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Melksham

Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Wiltshire  /  Melksham
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Melksham is a medium-sized English town, on the River Avon in the county of Wiltshire.It is 10mi east of the city of Bath, 6mi south of Chippenham, 6mi west of Devizes and 12mi north of Warminster on the A350 national route. The 2001 UK census recorded Melksham as having 20,000 inhabitants, including sizeable environs such as Bowerhill and Berryfield; as such it is Wiltshire's fifth-largest town by population after Swindon, Salisbury, Chippenham and Trowbridge.HistoryThe town of Melksham developed at a ford across the River Avon and the name is presumed to derive from "meolc", the Old English for milk, and "ham", a village. On John Speed's map of Wiltshire (1611), the name is spelt both Melkesam (for the hundred) and Milsham (for the town itself). Melksham was a royal estate at the time of the Norman ConquestIn 1539 the prioress and nuns of Amesbury surrendered their Melksham estates to the king which they had held for about 250 years. This property, which consisted of the Lordship of the Manor and Hundred, was in 1541 granted to Sir Thomas Seymour. Seymour then sold it to Henry Brouncker, who had already made purchases of real estate in the neighbourhood. At some uncertain date, perhaps about 1550, Brouncker built a residence for himself on the site of an earlier mansion. This was known as Place House, built in a style suitable to that of a resident lord, who was also a man of considerable wealth.
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