If you’re looking for a picturesque town steeped in history and culture, Westbury is a must-visit. Situated at the western end of the plain of Salisbury, this charming medieval city was once a major player in the wool and cloth trade. Today, it still has many historic buildings from its heyday, including some textile factories and mills. Here are some of the top things to do and see in Westbury:
All Saints Church: A 14th-century gem with unusual features
One of the city’s most iconic sights is the Church of All Saints, a 14th-century building that stands on much older foundations. This church boasts many interesting and unusual features, including a stone reredos, a copy of the Erasmus Bible, and a faceless clock made by a local blacksmith in 1604. However, what makes it truly unique are the bells, among the third heaviest in the world, which reside within it.
St Mary’s Church, Old Dilton: A rustic church with unique furnishings
St Mary’s Church, Old Dilton, located on the southern edge of the town, is another church well worth a visit. Behind its simple rustic facade, you’ll find a three-tiered pulpit and wooden bench stalls with individual fireplaces and coal collector. These fascinating details offer a glimpse into the lives of the people who lived in the city centuries ago.
Westbury White Horse: A famous plaster sculpture
By far the most famous feature of Westbury is the famous Westbury White Horse plaster sculpture, a sculpture 182 feet long and 108 feet high. The current horse dates from 1778, replacing the previous one carved to celebrate King Alfred’s victory over the Danes at nearby Ethandun (Edington) in AD 878. The White Horse is being beautifully groomed, the last major grooming being carried out in 2006. Above the horse’s head are the ruins of Bratton Castle, an Iron Age hill fort covering 25 acres.
Woodland Park and Historic District – a naturalist’s paradise
West of the city in Brokerswood is Woodland Park and Historic Center, a sprawling 80-acre park of ancient hardwoods with a diverse array of trees, plants and animals. You can explore nature trails, fish in the lake, have a picnic or barbecue, visit the café and gift shop, admire the museum, play in the play area or take a ride on the narrow gauge train