Wednesday, 9 December 2009


The church of St Michael's and All Angels dates back to the 13th century and much of Highworth's history is recorded within. The entrance facing the avenue of trees has a hole in the masonery, this was made by a cannon ball in the Civil War. The cannon ball remains in the church though the ball on display is a wooden replica. The church also has some impressive stained glass windows, an example can be seen here

Highworth is a small market town north east of Swindon. It once had a larger population than Swindon and was a more prominant town - until Brunel built his railway which started Swindon's expansion. Highworth continues to remain separate though the rural green belt between it and the outskirts of Swindon is gradually shrinking.
Apart from the church there is much of the old market town still in evidence; I found myself walking past cottages that date back to 18th century before walking up Sheep Street to the town square (below).

Highworth means town on a hill ('worth' comes from enclosure) - it looks out over the Vale of White Horse and the Thames Valley. The area is thought to have been well settled in prehistoric times and I understand archaeological investigations are planned in the future.