Situated in Wiltshire on the banks of the River Kennett, the picturesque market town of Marlborough is a place of considerable antiquity, with a history dating back to prehistoric times. Marlborough was once a famous coaching town, but the development of railways during the early Victorian period brought economic decline, which was mitigated, to some extent, by opening of Marlborough College in 1843. The `Castle Mound' in the college grounds was constructed as long ago as 2400 BC, and it was once said to have been Merlin's burial place.
The countryside around Marlborough and Avebury is particularly rich in archaeological remains, and indeed it could be argued that this part of Wessex is the very heart of prehistoric Britain. There are several important prehistoric monuments within the area, including Avebury Henge, West Kennet Long Barrow and the mysterious artificial mound known as Silbury Hill.
Stanley C. Jenkins, who was educated at Witney Grammar School, the University of Lancaster and the University of Leicester, has written over 20 books and some 750 articles on local, transport and regional history. Having worked as an English Language teacher at Oxford Air Training School for several years, he returned to Leicester University to retrain as a museum curator in 1986, and was subsequently employed by English Heritage as the Regional Curator for South Western England. He is Curatorial Advisor to the Witney & District Museum, and is also working as a curator for the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust, which is at present building a military museum at Woodstock. Angela Long is an established author based in Frome.