Inspiring and famous people from Malmesbury
Our town, Malmesbury, is small (about 7000 people currently), but it has been a big influence on learning and innovation for many centuries. Did you know that you can find the tomb of the first Kind of all England (King Athelstan) in Malmesbury Abbey? Did you also know that Malmesbury Abbey was a significant centre of learning for centuries? In the 8th century, Aldhelm, a man of great learning, became the first Abbot of Malmesbury Abbey, and later he became the Bishop of Sherborne. During his time in Malmesbury he wrote many philosophical and theological texts in Latin and old English.
By the 11th century Malmesbury had the second largest library in Europe, and the Benedictine Abbey drew scholars from all over Europe. One such young man was a monk called Eilmer. Eilmer studied and researched plants, animals and birds, and through his study of birds and bats he designed a set of wings for human flight. Early in the 11th century he launched himself off the tower of Malmesbury Abbey, and actually flew, for about 15 seconds, and landed, scholars think in Olivers Lane, which is where our training centre is located.
We like to think the spirit of Eilmer lives on in Malmesbury, as creativity and innovation abound in this small town. One of our most famous innovators is Sir James Dyson, who now runs the international company Dyson, which makes vacuum cleaners, hand-dryers and other household items. The Dyson head office is based in Malmesbury. It attracts staff from all over the world, and contributes significantly to the economy and diversity of the town.
There are many more less famous people we could mention who live and work in Malmesbury, and continue to push creative and inventive boundaries. We are proud to live and work among them, and hope that we also contribute to the continued learning and development of people at home and abroad.