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I am a history enthusiast, passionate about the real history of people and places in Wiltshire. I have designed entertaining and informative talks and guided walks to stimulate others to share my interest.
Wiltshire is not just about its amazing prehistory, illustrated globally by the world heritage sites of Stonehenge and Avebury. Wiltshire was at the forefront of English history and at the centre of Wessex. The 11th century Saxon church of St Lawrence's in Bradford-on-Avon represents a renaissance in art and culture and places Wiltshire at the hub of pre-Norman English civilisation.
Throughout the Middle Ages, Wiltshire was central to English history. The iconic 13th century Salisbury Cathedral exemplifies the power and influence of a premier English county. Wiltshire later changed greatly, but continued to exert a major contribution to our national history. I am thrilled to have uncovered some of Wiltshire'connections with a much larger historical canvas.
My talks began as a hobby: a desire to teach real history and to encourage free-thinking and rational debate around our exciting and dramatic past. I enjoy sharing my passion for the rich history of this great county that has lain hidden and derelict for far too long. Since retiring, I feel liberated and enlightened to present and share history to you.
My first talk, "Revolting Marlborough", was inspired by the town's real history; rough and rebellious. I had the following comment about my talk, " Thank you very much for giving us an excellent talk on Marlborough last night. We all enjoyed your wide ranging and well informed presentation which covered so many centuries of varied goings on in Marlborough and its environs (Codford Local History Society).
My original talk on the Vikings, now renamed, "Wiltshire during the Viking Menace", elicited the following response, "What a wonderful talk! You presented an unusual slant on historical issues. Many of us were challenged by your presentation – it’s going to change the way we look at the “facts” (Malmesbury branch Wiltshire Family History Society).
My walks began as a hobby. The first was a walk around Marlborough, a town in which I lived for 11 years. I now give two dedicated Marlborough walks, and walks around Calne, and Devizes. I have lived in Calne since 2002.
I have had some encouraging feed-back from groups I have given walks to. "Many thanks for your brilliant tour" (Easton Royal Heritage Group). "On behalf of myself and the Society may I thank you for the time and trouble you went to in giving our party an enjoyable and instructive “walkabout” of Marlborough (Stubbington and Hill Head History Society).
My walks have been thoroughly and robustly risk assessed both in terms of terrain and managing road crossings. Every effort has been made to maximise safety.
Nick Baxter at the start of his guided walk around Calne searching for the site of the Anglo-Saxon royal hall, where Dunstan famously presided, as part of the Calne Heritage Week in September 2019.
Nick Baxter bringing the history of Marlborough's Treacle Bolly to life along the margins of the River Kennet in June 2023.
Nick Baxter about to bring Devizes's dramatic Medieval History to life in a walk in 2017.