Pewsey is a large village at the centre of the Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire about 80 miles (130 km) west of London. It is well connected to London, the West Country and Wales being close to the M4 motorway and the A303 via the A345 which crosses the village. Also, the village is served by Pewsey railway station on the Reading to Taunton line. For this reason Pewsey is popular as a location with commuters.
Pewsey gained its market charter in 940 from King Alfred of Wessex. Wiltshire County Council currently runs a market in the Bouverie Hall car park on Tuesdays.
Archaeological excavations on Pewsey Hill show evidence of a settlement in the 6th century. In the Tudor era the Manor of Pewsey belonged to the Duchess of Somerset. Several of the village’s houses were built in this era: the timber framed cruck house at Ball Corner, Bridge Cottage on the Avon and the Court House by the Church.
In 1764 the founder of the Methodist movement John Wesley (1703–1791) preached at Pewsey’s Church of England parish church. The rector at that time, Joseph Townsend, was responsible for building of the first bridge over the River Avon.
The Kennet and Avon Canal reached Pewsey in 1810. Of more significant lasting effect for the village was the arrival of the Great Western Railway in 1862 which allowed fast travel to London and to the West of Pewsey.
In 1898 Pewsey Carnival was first held, a tradition that flourishes today, a fortnight of events, including The Feaste, culminating in an Illuminated Procession in mid to late September.
A prominent statue of King Alfred the Great, the former Anglo Saxon King of Wessex and a local landowner, stands in the middle of the village.
The Pewsey white horse hill figure is located on a steep slope of Pewsey Hill about a mile south of the village and can be viewed from several places in the surrounding area.
It was cut in 1937 and is one of the smaller Wiltshire white horses. It replaces an earlier one which was possibly cut in 1785.
It can be seen from Milk Hill, the location of the bigger Alton Barnes White Horse. It is located at 51°19’16.40″N, 1°45’23.51″W.
PACT – Pewsey Area Community Trust – is a group of local people and organisations supported by the County and Parish Councils who are interested in improving the economic, social and environmental well-being of the Pewsey area. The group has its own constitution and can apply for funding from various bodies to carry out projects which will achieve the group’s goals or to deliver the objectives stated in the Pewsey Community Area Plan.
The Tennis Club is one of the most active in Wiltshire. It has had great successes in The Swindon and District League. Pewsey is the centre of activity for many of the smaller villages in and around the Vale of Pewsey and, as such, offers a wide range of activities for its small size. Such as ballooning, shooting, climbing, gliding, Martial Arts, angling, paragliding and many other leisure activities.