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This ancient town has a varied history dating back to the 6th century. By 1087 when the Doomsday Book was written Calne had become an established settlement, including a Minster Church, a Royal Palace and in the South West corner the remnants of a Roman Villa.

These early features are still embodied within the present town's layout, centring on the Minster, where now, the Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin stands. Kingsbury Street occupies the site of the Royal Palace. The site surrounded on three sides by streams which would aid defence.

The Almshouses in Kingsbury Street, Built in 1682 by John Tounson. Originally 8 dwellings each with its own low street door, now converted into 4 with access at the rear.

St. Mary the Virgin, stand on the site of the original Minster Church.

In 955 AD the town was mentioned in the Will of King Edred. Like many other towns Calne was a flourishing centre of the woollen industry producing broadcloth. The surrounding downs being ideal for grazing huge flocks of sheep, thus supplying the raw material of cloth making.

Sitting on the main road from London to Bristol, Calne established itself as a busy coaching town with several Hotels and Inns taking in travellers. In the 1840's come the railways, bringing this way of life to an end. Though the Harris factory had been built by this time and dominated the town until it closed in 1983.

Today after many years, Calne has redeveloped the site where Harris's stood. A new shopping area has been developed and there are many industries at the business park on the North side.

The Green, looking towards Kingsbury Street and the Parish Church.


Many tourists visit Calne and it has become an ideal base for touring holidays with many places of interest within a couple of hours.

Alms Houses at Calne Calne - The Green Calne - St. Mary the Virgin

51°26'07.1"N 2°00'15.5"W

Calne, Coordinates