Malmesbury is a charming little town in the Southern Cotswolds. Once a flourishing market town and centre for education, it's an attractive destination for travellers today. It lays claims to the title of oldest borough in England and the grand Malmesbury Abbey is a great reminder of this town's former glory.
The main road into town is the A429, which connects to the M4. Other main routes nearby are the A433 and the A419, which are connected to Malmesbury via smaller local roads.
The town has managed to preserve its historical atmosphere, not only through its main sights but also in its general street views. The main monumental structures are:
- 1 Malmesbury Abbey, Gloucester St, SN16 0AA, ☏ . 9AM-5PM in summer, 9AM-4PM in winter. Built as a Benedictine monastery as early as 676AD, this massive religious structure is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. It managed to survive pretty much from its first establishment through to the rumbling times of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Then, in 1539, Henry VIII sold the premise to William Stumpe, who used the buildings for his cloth-weaving business. He did however return the abbey church to the town of Malmesbury to serve as a parish church: a function it fulfils still today. Free, although a gift of £5-10 is suggested for restoration and utility costs.
- Tower House, Oxford Street. Although the exact history of this place this remarkable house originates in medieval times. In the 1840s, its owner, a doctor with a strong interest in astronomy, gave the house its distinctive tower.
- 2 Market Cross. Malmesbury's late 15th-century Market Cross is one of the best preserved examples of such a structure in England. Traditional in market towns, the market cross would indicated the place of the market. It can't be missed, right in the centre of town. This one is said to be built with limestone from shortly before ruined parts of the abbey.
- 3 Athelstan Museum, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury SN16 9BZ, ☏ , email@example.com. Summer: daily 10:30AM-4:30PM; Winter (Oct to end-Mar): M-Sa 10:30AM-4:30PM, Su 11:30AM-3:30PM.
- 1 Old Bell Hotel, Abbey Row, ☏ . 33-room hotel which has been in operation since 1220. Singles £92.50, doubles £120-250 bed and breakfast.
- The Horse Guards, Brokenborough, ☏ .
- 2 Whatley Manor, Easton Grey SN16 0RB, ☏ . Superb splurge hotel and spa, great service, comfort and dining. No children under 12. B&B double £250.
- 3 Rectory Hotel, Crudwell SN16 9EP, ☏ . Stylish hotel in Georgian country house, creative cuisine. B&B double £150.
|Routes through Malmesbury|
|Cirencester ← Kemble ←||NE SE||→ Hullavington → merges with and (Chippenham)|