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MELKSHAM, a market town in the Westbury parliamentary division of Wiltshire, England, 95! m. W. of London by the Great Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1901), 2450. [t lies in a valley sheltered by steep chalk hills on the east, its old-fashioned stone houses lining a single broad street, which crosses the Upper Avon by a bridge of four arches. The church preserves some remnants of Norman work and a Perpendicular south chapel of rare beauty. Melksham possesses cloth-mills where coco-nut fibre and hair cloth are woven, flour-mills and dye-works. On the discovery of a saline spring in 1816, baths and a pump-room were opened, but although two other springs were found later, the attempt to create a fashionable health resort failed. The surrounding deer-forest was often visited by Edward I. Lacock Abbey, 3 m. distant, was founded in 1232 for Austin canonesses, and dissolved in 1539. Portions of the monastic buildings remain as picturesque fragments in and near the modern mansion called Lacock Abbey.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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