It is the town which gave Wiltshire its name, and was the county town in the early mediaeval period. Indeed, at one time it was the capital of Wessex, and was the seat of a Bishop.
In Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, Wilton was known for its many monastic houses.
The parish church was built by T. H. Wyatt in an Italian Romanesque style in 1841, with a detached bell tower.
The restored chantry of the former church stands in the town centre.
The magnificent Wilton House, home of the Earls of Pembroke, was constructed on the site of Wilton Abbey, which had been founded in 871 by Alfred. It is partly Elizabethan, and has a famous double cube room. The house was visited in its heyday by Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser and Ben Jonson, while Shakespeare is believed to have acted in "As You Like It" here.
The gateway, in the form of a Triumphal Arch, dates from 1755 and is right in the town. In the grounds, there is a Palladian bridge over the Nadder.
Wilton House has been used in filming for Ang Lee's "Sense and Sensibility", Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" and Nicholas Hytner's "The Madness of King George".
The Wilton carpet factory was founded in the 17th century, and many of the present buildings are Georgian. It is now a retail outlet and tourist attraction.