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Wilton Town Defences

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castle Mead

In the civil parish of Wilton.
In the historic county of Wiltshire.
Modern Authority of Wiltshire.
1974 county of Wiltshire.
Medieval County of Wiltshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU096312
Latitude 51.07996° Longitude -1.86380°

Wilton Town Defences has been described as a probable Urban Defence.

There are uncertain remains.


Scant traces of Anglo-saxon earthen defences reutilized by medieval town. (Bond)

The town was disastrously caught up in the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda. In 1142 Stephen arrived in the town intending to renew its fortifications and use it as a stronghold. Matilda's forces, however, launched an attack before this work was achieved. Stephen fled, the town was burnt and the nunnery violated. This serious though temporary check to the prosperity of the town was followed in the later 12th century by the construction of the city of New Sarum (Salisbury), sited on the banks of the Avon south of Old Sarum. (Mcmahon p. 8)

The Saxon town was of such importance that it was the county town from which Wiltshire takes its name. However the town failed to develop. The scant traces and the speed and success of Matilda's forces suggest the defences were weak in the C12 and it likely the town was never able to afford to replace them.
See also Wilton Abbey suggested as a temporary 'castle' of 1143.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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