Wiltshire natives refer to themselves as ‘moonrakers’: a name originatin­g from the end of the 18th century at a time when smuggling was big business, and French brandy would pass through the county on its way from the south coast to the Midlands.

Legend has it that one night the excise men caught the smugglers raking out contraband hidden in a village pond. Aware that ‘towny types’ considered all those with a Wiltshire accent to be stupid, they laid it on thick and pointing to the moon’s reflection in the water, made out that they were attempting to rake out a cheese. Feeling greatly superior, the excise men left the yokels to their madness.

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