Wiltshire is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, the county town was originally Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the new county town of Trowbridge. Wiltshire is characterised by its high downland and wide valleys, Salisbury Plain is noted for being the location of the Stonehenge and Avebury stone circles and other ancient landmarks, and as a training area for the British Army. The city of Salisbury is notable for its mediaeval cathedral, important country houses open to the public include Longleat, near Warminster, and the National Trusts Stourhead, near Mere. The county, in the 9th century written as Wiltunscir, later Wiltonshire, is named after the county town of Wilton. Wiltshire is notable for its pre-Roman archaeology, the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age people that occupied southern Britain built settlements on the hills and downland that cover Wiltshire. Stonehenge and Avebury are perhaps the most famous Neolithic sites in the UK, in the 6th and 7th centuries Wiltshire was at the western edge of Saxon Britain, as Cranborne Chase and the Somerset Levels prevented the advance to the west. The Battle of Bedwyn was fought in 675 between Escuin, a West Saxon nobleman who had seized the throne of Queen Saxburga, in 878 the Danes invaded the county. Following the Norman Conquest, large areas of the country came into the possession of the crown, at the time of the Domesday Survey the industry of Wiltshire was largely agricultural,390 mills are mentioned, and vineyards at Tollard and Lacock. In the 17th century English Civil War Wiltshire was largely Parliamentarian, the Battle of Roundway Down, a Royalist victory, was fought near Devizes. The Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry currently lives on as Y Squadron, based in Swindon, around 1800 the Kennet and Avon Canal was built through Wiltshire, providing a route for transporting cargoes from Bristol to London until the development of the Great Western Railway. Information on the 261 civil parishes of Wiltshire is available on the Wiltshire Community History website, run by the Libraries and this site includes maps, demographic data, historic and modern pictures and short histories. The local nickname for Wiltshire natives is moonrakers and this originated from a story of smugglers who managed to foil the local Excise men by hiding their alcohol, possibly French brandy in barrels or kegs, in a village pond. The officials took them for simple yokels or mad and left them alone, many villages claim the tale for their own village pond, but the story is most commonly linked with The Crammer in Devizes. Two-thirds of Wiltshire, a rural county, lies on chalk. This chalk is part of a system of chalk downlands throughout eastern and southern England formed by the rocks of the Chalk Group, the largest area of chalk in Wiltshire is Salisbury Plain, which is used mainly for arable agriculture and by the British Army as training ranges. The highest point in the county is the Tan Hill–Milk Hill ridge in the Pewsey Vale, just to the north of Salisbury Plain, the chalk uplands run northeast into West Berkshire in the Marlborough Downs ridge, and southwest into Dorset as Cranborne Chase. Cranborne Chase, which straddles the border, has, like Salisbury Plain, yielded much Stone Age, the Marlborough Downs are part of the North Wessex Downs AONB, a 1,730 km2 conservation area
Chippenham Town F.C.
