Wilton is a town in Wiltshire (of which it was once the county town), England, with a rich heritage dating back to the Anglo-Saxons. Today it is overshadowed by its larger and more famous neighbour, Salisbury, but still has a range of notable shops and attractions, including Wilton House.
The history of Wilton dates back to the Anglo-Saxons in the 8th century AD, and by the late 9th century it was the capital of Wiltunscire, a shire (or 'share') of the Kingdom of Wessex. It remained the administrative centre of Wiltshire until the 11th century. Wilton was of significant importance to the church, with the founding of Wilton Abbey in AD 771 and a number of other establishments. In AD 871 Alfred the Great fought and lost an important battle there against the Danish armies, leaving him in retreat for several years.
Despite further attacks, Wilton remained a prosperous town, as recorded in the Domesday book. The building of Salisbury Cathedral nearby, however, caused Wilton's decline, as the new site of Salisbury, with a new bridge over the River Avon, provided a convenient bypass around Wilton on the trade routes.
An outbreak of smallpox in 1737 killed 132 people. Local folklore claims that the outbreak was believed to be associated with the witchcraft of the four Handsel sisters, who were summarily murdered and buried in Grovely Wood.
Wilton had two railway stations. One (later known as ) was opened by the Great Western Railway in 1856 on their line from Westbury to Salisbury, and another (later known as ) opened by the Salisbury and Yeovil Railway in 1859 on the West of England Main Line from London to Exeter. The arrival of the railways led to increased prosperity. The stations closed in 1955 and 1966 respectively; the nearest station is now at .
The headquarters of Land Forces was at Wilton, taking advantage of the huge amount of military camps and the ranges of Salisbury Plain. The title of HQLF has varied several times since the 1960s.