A Visitors Guide To Corsham In Wiltshire
From peacocks to Poldark, Corsham Court to Cotswold stone, there are a many reasons to visit the historic market town of Corsham in Wiltshire.
If you want to make your trip extra special, we recommend stopping in at The Methuen Arms, located right in the heart of the town at the end of the historic High Street. With refreshing Butcombe beer on tap, three AA Rosettes for its delicious food offering, and stylish boutique bedrooms for those that fancy a longer getaway, the Georgian coaching inn is Corsham’s true superstar attraction!
History Of Corsham
With Royal Saxon origins, Corsham was historically a centre for agriculture, but like many of Wiltshire’s towns, it developed a thriving wool industry during medieval times.
Even after the decline of the wool trade, the town maintained its prosperity through the export of Bath stone, also known as oolitic limestone. Initially quarried for local use, the stone was discovered in droves during the digging of the nearby Box Tunnel for the Great Western Railway, meaning there was not only enough stone to sell to other English towns, but also an easy way of transporting it thanks to the newly-built railway line.
Corsham has links to the literary world as the inspiration for Charles Dickens’ novel The Pickwick Papers, with the novel’s name is thought to be borrowed from Moses Pickwick – a Corsham local who ran coaches between Bath and London.
What To See And Do In Corsham
Corsham’s must-see attractions include Corsham Court – a Grade I-listed country house with a famous art collection and beautiful landscaped gardens, as well as the town’s historic High Street, with its beautiful Bath stone buildings home to an array of interesting, independent shops.
Other interesting sights include the Flemish Weavers Cottages – a row of Grade II-listed, 17th century houses situated at the end of the High Street built for a group of Flemish weavers that had fled from religious persecution in their homeland and became integral to the town’s weaving industry, as well as The Pound – Corsham’s vibrant hub of music, theatre and art.
Visitors should also keep an eye out for Corsham’s famous peacocks, which roam freely from their home at Corsham Court throughout the town’s cobbled streets!
Belonging to the Methuen family for eight generations, Corsham Court is one of England’s finest stately homes.
Upon buying Corsham Court in the mid-eighteenth-century, Paul Methuen began transforming the Elizabethan manor into a setting for his collection of Italian and Flemish paintings, commissioning Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown to design a picture gallery, which still houses the famous Methuen/Sanford art collection featuring Old Master works by Van Dyck, Carlo Dolci and Lippi to this day.
Corsham Court is surrounded by stunning gardens and parkland, again designed by Capability Brown, as well as a 13-acre lake.
Corsham And Poldark
Corsham has provided the backdrop for a number of film and TV productions, including The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Larkrise to Candleford and The Remains of the Day.
Most famously, the town featured in the BBC hit drama Poldark starring Aidan Turner, when the High Street was reimagined as an 18th century version of the busy Cornish town of Truro, with modern shop fronts and neat parking spaces replaced by dirt-covered roads, rickety carts and wandering horses!
Eat, Drink & Stay At The Methuen Arms
The award-winning Methuen Arms can be found at the southern end of Corsham’s historic High Street, making it the perfect base for exploring the sights of the town, as well as other local attractions like Lacock Abbey and Castle Combe, and the world-class walking, cycling and dog-walking opportunities in and around the Cotswolds.