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Sunday, 19 February 2012 08:05

Swindon - OPC Vacancy or Vacancies

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There are many options of cover available for Swindon and the Surrounding areas should anyone wish to take on a small area of this major industrial town then please ask.  A new page can be created for any parts of the town that anyone may wish to adopt.

Swindon Photo Gallery

Contiguous Parishes (our neighbours)

Chiseldon - Haydon Wick - Lydiard Millicent - Lydiard Tregoze - Rodbourne Cheney - Stratton St. Margaret - Wroughton


Websites of Interest

GenUKI - For information relating to Swindon
University of Leicester's - Website for historical Wiltshire directories
The Workhouse - For poor law etc.
Swindon Advertiser - For local news
Swindon Borough Council - For local information
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre - The Wiltshire County Archives for all historical documents and the place to obtain original copies
Wiltshire Community History - Historical information for parishes within the Wiltshire County jurisdiction.
Jim Fisher has very kindly agreed to allow us to make use of his research based on the Swindon area published on his own website

Parish Registers Held at Bristol Record Office

BTs 1838-1859
BT's 1881-1884 for Swindon Cemetery


Parish History

Swindon is twinned with Chattanooga in Tennessee, USA - Ocotal in Nicaragua - Saltzgitter in Germany - Torun in Poland

Swindon is by far the largest town in Wiltshire and the only major industrial centre.  It has many churches and chapels.  It has been decided therefore that Swindon be separated into different parishes for the purpose of this project.  The OPC for Swindon (this page) will take on the responsibility of the town itself to include mostly the non-conformist establishments and general town information.  OPC's may then volunteer to take on different parishes within the Swindon environs.  A new page will be set up for each.  Two churches have already been established as separate but alas they have no volunteer to care for them these are St. Marks and Christchurch. Further down of this page is a list of other churches that can be adopted as a single item.  To volunteer please contact the administrator via the contact us tab at the top of this page.

For centuries, Swindon was a small market town with Holy Rood as its parish church.  In the 1840's Isambard Kingdom Brunel's decision to site the railway engine repair works here transformed the town.  The area known as New Town housed the railway workers; they had their own market, public houses, hospital and a new church - St Mark's. In 1900, New Town and Swindon joined together to became the Borough of Swindon.

A Nostalgic Look at 1900s Swindon Published in 1979                  A Short History of Swindon (You Tube Video 2013)

Newspaper Items 1800-1849                    Facts and Figures About Wiltshire 1874                    Jefferies Land - A History of Swindon and Its Environs 1896

Civil Registration

1837 - 1898 Highworth Registration District
1898 - Present Swindon Registration District

Urban District Council

Election Letter from John Williams 1899


Buildings and Land 


County Agriculture Report 1847                 Cattle Plague Regulations 1867


Notice of Intended Construction of the Wilts & Berks Canal 1793


Radnor Street

Radnor Street Cemetery Gallery

Whitworth Road

Whitworth Road Cemetery Gallery


Sale of Contents of Broome Farm 1847

General Items

Owners of Land 1873


Ordnance Survey Map 1816                   Ordnance Surveyor's Drawings 1818

Parks and Leisure

Coate Water

Coate water was constructed as a reservoir in around 1830 to top up the canal which ran through Swindon.  Coate was fed by the River Cole.  In 1913, Swindon Corporation bought Coate Water plus 80 acres of surrounding land for £10,000.  The area today is used as a boating lake and nature reserve.  A popular retreat for locals from the hustle and bustle of the industrial metropolis that is Swindon.  See also the parish page of Liddington for information regarding Coate

Queens Park

Queens Park opened to the public in 1953 to commemorate the Coronation of Elizabeth II.  It was originally clay pits, and since the 1700's had been used as brick works.  I the latter part of the 19th Century, Thomas Turner owned them and he built many houses in Swindon.  His own home was where the Grove now stands.

Town Gardens

The gardens were formerly a stone quarry, and much of the stone extracted was used to build houses in Bath Road, Swindon.  A competition was launched to design the Gardens and following this the Gardens were opened in 1894.

