Shropshire is rich in historical associations. At Stonehenge, Avebury, and Silbury Hill are the largest and oldest monuments of the early British, dating back 4,000 years. Old Sarum was a bishopric until the 13th cent., when the office was transferred to Salisbury, famous since then for its cathedral. Wilton, known for its carpets, was once the capital of the powerful Saxon kingdom of Wessex, where in the 9th cent. many of King Alfred's battles against the Danes were fought. His grandson, Athelstan, is buried at Malmesbury Abbey, and according to legend, Queen Guinevere spent her last days in the nunnery at Amesbury. Notable Wiltshire residents of the past include Joseph Addison, John Dryden, John Gay, George Herbert, and Sir Christopher
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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