Buildings of Historic Interest

Westbury Swimming pool

Built in 1887 by William Laverton and opened in 1888 to provide bathing and also washing facilities, with ten individual baths. It was built in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria and the water was supplied by Bitham spring. During the winter months the pool was covered by a suspended floor to allow for dances and athletic events. Westbury pool is one of the longest serving indoor Victorian swimming pools in the country. A marvel of Victorian design, swimmers find themselves enchanted by the beautiful mosaic ceiling and traditional look of the pool. It was modernised in 1984 with a heated pool which is kept at about one degree higher than most other swimming pools making it a popular choice for babies and the elderly. The remedial relaxation session is a type of hydrotherapy session and especially popular with people who suffer with conditions such as arthritis and they use it to ease pain, relax and as a social gathering. It also has a resident ghost called George. Dimensions – 20m by 6.5m.

The Laverton

A splendid Victorian building built in 1873 in the Venetian style by the celebrated architect William Jarvis Stent, the Laverton Institute, with reading and meeting room, a hall and school, was provided for the people of Westbury by Abraham Laverton, as a recreational and cultural facility. It serves as both offices for the town council, and a bookable community venue run by the Laverton Institute Trust.

 

 

Prospect Square

Abraham Laverton stood in election for MP for the borough in 1868 defeated by JL Phipps whose agent, James Harrop, owner of Boyers mill, evicted tenants who in the open ballot had voted for Laverton. On appeal the election was declared void and a new one held. Laverton was defeated by Chas Phipps, but he responded by building the 39 cottages, the rents from which maintained the 7 almshouses for retired workers. The Laverton charity continues today with houses by the churchyard.

 

 

 

Westbury House (Westbury Library)

Built by William Open around 1800 in Edward Street for the owners of Angel Mill; John and William Matravers.  It was purchased by Abraham Laverton around 1855 and was lived in by his family until 1888. It remained a private house, known as Westbury House, until it was purchased by Wiltshire County Council in 1970 and was converted to its present use as Westbury Library.

The house is on three levels and it is said that on the the third floor a ghost haunts. Apparently a servant girl was thwarted in love and took her own life. It is believed that she killed herself either in the bathroom or in her bedroom.

 

 The Old Town Hall

Situated in the Market Place which is formed by several 18th century buildings, the old Town Hall was built by Sir Manasseh Massey Lopes in 1815. Richard Ingleman was the architect. It was used as a courtroom and had a prison on the ground floor behind an open arcade. The public library was located here from 1947 until 1970. Converted for commercial use 1972.

 

 

 

Angel Mill

Built by John and William Matravers and Benjamin Overbuy in 1806. It was one of the first purpose-built steam powered factories in the area. Abraham Laverton was the owner from 1852 and he added to the buildings, including a weaving shed dated 1868. The mill closed in 1969.

 


Bitham Mill

A fulling mill stood here in 1573. This is the earliest documented premises for the woollen cloth industry in Westbury. The factory was built in 1803 for clothiers Crosby and White. It was extended in 1829, when it was converted to steam, and 1869. From 1856 it was run together with Angel Mill as A Laverton & Co until its closure in 1969.


35 Church Street

This is the principal house of the manor of Westbury Chantry. It is an early 19th century building. part medieval with a late 14th century window. Henry Pinniger established his solicitor’s practice here in 1819. The Precentor of Salisbury Cathedral, who was in charge of the cathedral choir, was lord of the manor, and in a lease in 1824 Henry Pinniger was required to provide accommodation for him and his retinue when holding court in Westbury. Part was a residence called The Chantry.