Chippenham Town Football Club is a football club based in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England. They are currently members of the Southern League Premier Division and play at Hardenhuish Park, the club was established in 1873. They joined the new Wiltshire League in 1901, and finished joint top of the table with Warminster Town and they joined Division Two of the Western League in 1904, but also continued to play in the Wiltshire League. The 1904–05 season saw them bottom of the Western League. At the end of the 1905–06 season the club withdrew from the Western League and they were runners-up again in 1912–13, 1921–22 and 1922–23, before winning the league in 1928–29. In 1930 Chippenham rejoined Division Two of the Western League, the league was reduced to a single division in 1939, and the club were runners-up when the league resumed in the 1945–46 season. The 1951–52 season saw them win the Western League for the first time and they were Western League runners-up again in 1954–55. However, they left the Western League at the end of the 1964–65 season, in 1968 the club joined the Premier Division of the Hellenic League, where they played until rejoining the Western League in 1973. When the league gained a second division in 1976, the club were relegated to the new Division One and they were Division One champions in 1980–81, earning promotion to the Premier Division. In 1999–2000 the club reached the final of the FA Vase, after finishing as runners-up in 2000–01, Chippenham were promoted to Division One West of the Southern League. Their first season in the division saw them finish as runners-up, in 2004–05 they were Premier Division runners-up, qualifying for the promotion play-offs. However, after beating Bedford Town 5–4 on penalties following a 2–2 draw in the semi-finals, the following season saw them reach the first round of the FA Cup for a second time, eventually losing 1–0 at Worcester City in a replay. They also qualified for the promotion again after finishing fourth. Another fourth-place finish in 2007–08 led to another campaign, this time ending with a 2–1 defeat to Halesowen Town in the semi-finals. In 2009–10 the club finished third, and after beating Hednesford Town 2–0 in the play-off semi-finals, the club moved to Hardenhuish Park in 1919, having previously played at at least four other grounds. A main stand was erected and subsequently added to on several occasions, a new clubhouse was opened in 1979 and floodlights were installed in 1986. Covered standing is provided behind one goal and along the side of the pitch to the main stand. This was built in 1993, replacing an earlier stand that had been damaged by storms, the pitch at Hardenhuish Park has a noticeable slope, downwards towards the Bristol Road end
Devizes Town F.C.
Devizes Town F. C. is a football club based in Devizes, Wiltshire, England. They are currently members of the Western League Division One and play at Nursted Road, Devizes Town FC was established in 1884 as Southbroom Football Club, which was formed by the members of Southbroom Cricket Club as a winter activity. In 1898 Southbroom and other smaller clubs amalgamated to form Devizes Town Football Club. The new club leased a field in Quakers Walk and in their first season won the Wiltshire League as well as reaching the First Round Proper of the FA Amateur Cup. After the Second World War the club moved to Nursteed Road, in the Wiltshire Senior Cup, the team appeared in every final between 1956/57 and 1962/63 winning six out of the seven finals. In the 1961–62 season, the club achieved a treble by winning the County Senior Cup, Premier League Championship, in 1965 the club purchased the Nursteed Road Ground and in 1967 joined the Western League. In the 1972–73 season and managed by Ken Owens the club won the Western League Championship and they stayed in the top division for a further 3 years but were relegated to Division one. For four seasons the club remained in one but returned to Western League Premier as Division One Runners-up in 1979–80 under manager Paul Lloyd. Paul Lloyd resigned in 1984 and the club was relegated back to the first division at the end of the 1984–85 season, where they remained for a further 15 seasons. During this period the club faced some hard times and had to sell their ground to neighbours Linpac in 1991 in return for a lease deal securing the ground for 99 years. The 1999–2000 season under manager Brian Newlands saw the club promoted back to the Western Premier league as Division One title winners, the club stayed in the Premier division until the 2008–09 season and have since remained in the first Division. In the 1980–81 season, they reached the quarter-finals of the FA Vase, losing 3–0 at Whickham, Devizes Town repeated this feat in 2002–03, this time, the run ended with a 0–3 defeat at home to Maldon Town. Devizes Town FC play their games at Nursteed Road, Devizes, trophy best performance, Third qualifying round 1974–75 F. A. Vase best performance, Quarter Finals 1980–81, 2002–031, players that have played/managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level. Players that hold a record or have captained the club. Roger Hunt Mike Ford Tony Edge Managers/Coaches that have played/managed in the league or any foreign equivalent to this level
Wiltshire Premier Shield
