Some Ordnance Survey Maps Temporarily Unavailable

on Friday, 17 March 2017.

Update: Ordnance survey maps are now all available again as normal

Please note that:

OS 25” sheets 8.15 (1886), 10.11 (1941), 23.2, 23.3, 24.1 (c1910), 30.14 (1911 + 1924), 32.12 (c1924) 49.2, 52.3, 52.4, 59.14, 62.7, 62.8 (c1910)
65.5 (c1924) 65.13, 68.16, 72.11, 76.3, 77.4, 77.8 (c1910)

Plus town plans 20.14.18 (Chippenham) and 38.7.9 + 15 (Trowbridge)
are being temporarily withdrawn for digitisation, the week beginning 20th March. This should be complete by end of March 2017.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Know Your Place coming to Chippenham

on Wednesday, 22 February 2017.

6th March – 28th April at the  Yelde Hall

A cutting edge display is coming to Chippenham as the final stop on a tour of 12 venues across the West of England.

It features images from archives, museums and heritage collections from across the West (including us at the History Centre) and gives a unique insight into the history of the places where we live, work and visit.

It will be on display in the Yelde Hall, Chippenham from 6th March – 28th April alongside objects that explore the long history of Chippenham’s medieval Yelde Hall.

The exhibition is part of ‘Know Your Place – West of England’ digital mapping project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

We’ll be posting about some of the stories from the exhibition on our social media channels throughout the period of the exhibition, so keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

We’re also hosting a FREE maps workshop on Saturday 10 June called ‘Know Your Place: Putting Wiltshire on the Map’. Claire Skinner will help you find out more about using maps for local history and also demonstrate how you can contribute their knowledge of local heritage to the Know Your Place West of England website. Book your place now on 01249 705500.

For anyone interested, there will also be a walking tour of Chippenham at 2 pm the same day led by Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre which will be advertised in due course at: A cost may apply for the walk.

Documents Temporarily Unavailable

on Tuesday, 31 January 2017.

* UPDATE 13 Feb 2017. The documents are now available again as normal.

We apologise that due to faulty shelving, document references 348 through to 628/29/5 are currently unavailable. This includes some large and popular collections so please ensure you double check your document references before travelling to see us.

The collections affected include (not a comprehensive list):

348 Society of Genealogists

374 Mullings, Ellett & Co. Solicitors of Cirencester.

383 Stourhead

413 Benett of Pythouse, Tetbury

415 Keary, Stokes and White. Solicitors of Chippenham

445 Sir Michael Peto

451 Salisbury Diocesan Registry

473 Goldney of Chippenham

490 Earl of Radnor

540 Phipps Family of Leighton and Chalcot in Westbury

574 Awdry, Douglas, and Bailey

628 Farnfield and Nicholls. Solicitors of Warminster (unavailable up to ref 628/29/5)

An engineer has been informed and we will make the material available again as soon as possible. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Announcing the launch of Touring Digital Exhibition to help you Know Your Place

on Thursday, 10 November 2016.

Have you ever wondered what makes a place the way it is now? Or wished you could travel back in time and discover how an area has changed?

KYPexplore is a cutting-edge digital exhibition which will tour across the West of England giving an insight into the history of the places where we live, work and visit every day.


For the first time in one place, the stories of the people who lived and worked in the varied landscapes of the West of England will be told together – from Miners in Radstock to Peat-cutters in the Somerset levels, Moonrakers of Devizes to Foresters in the Forest of Dean. Historic and modern photos of familiar landscapes will show how places have transformed over time and where they have changed little.

The exhibition innovatively combines graphic panels, touchscreens and an online WebApp to feature extraordinary digital material from archives, museums and heritage collections across the West of England. The exhibition has been curated in collaboration with 24 different organisations to select and display digital images, audio and film on a unique online platform.

The exhibition consists of four identical displays touring simultaneously across the region, allowing it to visit 12 venues across six counties during the six months between November 2016 and April 2017. The exhibition will visit a range of museums, libraries and community spaces across the West of England, including: Bradley Stoke Library in South Gloucestershire, Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire, Dean Heritage Centre in Gloucestershire, Radstock Museum in Bath & NE Somerset, Weston Town Hall in North Somerset and The Bishops Palace in Somerset. The full list of venues can be found on the project website.

The exhibition opens this week at its first four venues: The Glass Box at Taunton Library, Taunton; Bath Central Library, Bath; STEAM Museum, Swindon; and Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre, Bristol; and will be accompanied by a programme of public events to be announced shortly.

Exhibition at Taunton Library

The exhibition is available online and can be viewed from any smartphone or connected device, making it accessible to those who cannot visit it in person, and available for audiences to revisit again and again at a time that suits them. Visit the exhibition online.

This exhibition is part of Know Your Place – West of England, the digital mapping project to share your neighbourhood’s heritage online through old maps, historic images and heritage data. The Know Your Place platform recently extended to map Wiltshire, Bath & NE Somerset and Gloucestershire, and work is underway to map North Somerset and Somerset in spring 2017. The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). To start exploring Know Your Place, visit the project’s website.

Felicia Davies, Project Officer, Know Your Place - West of England, said: “This exhibition is unique in its ambition, geographical spread, use of digital technology and fantastic partnership with many museums, libraries and archives across the area. We hope the rich and varied stories in the exhibition will help visitors make the connection with their own local heritage and inspire them to explore this further on the Know Your Place digital mapping resource.”

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said: “From ensuring information held in centuries-old maps is saved for future generations, to making the changing face of our region accessible at the click of a button,  Know Your Place is a fantastic partnership of organisations, communities and volunteers. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we’re delighted to support this project which is quite literally putting the West of England’s heritage on the map.”

The Know Your Place West of England project was awarded £379,800 by HLF, with generous match-funding and in-kind support from local authorities and heritage groups within the region, including £5,000 match-funding from lead partner South Gloucestershire Council.

Rewilding Britain & Wiltshire’s Wildlife Riches

on Wednesday, 02 November 2016.

Meet Multi award-winning Wiltshire based wildlife filmmaker and photographer Nick Upton at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Thursday 24 November, 7pm

Nick will present his recent stills work documenting a range of major UK conservation projects and Wiltshire’s wildlife riches. He’ll showcase Beaver, Crane, Pine marten, Water vole and Harvest mouse reintroductions nationally and Wiltshire’s stunning flower meadows, rare butterflies, bats and the return of the Great Bustard.

Nick, who worked with Sir David Attenborough and produced many films for the BBC and broadcasters worldwide, contributes photos and text to many books and magazines including BBC Wildlife, National Geographic and Wiltshire Life, and won the documentary category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2014 and 2016.

There will also be an opportunity to purchase card and print versions of Nick’s work.

The talk is free of charge and tickets are available by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01249 705500. Booking is strongly advised. Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham, SN15 3QN. Free parking available on site.

Some of Nick's work has been acquired by the HLF-funded Creative Wiltshire project - see:

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