Mark Childs’ latest book ‘Central Swindon Through Time’ traces a century of change and development
The latest title by Mark Child, historian and architectural and topographical writer, pictured, contains a fascinating selection of photographs tracing some of the many ways in which central Swindon has changed and developed over the last century.
Swindon Central is the retail core of the modern town and its residential environs.
It began in the 1840s, when the model village for railway workers and their families was laid out as a self-contained settlement on marshy ground to the north of Swindon hill.
By the 1860s little pockets of development had been established around its edges and roads were constructed to link them together. By the mid-1880s, New Swindon on the plain had twice the built-up area of Old Swindon on the hill.
Industrial Swindon expanded southwards, slowly pushing a finger of red brick and Bath stone dressings towards the hill.
Mark’s book explores the line of this expansion, from its base in the railway village to the point where it set out to climb into Old Town. Central Swindon is where modern Swindon was born out of blood, sweat, tears and fiery furnaces, and developed out of opportunity, entrepreneurialism and need, into the focus of commerce and trade.
Central Swindon Through Time is published by Amberley Publishing and is filled with fascinating images showing what the town was like, what some of those buildings look like now, and what has replaced them where the originals have been demolished.
It is available for £9.99 from www.amberleybooks.com