|Table of contents|
5 Fast Facts
6 External links
Swindon is located in the South West of the UK - between London and Bristol - and is easily accessible from junctions 15 and 16 of the M4 motorway.
|51.563° North||1.778° West|
The original settlement of Swindon was Saxon, sat in a defensible position atop a limestone hill. It is referred to in the Domesday Book as Suindune. The name is believed to be derived from the Anglo-Saxon words swine dun meaning literally pig hill. Swindon remained a small market down, used mainly for barter trade, until the mid-1800s. This original market area of Swindon is located on top of the hill in central Swindon and is currently known as Old Town.
The industrial revolution was responsible for a great acceleration of Swindon's growth. It started with the construction of the Wiltshire and Berkshire canal in 1810, and then the North Wiltshire canal in 1819. These two major routes brought more trade to the area, and Swindon's population started to rise.
Probably the most major event in Swindon's history occurred in 1840, when Swindon was selected to house the large engineering works for the Great Western Railway by Isambard Kingdom Brunel - construction of them was completed in 1842. The railway works created many new jobs in Swindon and brought many people into the town to work. Along with the railway works a small railway village was created to house some of the many railway workers. This area became the present day area known as New Town (or the Town Centre). The original Railway Village houses are still standing and are occupied, and several of the original buildings which comprised the engineering works are still standing (though many are vacant).
In the second half of the 19th Century the new area (New Swindon) created by the railway works and the original area from the market trading years (Old Swindon) were merged to become Swindon.
During much of the 20th Century the railway works was the largest employer in the town. In the late 1970s however a large portion of the railway works closed down. The job deficit was quickly filled by jobs from many new and upcoming industries. At present many believe Swindon to be a boom town.
The town itself has a total area of approximately 39.70 km˛ (15.33 mi˛). The unitary authority (created in 1996 as the 'county of Thamesdown', but renamed in 1997 to the county of Swindon has a much larger area as this encompasses many surrounding villages and land.
It has a large roundabout surrounded by several smaller roundabouts known as the Magic Roundabout.
There are two leisure centres, 'The Link Centre' and 'The Oasis'.
The English Second Division football team Swindon Town F.C play in Swindon at the County Ground.
Located in Swindon is the Steam Railway Museum (link below).
Public parks include 'Lydiard Country Park' and 'Coate Water'.
Steam Railway Museum