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New Swindon, c1860

New Swindon, c1860


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Filename: S10 034.jpg

Size: 3600 x 2816 (828KB)

Date: 10th July 2007

Source: STEAM Museum of the GWR

© STEAM Picture Library 2007 - All Rights Reserved

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New Swindon, c1860

This early view of Swindon looking north shows the Works and the Railway Village in their infancy. St Marks Church can clearly be seen just behind the newly laid out park. The Wilts and Berks Canal can be seen in the foreground running through the field at the back of the cottages in the Village

STEAM - Museum of the Great Western Railway

Media ID 485075

© STEAM Picture Library 2007 - All Rights Reserved

Park Swindon Village


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> Places > Swindon's Railway Village > GWR Railway Village

> Swindon Works > Maps, Plans & Views

> Swindon Works


EDITORS COMMENTS
This photograph, taken around 1860, offers a glimpse into the early days of Swindon's transformation from a small Wiltshire town into an industrial powerhouse. The scene looks northwards, revealing the Works and the Railway Village in their infancy. The Works, the sprawling complex of buildings that would come to define Swindon's identity, are still in their formative stages, with only a few structures visible amidst the open fields. The Railway Village, located to the left of the image, is just beginning to take shape. A neatly laid out grid of cottages can be seen, each with its own small garden plot. The village was built to house the growing workforce required to operate the Works and the Great Western Railway (GWR). St Mark's Church, a prominent feature of Swindon's skyline, can be seen just behind the newly laid out park. The church, which was consecrated in 1859, served as a spiritual hub for the community, providing solace and support to the families who had recently moved to the area. The Wilts and Berks Canal, running through the field at the back of the cottages, adds a picturesque touch to the scene. The canal, which opened in 1718, was an essential transportation route for goods and raw materials, connecting Swindon to the larger commercial centers of the region. This photograph provides a fascinating snapshot of Swindon's history, capturing the town in a transitional period between its rural past and its industrial future. The Works and the Railway Village, which would come to dominate the landscape, are just beginning to take shape, while the church and the canal serve as reminders of the town's agricultural and commercial past.

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