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The Local Area Guide to Living in Malmesbury

The market town of Malmesbury is a prime example of an English settlement that has stood the test of time. This picturesque town can trace its roots all the way back to the Iron Age and was said to be a favourite haunt of King Athelstan, the first Anglo-Saxon ruler of the whole of England. Situated in the southern reaches of the Cotswolds, in the county of Wiltshire, Malmesbury has a higher proportion of Grade 1 and Grade 2 listed buildings than most places. With the charm and visual appeal that these structures add to the town, it is easy to see why Malmesbury is so popular with tourists and with families looking to relocate to a quieter, more spacious location.

Information about the local residents

According to the 2011 Census, 5,380 people currently reside in Malmesbury. Due to the town's rather inconvenient location (there is no mainline railway passing through Malmesbury), it is certainly not a commuter town by any means. The vast majority of Malmesbury's residents work in the town. In fact, Dyson - the world-famous purveyor of vacuum cleaners and other household appliances - has its headquarters in Malmesbury and is the town's largest employer.

Interestingly, for a town that is so picturesque and laid back, Malmesbury doesn't have a terribly strong retiree population - the retired only account for 13.5% of the town's working age population. There are currently 2,280 households listed as living in Malmesbury and 2,276 of these households reside in unshared detached, semi-detached or terraced homes - a figure that should bode well for families looking to relocate somewhere that offers more space than big cities like London.

Nearby schools

The schooling on offer in Malmesbury is arguably going to be one of the most attractive features of the town for parents who have school-aged children. While there are only three schools operating in Malmesbury - two of which are primary level and one secondary level - all of them maintain incredibly high standards.

Malmesbury Church of England Primary School received an Ofsted rating of 'Outstanding' - the highest rating that can be awarded - when it was last reviewed by the organisation. There are currently 417 pupils enrolled, making it the largest primary level school in Malmesbury. Contributing to its 'Outstanding' rating is the fact that 93% of students achieve Level 4 and above in maths, writing and reading by the age of 11 - which is well above the national average of 78%.

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School is the other primary level school in Malmesbury. St Joseph's currently has 136 pupils and received an Ofsted rating of 'Good'.

Secondary students will be able to attend Malmesbury School from ages 11-18. There are just under 1,240 students enrolled here and like Malmesbury CoE, Malmesbury School was also awarded an Ofsted grade of 'Outstanding'.

Getting around

While most Malmesbury residents use their own cars to get them from A to B on a daily basis, it is by no means impossible to get around the town without one. There is a town bus service in operation that provides regular buses to various locations around Malmesbury, as well as regular buses to and from the neighbouring areas of Swindon, Yate, Chippenham and Cirencester. As mentioned earlier, there is, unfortunately, no mainline train service in Malmesbury. While trains did pass through the town once upon a time, today, the nearest intercity train stations can be found in Chippenham, Swindon and Kemble.

Local shops

Malmesbury town centre is full of historic buildings, all of which house numerous shops selling all sorts of odds and ends. Three supermarkets - two Co-Operatives and one Waitrose - are also available to shoppers searching for those hard to find food items. As is often the case with small towns, the big names of high street fashion are absent from Malmesbury's High street. As a result, you will need to head elsewhere in order to get your Topshop and H&M fix.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.