From starring on the small screen in Poldark to exotic peacocks and acres of picturesque autumnal countryside to explore, Corsham is a hidden gem.
Quintessentially English - historic buildings and acres of beautiful countryside on the doorstep. Slightly exotic - flamboyant, and loud, peacocks regally wander the streets. And a starring role as an historic Cornish town - Ross Poldark brooded his way around here for the hit BBC series... The Wiltshire market town of Corsham is something of a hidden treasure. It’s also one of the Top 10 places to live in the South West, according to a recent Sunday Times’ annual poll.
Just 35 minutes from Swindon, Corsham sits on the edge of the Cotswolds. Its history is linked to wool and stone: the wool from the Flemish weavers who based themselves in the town (their cottages can still be seen); the stone from the famous Bath Stone, quarried locally and used in many of the town’s buildings.
Of those buildings, Nikolaus Pevsner, the architectural historian, once wrote, “Corsham has no match in Wiltshire for wealth of good houses”, and a star among them is Corsham Court (www.corsham-court.co.uk) – a Saxon royal manor house and home to a collection of celebrated paintings housed in a picture gallery designed by Capability Brown, who also landscaped the gardens. The glorious parkland that surrounds the Court is perfect for an autumn walk, and when the morning mist rolls across the lake there’s no better place to enjoy nature. In fact, there are so many stunning walking routes around the town and not just Corsham Court and the High Street, that you will be spoilt for choice. Visit the Tourist Information Centre or the Town Hall for a great selection of walking maps for all levels of experience and distance.
As well as Corsham Court, the town boasts the 17th century Almshouses and schoolhouse, and a beautiful and historic High Street, where every step takes you past an architectural gem.
If you want something more contemporary, then The Pound, Corsham’s gallery, theatre, cinema and cafe bar (poundarts.org.uk), has a great programme of events coming up for the last part of the year, including November’s Magic and Mayhem Festival (14-20 November 2022). Highlights include The Mayhem Cabaret and Bubble Inc’s Bubble Wizard show. In December you can enjoy everything from Rock the Tots for the youngsters to a screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, arguably the greatest classic Christmas film.
Alternatively, you can head off for some retail therapy and early Christmas shopping: Corsham has a great range of independent shops offering everything from collectible comics to vintage wares, locally made edible treats to eclectic and unique gifts. There’s the award-winning Corsham Bookshop, Previous Homewares and Theodora’s Flowers amongst others.
You’ll also find great places to warm up in front of a roaring fire as you stop for a drink and something to eat – try The Flemish Weaver (flemishweaver.co.uk), at one end of the historic High Street for hearty pub fare or the award-winning Methuen Arms at the other for a fantastic dining experience.
And when you visit Corsham you’ll be stepping straight on to a film and TV set. Poldark and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher have been filmed here and, most recently, Sky One’s Agatha Raisin has captured Corsham on camera.
Come and discover Corsham for yourself this autumn. Take a look at visit-corsham.co.uk or Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest news on events and activities in the town.