Devizes SN10 5FQ
What3Words: ///mango.issuer.tortoises
OS mao 157 Grid ref: SU008597

When to visit

Free and open to visit 24 hours a day.

Know before you go

  • Level easy walking on reserve
  • No specific wheelchair paths
  • Dogs on leads are welcome
  • 3.21 hectares

Download the reserve leaflet

About the nature reserve

Roundway reserve map © WWT

Roundway Hospital in Devizes was originally called the Wiltshire County Lunatic Asylum. It opened in September 1851 to provide a home and therapy for mental health patients - more than 1,500 at its peak (1943). Architect Thomas Henry Wyatt designed the Italianate-style main building, which now contains apartments. The hospital offered many social activities and sports. We know that by 1880 patients were playing cricket. We will keep the cricket field as an open space for local people to enjoy and Devizes Town Council will keep the grass cut. The hospital also had a Bramley apple orchard –the Annual Report for 1942-43 said “for the first time, a good crop of apples was obtained from the new orchard adjoining the cricket field”.

Volunteers, working with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, have been replacing diseased trees with Wiltshire varieties such as Roundway Magnum Bonum. Orchards are important for wildlife. Pollinating insects explore the flower-rich grass between the trees.

What can be seen here?

Butterflies like the brimstone, orange-tip, red admiral and tortoiseshell feast on nectar in the fruit blossom. Old trees and areas of dead wood provide homes for lichens and beetles. Apple windfalls provide life-saving meals for redwing, fieldfare and fox in cold weather. See if you can spot long-tailed tit, greater spotted woodpecker, green woodpecker, jay, buzzard, robin, blackbird, nuthatch, and tree creeper.

How can I get here?

Download directions