The Wiltshire Premier Shield, is a single county cup competition involving English football clubs based in the county of Wiltshire. The current competition format operates with a two-leg semi-final and a single match final during the stages of the league season. The most successful team in the history is Swindon Town who have won the shield 27 times. Swindon Town are the only Wiltshire representative in the Football League and have used the Wiltshire Shield to field their youths, reserves. The competition consists of four teams and these are Swindon Town, Salisbury City, Chippenham Town and Swindon Supermarine
Wiltshire Football Association
The Wiltshire County Football Association is the governing body of football in the county of Wiltshire. Its headquarters are located in Swindon. Affiliated members pay a fee commensurate with the level of competition they play in, Affiliated members benefit from access to support and guidance on such areas as health and safety and access to finance or grants. The County FA is directly responsible for the governance of County Cup competitions, the Council has representation from the six geographic areas of the County, namely North Swindon, South Swindon, South Wilts, East Wilts, West Wilts and North West Wilts. Swindon Town F. C. are the highest placed affiliated club in the County, Chippenham Town F. C. are the next highest rank affiliate playing in the Southern Premier League followed by Swindon Supermarine in the Southern League Division 1 South & West. Salisbury City were removed from the Football Conference in June 2014 due to debts, the county is in the catchment area of the Wessex Leagues, Hellenic Leagues and the Western Leagues at Tier 9 to 11. The Wiltshire Football League founded in 1976 is also at Tier 11, the Wiltshire League is the Countys Senior League wholly in its control. Other leagues include Swindon & District League, Salisbury & District League, Trowbridge & District League, Wiltshire County Womens League, Nadder Valley League, the Wiltshire County Senior Cup founded in 1886 is the senior knockout competition in the county, competed by clubs at Tier 9-11. The Wiltshire Premier Shield was founded in 1927 and was contested by teams in higher leagues until recently when only the top four were invited. There are two other Cup competitions designated as being Senior, the Wiltshire League Senior Cup and the Salisbury Hospital Cup, there are 22 Junior Cup competitions and 4 League/6 Cup competitions at Youth Status. There are 4 League and 19 Minor cup competitions for Under 16s, in addition there are 3 Sunday Leagues and 9 Sunday Cup competitions. Also 2 Womens Leagues and 4 Womens Cup competitions
English football league system
There are more than 140 individual leagues, containing more than 480 divisions. As there are no definitions of any level below 11, any references to the structure at level 12. The pyramid for womens football in England runs separately to nine tiers, the Football League was created in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor. It was dominated by clubs who had supported professionalism. The twelve founding members consisted of six from Lancashire and six from the Midlands, no sides from the South including London initially participated. The system consists of a pyramid of leagues, bound together by the principle of promotion and relegation. A certain number of the most successful clubs in each league can rise to a higher league, in addition to sporting performance, promotion is usually contingent on meeting criteria set by the higher league, especially concerning appropriate facilities and finances. In theory it is possible for a local amateur club to rise to the pinnacle of the English game and become champions of the Premier League. While this may be unlikely in practice, there certainly is significant movement within the pyramid, the top five levels contain one division each and are nationwide in scope. Below this, the levels have progressively more leagues, with each covering progressively smaller geographic areas. Many leagues have more than one division, at the lower levels the existence of leagues becomes intermittent, although in some of the more densely populated areas there are leagues more than twenty layers below the Premier League. Clubs from these leagues may, if they feel they meet the standard of play and have suitable facilities. The seven levels immediately below the Premier League and English Football League are known as the National League System, in May 2014 The Football Association announced provisional plans for a new division between the English Football League and the National League which would include B teams of higher level clubs. The English football league system does not include the version of the game often called Sunday league football. These leagues are independent entities with no promotion or relegation involving the football pyramid, however, some Sunday League clubs have been known to join pyramid leagues if they desire to progress higher. There are also some Saturday leagues such as the Lincolnshire League which are not officially part of the pyramid, at the top is the single division of the Premier League, containing 20 clubs, all of which, up to the 2010–11 season, were based in England. Below the Premier League is the English Football League, which is divided into three divisions of 24 clubs each, The Championship, League One and League Two, the 92 clubs in the Premier League and English Football League are all full-time professional clubs. They are often referred to as League clubs because, before the establishment of the Premier League in 1992, clubs outside this group are referred to as non-League clubs, although they too play most of their football in league-type competitions
Amesbury Town F.C.
