Buildings of interest

 

All Saints' Parish Church

Built in the fourteenth century on the site of a Saxon church. It has the second heaviest peal of eight bells in England.

 

Market Place and Old Town Hall

The site of some of the oldest buildings in Westbury including the old Town Hall, a gift to the town from Sir Massey Manessah Lopes, and the Lopes Arms Hotel.

 

Maristow Street

Once called Silver Street, a narrow street with a mix of small houses and businesses. At the Market Place end is the former Westbury manor house.

 

Westbury House

Built around 1800 by the owners of Angel Mill; it also once housed a small school. Since 1970 it has been the town's library.

 

The Laverton Institute

An imposing Victorian building in the Venetian style, donated to the town by mill-owner Abraham Laverton to provide a place for learning and leisure. It also housed a boys' school and social club. Recently refurbished it has meeting rooms, a large function hall and the offices of the Town Council.

 

Angel Mill

In the town centre, an early nineteenth century cloth mill which remained in production until 1968. It now provides homes and shops.

 

Bitham Mill

On the site of the earliest recorded woollen mill in the town (1573), many of the old buildings have been preserved and converted to housing.

 

Prospect Square

Built by Abraham Laverton for mill workers evicted by a political rival and a fine example of Victorian architecture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abraham Laverton (1819-1886)

The son of a local weaver, Laverton took advantage of the new technology and opportunties of the Victorian era and by his purchase of Angel Mill helped transform Westbury from economic poverty to prosperity. 

As a bachelor who lived very modestly he was able to use his fortune of over £50 million in today's money to improve the lives of his employees and the people of Westbury.

In later life he became a Liberal Member of Parliament amid scandal and accusations of bribery which led to the introduction of the secret ballot.

The full story of his life can be read in "Abraham Laverton JP MP - The rise and rise of a Westbury woollen milll owner" by Anthony Laverton.