Highworth facts for kids
West end of the High Steet, 2007
|Highworth shown within Wiltshire|
|Population||8,151 (2011 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South West England|
Highworth is a market town and civil parish in Wiltshire, England, about 6 miles (10 km) northeast of Swindon town centre. The 2011 Census recorded a population of 8,151. The town is notable for its Queen Anne and Georgian buildings, dating from its pre-eminence in the 18th century.
Highworth is on a hill in a strategic position above the Upper Thames Valley, and seems to have been occupied almost continuously for 4,000 years. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book as 'Wrde'. On John Speed's map of Wiltshire (1611), the name is spelt both Highwoth (for the hundred) and Hiworth (for the town itself). In 1206 it was granted a charter for its market, which is still held weekly. The origins and layout of Highworth are medieval.
Highworth was a Royalist stronghold in the English Civil War, but on 17 June 1645 Sir Thomas Fairfax captured it and Parliamentarian troops garrisoned it until October the next year. The occupation coincided with a severe outbreak of plague. Traders moved their business to Swindon, and Highworth market did not recover until the end of the 17th century. Highworth benefited from the economic boom in the Napoleonic Wars and Industrial Revolution, and many of the houses in the town centre date from this time. From 1894 to 1974 there was a Highworth Rural District but the town is now part of Swindon unitary authority. Highworth was once larger than neighbouring Swindon, when Highworth's population exceeded 12,000.
Highworth is on a hill above the Upper Thames Valley, and at 436 ft (133 m) above sea level it is the highest town in Wiltshire.
The parish includes Sevenhampton village and the hamlets of Hampton and Redlands.
Culture and community
The town is twinned with Pontorson in Normandy. Highworth Community Centre opened in the former Northview Primary School in June 2011.
The Church of England parish church of St Michael (see below) is at the centre of the town, at the corner of the High Street and the A361 Swindon Road. The centre of the old town, with many fine Georgian and Queen Anne houses, has been a conservation area since 1976.
The Old Manor House in the High Street, dating from 1656, is a Grade II* listed building.
Images for kids
Highworth Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.