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Devizes

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Devizes is a market town in the centre of Wiltshire and home to the Wadworths Brewery, Wiltshire Police HQ and the Caen Hill Locks.

History

The town has a castle (not open to the public) which was used by Empress Mathilda (daughter of Henry I and mother of Henry II) during the Anarchy and by Royalist forces in the English Civil War.

The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry were originally formed at the Bear Hotel in 1794

The term "Moonrakers" is thought to originate from Devizes: When caught trying to recover smuggled barrels of brandy from a pond in the town, locals claimed they were trying to rake in the moon, as it looked like a giant cheese. Customs officials left the 'simple' Wiltshire folk alone, and they recovered their contraband in peace.

Le Marchant Barracks was built in the town in 1878 and became the Wiltshire Regimental Headquarters until 1959. It was used as a POW camp during WW2 and subsequently as a Territorial Army location (1 WESSEX) until it was converted into flats and sold at the beginning of the 21st Century.