Trowbridge becomes the County Town

The railway made Trowbridge the easiest place for representatives from across the county to meet. Sir Roger Brown became the driving force behind recognition for it to become the county town when he gave the Town Hall to Trowbridge as a meeting place for the proposed Wiltshire County Council. The first offices were built in 1898 and the County Hall building was completed in 1940.

During the Second World War, various engineering firms and garages in the town produced parts for Spitfires, and both British and American troops were billetted in the barracks. Unfortunately, Trowbridge was hit by a few bombs, the most notable partly demolishing Bridge House, killing two people at The Bear and knocking the roof off of the Blind House.

Photograph of the Blind House in Trowbridge after being hit by a bomb in WW2

The Blind House missing its roof after being hit by a bomb in the Second World War.

After the war, provision of land for industrial expansion at Ladydown and Canal Road allowed firms to move out of the smaller premises and into large factories. These included Airsprung and Waldens meat and dairy firm.

After a period of stagnation in the 1960s, the town grew from 13,844 in 1951 to 22,984 in 1981, and it was in this year that White Horse Business Park was built to bring new businesses to town, attracting companies such as Virgin Mobile and Vodaphone. Takeovers by Apetito and Nutricia have ensured that food production is still a major element of the Trowbridge economy.

Trowbridge Museum opened its doors to the public in July 1990, and has telling the story of the town ever since. Based in the last woollen mill to close in the town – Salter’s Home Mills – the museum is undertaking an exciting expansion project – Onwards and Upwards is a fantastic multi-million pound expansion of Trowbridge Museum, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Trowbridge Town Council.