A Brief Introduction to Melksham

Melksham is the fifth largest town in the county of Wiltshire in South-West England. It…

Melksham is the fifth largest town in the county of Wiltshire in South-West England. It is on the banks of the River Avon and has good access to Bath, Swindon and Salisbury, as well as the M4 motorway. Junction 17 of the M4 is only 10 miles away. Bath is 13 miles from the town with Bristol 36 miles away. The population of Melksham stands at around 23,000.
Melksham was originally developed at a ford across the River Avon, and the name derives from the word ‘meolc’, which meant milk and ham in old English. In the Doomsday Book the town was described as having “8 mills, 130 acres of water meadows and 8 leagues of pasture in length and breadth”. At the time of the Norman Conquest Melksham was a Royal Estate after the Prioress and Nuns of Amesbury surrendered their Melksham estates to the King.
In the nineteenth century a Spa was developed in Melksham. The Melksham Spa Company was formed in 1815 by a group of wealthy men who had made their money from the textile industry, which was by this time in decline. They were looking for another project and believed a Spa was a good money making opportunity. The Spa idea was thought about after a failed attempt to find coal uncovered two springs. Six large three story lodge buildings were built that included a pump room and private baths, both hot and cold. Unfortunately for its founders, the Spa did not prove as successful as they believed it would, partly due to the Roman Baths in the nearby city of Bath. The buildings, however, still exist today. The area to the south of the town is now known as The Spa. There was a plan for a similar area on the north side that was never developed.
The biggest employer in Melksham these days is Avon Rubber, a tyre producer that employs over 300 people. Knorr-Bremse, a designer and manufacturer of railway Psychology Therapy Salary braking systems, also employs a significant number of people. Several manufacturing industries have existed in the area due to the easy access to the M4.
In recent times there has been a development of the town centre. The town includes facilities such as banks, cafe’s, food shops, chemists, a post office, a library, a police station and a fire station. There is also a railway station which is on the Wessex main line connected to Chippenham and Trowbridge. Only two trains in each direction, though, stop in Melksham each day. There are nine primary schools in Melksham but only one secondary school. Sports facilities in the town include a gym, swimming pool and sports centre. There are also many pubs, several of which have live music.
One of the highlights of the year in Melksham is the annual Party in the Park, which takes place in July. It consists of a fair with rides, a fireworks 15 Health Issues In The World display, and a stage with live music and dance. As part of the festival there is also a carnival parade that travels through the town.
Andrew Marshall (c)