Thomas Hobbes, the philosopher of Malmesbury, became intrigued by mathematics at the age of 40 when he came across an open copy of Euclid. Sadly, he became enamoured of squaring the circle and spent 20 years in controversy with the mathematicians, particularly John Wallis. He also wrote on optics and attacked Boyle's work on gases. He was born in Westport, but I cannot find it on a map - [Child, p.146] says Westport, Malmesbury, where his father was parish priest, so it may now be assimilated as a part of Malmesbury.
In 1010, a Malmesbury monk named Oliver tried to fly. He strapped wings to his arms and jumped from the Abbey tower. He broke both hips and was crippled for life. [Child, p.151]
To see an Ordnance Survey map click at
An extract from
The Mathematical Gazetteer of the British Isles
created by David Singmaster
The original site is at