Public Houses

Public Houses Gallery          Beerex Festival 1976

Red Cow Inn, Princes Street - Demolished 1969

Sales by Auction

Building Land on The Sands 1868                  Buildings and Land 1902 



No 7 Bus Timetable 2016


Proposed Swindon, Marlborough & Andover Railway 1872           Swindon & Highworth Light Railway 1880

Great Western Railway

GWR Gallery


Calne, Hilmarton & Lyneham Turnpike Roads 1847

Tram System

Tramway Gallery

New Electric Tram System 1904


Walcot Gallery


Crime and Legal Matters


Assault by Edward Pavior 1875                  Assault by George Bailey 1877                  Pub Landlord Threatened to Horsewhip a Solicitor 1883

Bastardy and Child Support

Bastardy Examinations 1878                   Bastardy Examination Gough (Roman) v Ackrill 1878           Ruth Fisher Child Support 1878

Miscellaneous Items

Crime Reports 1800-1849                  Thomas Tuck Charged with Forgery 1818                  Crime Reports 1850-1899                 Court Appearance of Sophia Harford 1859                  Crime Reports 1900-1949


Murder at Purton by Henry Harman 1874 

Prisons and Prisoners

Committed to the Devizes House of Correction 1800-1849                Inmates of Gloucester Gaol 1815-1879

Quarter Sessions

Court Appearances

Edward Francis Avenell 1869


Acquitted of Purse Theft 1870                Labourers Steal Stones 1870



Swindon & District 1928 (Description) Swindon & District 1928 (Surnames A - C) Swindon & District 1928 (Surnames D - F) Swindon & District 1928 (Surnames G - H)
Swindon & District 1928 (Surnames I - L) Swindon & District 1928 (Surnames M - O) Swindon & District 1928 (Surnames P - R) Swindon & District 1928 (Surnames S)
Swindon & District 1928 (Surnames T - V) Swindon & District 1928 (Surnames W - Z) Taylors Telephone 1941   



Gorsehill School Football Team 1927/28 Recalled 1987

Emigration and Migration

Strays Index Emigration Home Contact Requested 1800 - Present Naturalisation Record - Hyam Bertish 1893
Naturalisation Record - Mayer Bertish 1893 Naturalisation Record - Soloman Bertish 1893 Naturalisation Record - Francisco Sabatella 1897
Naturalisation Record - Guiseppe Sabatella 1897 Naturalisation Record - Mariantonia Sabatella 1897 Naturalisation Record - Rosina Sabatella 1897
Emigrant - Arthur Evelyn Tunley 1941    


Employment and Business

Employment & Business Gallery

Agriculture and Land

Gamekeepers Certificates 1807               Gamekeepers Certificates 1834                Aspects of the Lives of Wiltshire Agricultural Labourers c1850


Harry Harding 1872

Apprentice records published here may not necessarily mean that the apprentice was from the parish but was apprenticed to a master within the parish

Wiltshire Society Apprentices

Robert Dare 1839 (Unsuccessful Aplicant)           



Richard Adams 1919                Stanley Ashton 1938                 Ian Mackenzie 1951          Henry George Morkot 1917         

Community Services

Wiltshire Police

Worthy Porter - Climbing the Ranks 1834-1881                Police Inspector A. E. Mitchell 1887-1940                Police Sergeant Reakes Retires 1932

Metropolitan Police Pension Records

Joseph Anslow 1878-1904            Charles Austin 1885-1910

Great Western Railway


1833-1963 Surnames A - F               1833-1963 Surnames G - K               1833-1963 Surnames L - R                1833-1963 Surnames S - Z


Swindon Markets 1847


Swindon Mechanics Institution 1847                  Mechanical Engineer - James Henry Baker 1923



Dental Services 1846           Advertisement R. L. Pinniger 1853

Doctors and Surgeons

Death of Mr. John Gay 1870


Medical License Extract for Robert Heath 1665          General Medical Council Registrations 1859-1959          


Trained Nurse - Annie Mary Booth 1857-1893              

Miscellaneous Items

New Business Venture 1846                  Employment Wanted & Offered 1850-1899                  Colliers of Swindon 1858                  National Trade Exhibition 1902              Coopers Metals Ltd. 1956

Postal Services & License Distributors

British Postal Service Appointments 1737-1969                 Hair Powder Tax Stamp Distributors 1801

Swindon Waterworks Company

The company was founded on the 23rd July 1857 with a shareholding of £10,000 in £1 shares.  An Act of Parliament in 1895 allowed the Borough of Swindon to acquire the company and the remaining shareholders on 18th March 1895 when the company was dissolved are listed here.  It must be noted that not all of the names listed are necessarily from Swindon however many were local traders and dignitaries. 

