Portal:Wiltshire

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Wiltshire

Wiltshire outline map with UK.png

Wiltshire (/ˈwɪlər/ or /ˈwɪlɪər/, formerly /ˈwɪlʃər/; or the County of Wilts) is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers 3,485 km2 (861,000 acres). The ancient county town was Wilton, but since 1930 Wiltshire County Council and its successor Wiltshire Council (from 2009) have been based at Trowbridge.

Wiltshire is characterised by its high downland and wide valleys. Salisbury Plain is famous as the location of the Stonehenge and Avebury stone circles and other ancient landmarks and as the main training area in the UK of the British Army. The city of Salisbury is notable for its medieval 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.

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Billie Piper in October 2006.JPG

Billie Piper (born Lianne Piper, 22 September 1982, in Swindon, Wiltshire) is an English singer and actress.

She began her career in the late 1990s as a pop singer and then progressed to acting. Her most famous role is as Rose Tyler, companion to the Doctor in the television series Doctor Who from 2005 to 2006, a role she reprised in 2008 and 2010. In 2007, Broadcast magazine listed Piper at no. 6 in its "Hot 100" list of influential on-screen performers, the top woman on the list. Since 2007 she has starred as the high flying escort Belle de Jour in the TV series Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

After an extended break, Piper decided to end her pop career in 2003 and return to her original ambition: acting. She took acting lessons while living in London. Piper gained very positive reviews for these appearances, critics seemingly feeling that she was a far better actress than she was a singer.

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