"DEVIZES, (or The Vies), comprises the parishes of St. John the Baptist, St. Mary the Virgin and part of the parish of Rowde, being a market town, municipal and parliamentary borough, having separate jurisdiction, but locally situated in the hundred of Potterne and Cannings, in the county of Wilts, 23 miles N.W. of Salisbury, 20 E. by S. of Bath, and 88 W. of London by road, or 111 by the Wilts, Somerset, and Weymouth railway, which joins the Great Western line at Chippenham. Two branch lines connect Devizes with Bath and Reading. The town, which is situated on the Downs, near the Kennet and Avon canal, is supposed to be of great antiquity. It first rose into importance in the reign of Henry I., when Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, built the spacious and strong castle described by ancient writers as unequalled in Europe for magnificence, extent, and strength."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]