Under Athelstan, law codes strengthened royal control over his large kingdom. Currency was regulated to control silver's weight and to penalise fraudsters. Buying and selling was largely confined to the burhs, encouraging town life. Areas of settlement in the Midlands and Danish towns were consolidated into shires.

According to the 16th-century writer, Leland:

In 2011 the population reached 5,380 living in 2,280 homes. The additional figures are given for The Abbey, the supplemental ecclesiastical parish added to that of St Paul when this existed. Figures from 1911 are for metropolitan borough and after 1961 for ward. For 1901 the area was split into three respective parishes, St Paul Within, St Paul Without and Abbey so three figures are given in the correct order as stated.[1]

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The borough of Malmesbury was home to the great historian William of Malmesbury - what do we know about the ancient town he made famous?

Gordon Williams "A charming town with a vibrant museum and cinema, but take a cushion for long films."

Help with  ACCOMMODATION is also available from the Tourist Information Centre including a ‘Book–A–Bed–Ahead’ scheme or just advice on places to stay locally.

The Garden has an extensive collection of roses - one of the largest in England. With the abbey as dramatic backdrop its five acres feature more than 10,000 plant varieties spread between formal gardens dotted with fish ponds and a wilder section that cascades into a valley cut through by a tributary of the River Avon.

To build your own Itinerary, click to add an item to your Itinerary basket.

Where to buy The old centre. Follow the snaking High Street up hill, down all the offshooting alleys and lanes. Think stone cottages, gables and town houses. Try Bristol Street and Gloucester Road for more period homes, before hitting the suburbs off Sherston Road. More affordable postwar and modern homes are tucked about. And try pretty villages such as Lea and Great Somerford.

The world music festival Womad Charlton Park has been held in Charlton Park near Malmesbury since 2007.

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One of William's stories was about an 11th-century monk called Elmer, who made himself a pair of wings and jumped from the tower of Malmesbury Abbey, flying about 200 metres (220 yards) before crashing and seriously injuring himself.

Since 2000, and with the possibility of falling numbers, women were admitted for the first time - the daughters of freemen. The organisation, The Warden and Freemen of Malmesbury, still owns the land to the south of the town, along with dozens of properties, pubs and shops within the town itself, providing affordable housing to townsfolk.

The case against Once people come, they stay, so there's not much on the market, and what there is is quite expensive. A little inaccessible, but that's what has kept it so beautiful.

The town with its medieval streets, old courtroom, and almshouses is lovely to walk around. In the marketplace you’ll find an elaborately engraved 15th-century market cross which is one of the best preserved of its kind in the country. You can also take to the scenic river path on a walking tour and learn some of Malmesbury’s colourful stories.

Malmesbury natives can be nicknamed Jackdaws, originating from the avian colony of these that inhabit the Abbey walls and roof.[11]

Please call into the Tourist Information Centre for more details about forthcoming events in Malmesbury.

There is a fantastic range of places to dine out locally and Malmesbury Town Hall even has its own informal CINEMA showing recent movies; for more details see  MOVIES @ MALMESBURY.

The town's bus network is run by Coachstyle, who run a town service in addition to regular services to and from Swindon, Yate, Chippenham and Cirencester.

Robert Peel of Malmesbury PhotographsWilts & Glos Standard for the RSS News Feed

Malmesbury had a nine-day wonder media event in January 1998, when two Tamworth pigs known as the Tamworth Two escaped from the town's abattoir. They swam the Tetbury branch of the River Avon, across a few fields and lived in an orchard for a week. The story made international headlines with tabloid newspapers and TV news stations fighting each other to sight and then capture the pigs.

View the stunning skyline and enjoy walks (with or without man’s best friend!) along the River Avon which winds around the town.

Inside there’s scarcely room for a congregation larger than ten, seating for just four and no room for an altar. Only one service a year is carried out at the church - Rogation Sunday Service is held at Bremilham Church on the Sixth Sunday of Easter.

Malmesbury has not benefited from recent property value increases with around only a 1% value increase in the last few years, with around a 1% increase between 2010 and 2014, when compared to 10% in nearby West Berkshire.

On the northern borders of Wiltshire stands the small market town of Malmesbury. Its origins date back to the middle of the sixth century, after the Saxons wrested final control over this part of the country from the Britons. Malmesbury is the oldest borough in England, with a charter given by Alfred the Great around 880.

The sprawling Abbey Gardens surrounding the abbey are famous for their beauty, walks, history – and particularly roses. The house on the site dates back to the 13th century.

For a full list, see: Category:People from Malmesbury


Athelstan died in 940 at the height of his power, and was buried in Malmesbury Abbey. He had been an ardent supporter and endower of the Abbey, and it is fitting that he should be buried there.

Hang out at… Whatley Manor for highfalutin food, or The Old Bell, "England's Oldest Hotel" (of course).

Kate Prentice "Creative crafts at Dolly Bobbins, great coffee at Capers, and a small cinema in the town hall."

The actual date when Malmesbury received its official charter is a little unclear. It may have been as early as 880 under King Alfred, but the generally accepted date is 924 during the reign of Edward the Elder.

Visit the original Market Cross, the Abbey House & Gardens or the Athelstan Museum, there’s lots to see and do.

Malmesbury is twinned with Niebüll in Germany, and Gien in France.[14]

Malmesbury is a beautiful town to visit in its own right and attractions include the jewel in our crown being  MALMESBURY ABBEY,  the fabulous  ABBEY HOUSE GARDENS,  and Malmesbury’s 15th century Market Cross.

Malmesbury.comc/o Mindvision Media Ltd41 high StreetMalmesburyWilts SN16 9ZZ

Schools Primaries: St Joseph's Catholic is "good", and Malmesbury CofE is "outstanding". Secondaries: Malmesbury School is "outstanding".

You might already know of Malmesbury’s rich history as England’s oldest borough or heard about the stunning 12th Century Abbey still very much in use today. But there’s so much more to discover in this charming market town.

Elmer, Aldhelm and William of Malmesbury are all remembered in the stained glass at the Abbey, in a room now used for storage.

Malmesbury has two primary schools, Malmesbury Church of England Primary School and St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School, and one secondary school, Malmesbury School. St. Joseph's is located in the centre of the town; the Secondary and the other Primary are both on the outskirts.