By Emma Kirkup

When you think of Westbury you probably think of the Westbury White Horse. It certainly dominates the landscape and is always a welcome sight when I’m passing through the town on the train.

However, Westbury is not just famous for its White Horse, it also has a rich Victorian heritage which is now being celebrated in a new Victorian Westbury exhibition in The Laverton.

Inside the Laverton

The Laverton is owned by Westbury Town Council and sits just on the edge of the town centre. Built in 1873 by Abraham Laverton, a mill owner and MP for Westbury, the Laverton was given to the town as one of his philanthropic gifts. Today, the building is Grade II Listed status and is used as a wedding venue, for events and as a home to Westbury Town Council.

On the ground floor of the building, you’ll find the Victorian Westbury exhibition. Although it’s not large, it gives you more details of the impact the wool trade in particular had on the town and the influence of Abraham Laverton and also the close connections of Westbury to other industrial towns notably including Trowbridge, Wiltshire’s county town.

In addition to the exhibition, the town council have put together a handy Westbury Blue Plaque Trail which showcases some of the historic and notable buildings of the town.

Westbury swimming pool

Although on this occasion I didn’t have time to do the full trail, I did head to some of the places of interest including Westbury Swimming Pool (a fascinating Victorian building), the Library (dating from circa 1880) and Church Street.

Around the church

I also made a quick visit into All Saints' Church, which sits in the heart of the town and also to the Westbury Visitor Centre where you can see finds from the local area, old photographs as well as research material about the town.

Inside the church

If I had more time, I’d be interested in exploring the rest of the places on the trail and possibly if I was feeling energetic, make the walk up to Westbury’s White Horse too – after all, the views from up there are pretty unmissable!

If you are interested in learning more about Westbury’s Victorian history, the exhibition is open Monday-Friday, 10am-4.30pm and has free entry.

There are a couple of places to stay in and around Westbury see our accommodation pages for details.


The Westbury White Horse

Looking to visit the amazing town of Westbury?...If so, click here to get the latest Westbury tourist information direct from the official Wiltshire tourism site!



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