Warminster's industrial and agricultural heyday was already past by the dawn of the age of the picture postcard. Its once important role in the Wiltshire woollen cloth industry was a distant memory, and its famous corn market was reduced. Warminster is portrayed by these early photographs as a bustling town; its eighteenth- and nineteenth-century prosperity is evident in a wide range of fine civic, commercial, communal and private properties. The absence of any great revival in Warminster's economic fortunes during the twentieth century is apparent in the paired images in this book, which show, for better or worse, how little the architectural fabric of the town, as it looked a century ago, has changed. Now, much expanded, Warminster continues as a busy, popular and well-placed county town, and one that is steeped in history.
Andrew Pickering has lived in Selwood Forest for over 30 years, initially in Frome and more recently in Bruton. He is Senior Lecturer in History and Archaeology at Strode College, Somerset, and is Programme Manager of a History, Heritage and Archaeology degree course at the University of Plymouth.