A UK Canal Boating Article

Category : Places


King Alfred owned much of the land in the Pewsey Vale and it is reputed that that he went to war leaving his wife in the care of the people of Pewsey. Upon his safe return, he granted the inhabitants of Pewsey the right to an annual feast.

This feast accounts for the Feaste Ball now held every other year, and has been incorporated into the modern day Pewsey Carnival. A statue of King Alfred, unveiled in June 1913 to commemorate the coronation of George V, still stands in the centre of Pewsey. It was the opening of the Kennet and Avon Canal in 1810, and the railway in 1862, that transformed Pewsey into a bustling community.

Pewsey Heritage Centre collections highlight the social, agricultural and industrial aspects of rural England over the past 150 years. A period which includes the rise and fall and rise again of the Kennet and Avon Canal. The collection is housed in what was once the foundry building of Whatley and Hiscock, agricultural engineers
Pewsey Wharf is a mile from the village centre, and has developed as a canal side settlement on its own, with a cafe, warehouses and cottages. To the North hills descend to the waters edge and to the south the land opens out giving fine views over the Vale of Pewsey. A miniature suspension bridge carries a private footpath from Stowell Park across the canal.

The current Pewsey White Horse is relatively new and is located on Pewsey Hill about a mile south of the village. In 1937, George Marples, an authority on hill carvings, happened to be in the area researching the old white horse at just the time that a committee had been formed to find a suitable way of commemorating the Coronation of George VI. The idea was formed to carve a of a new white horse into the chalk hillside and in April 1937 the horse was cut by volunteers from Pewsey Fire Brigade. As you approach the village of Pewsey you can view the carving from the canal high on the hillside looking out over the Pewsey Vale.

Pewsey is a hotspot for crop circles which are geometric and extremely complicated shapes that mysteriously appear overnight in fields. Some say when the are standing in a circle they feel electrical energies and that their photographic equipment fail to work. The real mystery of crop circles is who makes them as some of the designs are so complex and perfectly formed it is hard to imagine how it is done. Theories range from hoaxers creating the shapes overnight with planks of wood and bits of string to visitors from outer space trying to communicate with us.

Pewsey Vale is recognised a an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and covers an area from Devizes to Avebury. Combine a gentle canal side stroll with an energetic climb to the summit of Oare Hill for magnificent views across the Vale of Pewsey.

The village centre is only a short walk away from the canal and offers a good selection of shops including a grocery store, bakery and small supermarket. There are a number of pubs in the area that offer a good selection of food, real ales and refreshments.



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