answer can be seen from early pictures of the Town Hall. There were in fact two cannon, one each end of the Town Hall on the street, each pointing up or down the High Street. The one at the end where the steps to the upper storey are, is believed to be the Crimean Cannon.
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England - Southern
THE GROTTO GRADING FEATURES PRESENT
Crimean Cannon Location