Trowbridge is the County Town of Wiltshire.
Located on the River Biss, in the west of the county, close to the Somerset border, and about 8 miles (13 kilometres) south of the Roman and Georgian City of Bath.
As far back as the 10th century written records mark the existence of Trowbridge as a village.
The first mention of Trowbridge Castle was in 1139 when it was besieged. Probably built by Humphrey de Bohun, who's family dominated the town for over a hundred years.
In 1200 Henry de Bohun obtained a market charter, arguably the earliest for a town in Wiltshire, and one of the earliest in England. Henry also had the first St James's Church built. Architecture of that period can be seen in the base of the tower of the present day church, below the subsequently added spire.
Accessable to Salisbury Plain and surrounded by the Wiltshire Downs, in the 14th centuary Trowbridge developed as a centre for the production of woollen cloth.
During the 17th century, the production of woollen cloth became increasingly industrialised, and in 1820 with over 20 woollen cloth producing factories, Trowbridge's scale of production was such that it was described as the "Manchester of the West".
The woollen cloth industry started to decline in the late 19th century, continuing through the 20th century. However, Trowbridge's West of England cloth maintained a reputation for excellent quality until the end. Salter's Home Mill, the last woollen mill in Trowbridge, closed in 1982 and became the home of the Trowbridge Museum, now being relocated and due to reopen late in 2020. The museum follows the history of woollen cloth production in the town, one of the best displays in the country includes an extremely rare Spinning Jenny, one of only five remaining worldwide.
"Handle House" straggling the Biss River was formerly used for the drying and storage of teazles used to raise the nap of cloth, one of very few such buildings still in existance in the U.K. today.
Trowbridge became the County Town of Wiltshire in 1889 by virtue of its railway connections, with the current magnificant County Hall being built in 1939.
You have to dig deep to find it today but there is much of architectural interest in Trowbridge, including many of the old buildings associated with the textile industry, and the Newtown conservation area, a protected zone of mostly Victorian houses.
The town has six Grade I listed buildings, being St James's Church, Lovemead House and numbers 46, 64, 68 and 70, Fore Street.
The Town Hall in Market Street is a three-storey building with an Italianate clock-tower, and was presented to the town in 1889 by local businessman, Sir William Roger Brown. The building was the seat of local government until 1974, also housing magistrates' courts and coroners' inquests. It is now a centre for arts and community events.
Trowbridge Railway Station makes access into Bath or Bristol; Salisbury and beyond to the South Coast trully stress free. With trains running into Bath every 15 minutes.