Portal:Wiltshire

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Introduction

County Flag of Wiltshire.svg

Wiltshire (/ˈwɪlt.ʃər, -ʃɪər/) is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2 (1,346 square miles). It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The county town was originally Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the county town of Trowbridge.

Wiltshire is characterised by its high downland and wide valleys. Salisbury Plain is noted for being the location of the Stonehenge and Avebury stone circles and other ancient landmarks, and as a training area for the British Army. The city of Salisbury is notable for its mediaeval cathedral. Important country houses open to the public include Longleat, near Warminster, and the National Trust's Stourhead, near Mere.

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Salisburycathedral0246.jpg

Salisbury Cathedral, formally known as the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an Anglican cathedral in Salisbury, England, considered one of the leading examples of Early English architecture. The main body was completed in only 38 years, from 1220 to 1258.

The cathedral has the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom (123m/404 ft). Visitors can take the "Tower Tour" where the interior of the hollow spire, with its ancient wood scaffolding, can be viewed. The cathedral also has the largest cloister and the largest cathedral close in Britain (80 acres). The Cathedral contains the world's oldest working clock (from AD 1386) and has one of the four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta (all four original copies are in England). Although commonly known as Salisbury Cathedral, the official name is the Cathedral of Saint Mary. In 2008, the cathedral celebrated the 750th anniversary of its consecration in 1258.

Significant changes to the cathedral were made by the architect James Wyatt in 1790, including replacement of the original rood screen and demolition of the bell tower which stood about 320 feet (100 metres) north west of the main building. Salisbury is one of only three English cathedrals to lack a ring of bells, the others being Norwich Cathedral and Ely Cathedral. However it does strike the time every 15 minutes with bells.

Selected biography

James-Blunt.jpg

James Blunt (born James Hillier Blount in Tidworth, Wiltshire ; 22 February 1974) is the stage name adopted by the Grammy Award-nominated English singer-songwriter whose debut album, Back to Bedlam and single releases, including "You're Beautiful" and "Goodbye My Lover", brought him to fame in 2005. His repertoire is a mix of acoustic-tinged pop, rock and folk. After recording on the independent American label Custard Records, Blunt won two BRIT Awards, two Ivor Novello Awards, and by 2006 was nominated for five Grammy Awards. The following year, he released his second album All The Lost Souls (2007). Blunt's third studio album, Some Kind of Trouble, is due to be released in November 2010.

Blunt was an officer in the Life Guards, a Cavalry regiment of the British Army, and served under NATO in Kosovo during the conflict there in 1999. While posted to Kosovo, Blunt was introduced to the work of Médecins Sans Frontières; (MSF or "Doctors Without Borders"). Since then, Blunt has supported MSF by holding meet-and-greet auctions at many of his concerts.

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