Monday, 21 January 2019

Devizes tour Part II

A few more of the historic buildings to be seen in Devizes. I apologise in advance for the length of this blog, but I did not want to stretch to a third post!
House of the 18th century surgeon Joseph Needham, who lived and worked in Devizes. A grand and ornate facade- he must have made some money!


Landsdowne House is now a highly prestigious Grade II* listed office building in the centre of Devizes. The frontage was rebuilt in about 1809.

*As stated in the last post, Grade II listing of a property means, in effect, that owners are not allowed, under planning regulations, to make any alterations to either the structure or the interior fittings, save only for safety renovations and damage repairs.


The Brittox is the main pedestrianised shopping area of Devizes. The Brittox itself runs from left to right in this photo,  with Little Brittox ahead.

Fountain in the market square, dedicated to Thomas Sotheron Estcourt - a former town MP and holder of high government office- see below.


The iconic red public telephone kiosk, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, is a familiar sight on the streets of the United Kingdom. There are still a few working boxes around, despite the fact the most people now carry a mobile phone! Behind it is another icon, the British red pillar (mail) box. In 1853 the first pillar box in the United Kingdom was installed at Botchergate, Carlisle in the north of England.

St Andrews Church is a Methodist church in Devizes ...

See above.

A pedestrian passage with the church of St Johns and St Marys at the end...

The churches of Devizes St. John and St. Mary have an inextricably linked history, as they have always had a single rector, despite the fact that the two churches have separate incomes and separate parish officers.
In 1906, the rector at that time, J. G. Watson, tried to separate the parishes, but he wasn't successful!
It is probable that  St John's and St Mary's were built as a pair by Bishop Roger between 1120 and 1135, to serve the populations in the different parts of the town.

As above - another view!

St Johns Court, the building on the right on the passage above, is a former medieval hall.


A very old "half-timbered" building right opposite the church. 

Devizes castle - private property and difficult to get photos of!

The first castle on this site was built in 1080 by Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury. but was burnt down in 1113! It was rebuilt in stone by Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, by 1120. He occupied it during the reigns of King Henry I and later King Stephen. Roger's allegiance to Stephen proved to be a mistake and the castle was taken and retaken in subsequent fighting! It remained Crown property and was used as a prison by Henry II and Henry III. It went on to become the property of Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII.

The building is now divided into two dwellings in private ownership and is not open to the public. Must be draughty in the winter!

The Market Cross was designed by Benjamin Wyatt and was given by Lord Sidmouth. It is well worth a close examination for there is a plaque that bears a chilling account of the sudden end of Ruth Pierce of Potterne in 1753. On being accused of theft, Ruth protested her innocence and called on God to strike her dead if she were telling a lie. It seems the Almighty took her at her word and the stolen money was found in her dead hand.

The famous statue of Ceres, the Roman Goddess of the harvest, adorns the Corn Exchange and keeps vigil over the Market Place. Opened in 1857, the Corn Exchange was originally a covered market where cereals were traded.

The Bear hotel, an original 16th century Coaching Inn boasting beams of plenty and an abundance of original features

The Old Town Hall is a Grade II* listed building. Formerly the Cheese Hall, this building was used as a Town Hall during the building of the present Town Hall and is now occupied by a bank.


Devizes Town Hall is a Thomas Baldwin designed building constructed between 1806 and 1808.


The Shambles - a walk-through covered market.

Inside the Shambles on a quiet day.

A leafy walkway I found where I managed to get the photos of the castle.

The Devizes War Memorial.


See also photodiarydps

and my bird blog

16 comments:

  1. Wow what an interesting picturesque place.

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    1. It is an interesting town and thankfully they are trying to look after the historic builsings. Hope all is well with you, t'other Diane

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  2. Great photos, Diane! I love the red telephone booths! Haven't seen a telephone booth anywhere in the U.S. for many years. Great architecture with the Devizes Town Hall, regal looking. Great old churches and castle too, love all the old buildings! Thanks!

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    1. Hi Pam, the phone boxes in France have been converted into second hand book libraries. Leave a couple of books behind and take out some you have not read great idea. Thanks for visiting always good to hear from you. Take are Diane

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  3. Splendid photos Diane, very interesting buildings, scenes, all of which I remember, in style of the way things were that is. I have never been to these places but they remind me of similar sights from my time in the UK in other areas.

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    1. Historical Europe, each country has its own style but the history is evident everywhere. Have a good day, Diane

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  4. That's some very stout looking architecture. Almost crazy that the iconic red phone booth and mail box are from our own history. I'd think living in a castle would be like a fairytale, not practical and terribly expensive to maintain.

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    1. I agree living in a castle would be more than expensive and I would probably get lost all the time 😉 Keep well, Diane

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  5. It's a very picturesque place, to be certain. I love the historical markers. Also re your comment that in France they've turned phone boxes into mini libraries, there are many of those springing up around here; I think it's a lovely idea.

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    1. I agree the phone boxes turned into mini libraroes is a great idea. Devizes has so much history attached to it, and as we were there for so long this trip I found many places that I did not know were there. Hope you are well, Diane

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  6. Very interesting to see the town.

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    1. Thanks Penny. Hope you are having a good trip, bet it is warmer there than it is here!!! Take care Diane

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  7. I was never sure that Devizes was a real place -- I had only heard of it in a limerick that began "There once was a man from Devizes" and continues in a manner not suitable for a respectable blog comment. Your photos are all fascinating. I am very fond of the era of the war between Stephen and his rivals in the early 12th century.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Mae for the comment, please note I do not normally post links to other blogs but I will let this slip through once. Ha ha yes I know the verse and yes Devizes really does exist. Have a good week Diane

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  8. Hi Diane - I'm trying to catch up. What a delightful town - love your photos and story line ... the winding paths look somewhat like our twittens here in Sussex - while the Brittox - I'd never heard of that name ... and then the description mentions brattice - another new word ... makes sense when one understands it ... a stockade separation along the road. Fun information ... I feel brittoxedly wiser! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary, I am struggling to keep up, so many things I want to do and not enough hours in the day!! You have enlightened me yet again, now why did I not look up Brittox? Take care and have a good week Diane

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