Amesbury Town Football Club is an English football club based in Amesbury, Wiltshire. The club participates in the Wessex League Premier Division and they were formed in 1904 and play their home games at Bonnymead Park, Amesbury. Amesbury Town Football Club was founded in 1904 and first played its football in a field near the monument of Stonehenge. The team played local football in the Salisbury & District League until progressing to County football in the 1956–1957 season, however, it was some 15 seasons later that further success came to the Town, winning the Wiltshire Combination League in 1974–75, repeating the feat in 1979/80. In season 1983/84 they lifted the Wiltshire Senior Cup for the first time beating Penhill YC in the Final. It was now time for the Town to move forward, they applied to join the Western League. The first season was successful, with average gates of 99 and one crowd of 200. However, the loss of key players over the two seasons made them struggle and the Club finished bottom in season 1996–97. It was decided to regroup and run just one side in the Salisbury & District League Premier Division for the 1997–98 season. Previously, a Reserve side operated in the Wiltshire County League, the Towns commitment to youth over the years saw them continue to run an under 18 side in the Wiltshire County FA Youth Floodlight League. In the meantime the Club were looking to progress in a different direction, with Amesbury being close to the A303 and only a few miles from the Hampshire border, this was indeed the best option for the Club. The 1998–99 season, Amesbury ran their first team in the Division 3 of the Hampshire League, the Clubs first season in Hampshire was fairly successful, finishing 4th. Town also had success in Wiltshire, by winning the Wiltshire Junior Cup, the 1999–2000 season saw Amesbury meet the criteria to gain entry into the newly formed Hampshire League Premier Division, with the Reserve side in the Hampshire League Combination. The 2000–01 season was not as successful as the club would have liked, failing to regain the Championship title of last season, the Youth team did however reach the Wiltshire County FA Youth Floodlight League final, narrowly losing to Chippenham Youth. The following season, 2001–02, the Club finished second from bottom having won only 8 of their 40 league games played, conceding 114 goals in the process whilst only scoring 45 themselves. The Club and bottom placed AFC Aldermaston were saved from relegation due to clubs in Division One of Hampshire League not having the necessary ground standards required for the Premier Division. This season also saw the Club entered in the FA Vase, however it was not to be as Portland United ran out 2–0 winners in the replay. Both the Reserves and Youth teams finished in positions in their respective leagues
Bemerton Heath Harlequins F.C.
Bemerton Heath Harlequins F. C. is an English football club based in Bemerton, in Salisbury, Wiltshire. They are currently members of the Wessex League Premier Division, the Reserves are members of the Wyvern Combination Premier Division. The youth team competes in the Wiltshire County FA Youth Floodlit League and North Wilts Youth and Minor Football League. The club was established in 1989 by the merger of three clubs, Bemerton Athletic of the Wiltshire League, Moon F. C. of the Salisbury & District League, and Bemerton Boys of the Mid-Wilts League. The new club joined the Wessex League in the year and have remained in this league to the present day. In the 1998–99 season, they reached the 5th round of the FA Vase and they are the current holders of the Wessex League Cup, winning it for the first time in the 2009–10 season by beating league champions Poole Town 2–0 in the final. Bemerton Heath Harlequins play their games at The Clubhouse, Western Way, Bemerton Heath, Salisbury
Calne Town F.C.
Calne Town F. C. is a football club based in Calne, Wiltshire, England. They are currently members of the Western League Division One and play at Bremhill View, Calne Town FC was established in 1886 and joined the Western Football League Division One in 1986. They earned promotion to the Premier Division as runners-up in 1992–93, under the management of Kelvin Highmore they were promoted to the Western Football League Premier Division in 2005 and also became the first First Division team to reach the Les Phillips Cup final. They reached the Les Phillips Cup Final again in 2009 but lost 2–1 to a goal against Oldland Abbotonians. They reached the Third Round Qualifying of the FA Cup in season 1997–98, calnes main local rivals are Devizes Town, Corsham Town, Chippenham Park and Melksham Town, all within 11 miles of their Bremhill View ground. Calne Town play their games at Bremhill View, Calne. Their Bremhill View ground was featured in David Bauckhams book Dugouts, with attention drawn to its unusual tall