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The Merchants House


  • 132 High Street
  • Marlborough
  • Wiltshire
  • SN8 1HN


Opening Hours

Monday – Saturday 9:30am to 5:00pm

About us

Top of any day tripper's list when they visit Marlborough is the Merchant's House. This magnificent timber and brick building is a Marlborough landmark, constructed by prosperous silk merchant, Thomas Bayly in the aftermath of the Great Fire of Marlborough in 1653 which destroyed several eminent buildings and more than 200 dwellings. Thanks to some tasteful restoration work in recent years, the Merchant’s House has been restored to its former glory. Of particular note is the fine oak staircase, wall paintings and extensive panelling which would have been major feature of the Bayly family home.


The Merchant’s House exists not just as fine place to visit but to bring the 17th Century to life through its educational programmes which seek to encourage groups from across the community to enjoy its historical re-enactments and learn in depth about The Civil War, The Republican years and the Great Fire of Marlborough.


The library includes rare and valuable collections as well as highly specialised volumes on the silk trade, oak furniture and needlework.


A glorious facsimile of a classic 17th Century Town House garden, the Merchant’s House Garden was opened by Sir Roy Strong in 2007 after many years in the making. There are year round tours of the house and garden.


Gateway to the Merchant’s House experience is their gorgeous shop, a retail heaven of tastefully chosen gifts and china, children’s toys and clothing staffed by the loveliest ladies in Wiltshire – all volunteers. At Christmas, discerning shoppers know to buy all their presents from the special Christmas Gift Shop specially created for the season on the building’s first floor. What could be better than a shopping trip all dressed up in a respectable cloak of culture?

Groups and parties

The Merchant’s House welcomes groups and coach parties throughout the year by prior arrangement with the office.


The Merchant’s House offers a year-round rolling programme of events including lectures, musical evenings, talks, social events, Open Gardens in June and an outdoor summer event in July all with an appropriate 17th Century theme. Why not put together a four and come along to one of the Merchant’s House many Bridge Afternoons?

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