The market town of Wootton Bassett has recently become well known for the saddest of reasons. Because of its proximity to RAF Lyneham, this is the high street that comes to a halt as a show respect to the young soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
Just four miles west of Swindon and, until the arrival of the Great Western Railways in the 1840s, of far greater importance as a town, Wootton Bassett dates back to Saxon times; the first reference to it was recorded was in 681 AD. The name comes from Wodeton or Woodeton meaning settlement in the wood - possibly a clearing in Braydon Forest.
It was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. For more on its history see below.