During the 18th century Calne played a significant role in the Cotswold weaving industry and several of the old wool mills still remain, located along the banks of the Marden. The town's prosperity from this time is evident in its prominent wool church and the many beautiful Georgian properties set around the parish green.
Although only a small market town Calne is steeped in history, dating back to the industrial revolution and the mediaeval period. The area is renowned for it's traditional ham and bacon curing, known as the Wiltshire cure. The method was invented by the Harris family, who once owned a large pork processing factory here. The local history of the town, along with story of the Harris family, can be found in the Calne Heritage Centre, Carnegie Building, Calne SN11 0SQ. The beautifully carved stone Carnegie Building (formerly the town's library) is one of several such establishments in England, founded by the Scottish-born American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie.
The magnificent St Mary's Wool Church, located in the heritage quarter, contains a memorial to Jan Ingen Housz (1730). A Dutch-born British physician and scientist who is credited with the development of an early smallpox vaccine.
The town centre offers a good selection of independent shops and cafes. The gentle River Marden runs through the town, creating a delightful green corridor with parks and gardens.
Castlefields Canal & River Park, situated within easy walking distance of the town centre, provides an attractive area of greenery with pleasant canal and riverside walks.
Located on the edge of the North Wessex Downs (AONB), the town is ideally placed for access to the open Wiltshire countryside, with extensive scenic views, fields and woodlands.
The Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum, to the east of Calne, has a fine collection of vintage cars and motorbikes from the mid 90s.