Trades Unions

Union Memberships


Miscellaneous Documents


Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship

Non Conformist Gallery

Baptist Tabernacle Church

Pastors of the Tabernacle 1855-1971 History of the Tabernacle 1855-1977  Baptist Church Anniversary 1878
Tabernacle Baptist Church 2009    

Newport Street Congregational Chapel - Baptist (closed 1939)

Family Notices


Holy Rood (Swindon Parish Church)

Holy Rood       Holy Rood Interior

Primitive Methodist Chapel

Family Notices 1850-1899

Wesleyan Methodist Chapel

Churches to be adopted as separate items or to be combined with this page

All Saints - Baptisms 1908-1969, Marriages 1930-1969, Burials 1949-1984
St. Andrew - Baptisms 1957-1981, Marriages 1959-1991, Burials 1992-1998
St. Augustine - Baptisms 1885-1982, Marriages 1908-1972, Burials 1948-1987
St. Barnabas - Baptisms 1890-1998, Marriage 1890-1992, Burials - None listed
St. John The Baptist - Baptisms 1960-1970, Marriages 1961-1992, Burials 1960-1998
St. John The Evangelist - Baptisms 1883-1956, Marriages and Burials - None listed
St. Luke - See Tab Below
St. Paul - Baptisms 1881-1965, Marriages 1881-1964, Burials 1881-1904
St. Paul (Covingham) - Baptisms and Burials - None listed, Marriages 1971-1985
St. Peter (Penhill) - Baptisms 1955-1992, Marriages 1956-1997, Burials - None listed
St. Saviour - Baptisms 1890-1938, Marriages - None listed, Burials 1963-1979
St. Timothy Liden - Baptisms and Burials - None listed, Marriages 1977-1995

Any of the above may be adopted as separate parish pages to volunteer please contact Teresa Lewis (Administrator) via the contact us tab at the top of the page.

Sunday School Exam Successes 1963 


People and Parish Notables

Swindon People Photo Gallery


Tram Accident 1906

Associations, Clubs, Organisations, and Societies

Oddfellows Fete and Gala 1874                 


Saga of Thomas Pope 1891

Census Returns Transcripts

Census 1841 (Ed 7 only)           1851

Census 1881 - People in caravans and sleeping rough at Swindon Fair

Elections and Polls

Poll of Freeholders 1772          Poll Book 1818         Voters List 1832             Members of Parliament 1783-1918              Voters lists Revisions 1843                  Electoral Lists Revision Court 1902

New Swindon & Urban District Council Election Letter fromJohn Williams 1899

Family Notices

1800-1849          1900-1999

Inquest Reports

Inquests After the Great Flood of January 1841                Inquest Reports 1850-1899                James Gowenlock 1866                William Pratt 1872

Miscellaneous Items

Monumental Inscriptions Out of County 1781                 Secrets of Farming Book Subscribers 1863                  Pilgrimage to Richard Jefferies Grave 1915                 Childrens Corner Evening Advertiser 1948


Obituaries, Death & Funeral Notices 1917

Edward Heavens 1930                 Charles Howse 1896          Alice Maude McDonagh 1938

Parish Notables

Isambard Kingdom Brunel - Railway Engineer and Designer, 1806-1859 Diana Dors - Actress, 1931-1984 Harold John Fleming - England International Footballer & Swindon Town Player, 1887-1955
John Francome - Jockey and Trainer, 1952- Sophie Grigson - Cookery Writer and Chef, 1959- Justin Hayward - Musician, 1946-
David Hempleman-Adams - Adventurer and Explorer, 1956- Nick Hewer - Business Advisor and TV Presenter, 1944- Mary Higgs - Social Reformer, 1857-1934
David Howell - Golfer, 1975- Mark Lamarr - Comedian, Radio and TV Presenter, 1967- Melinda Messinger - Glamour Model and TV Presenter, 1971-
Desmond Morris - Ethologist and Writer, 1928- Edith Bessie New, Suffragette 1877-1951 Andy Partridge - Musician, Producer, Singer & Songwriter, 1953-
Billie Piper - Actress and Singer, 1982- Bob Sweet - Director of Exhibitions, RHS 

People News

People News 1850-1899            Miss Garrard Contest 1966   

Personal Research Items

Tuck Family Research Burial Extracts - These items were donated by Ken Tuck and contains entries that may or may not relate to the Tuck family however they have been published as such.  Many references to Quaker entries may be found from across the county.


Swindon & Burderop Race Meeting 1846 Vale of the White Horse Hunt Puppy Show 1874 Western League Football 1900
Shooting Competition 1902 Swimming Gala 1902 New Sportsmens Church Service 1930
Pigeon Racing Annual Awards 1956    


Poor Law, Charity and The Workhouse


Thomas Arthur Beale and his Collecting Dog, Bruce. 1905-1915          Charity Run in Aid of Hope for Tomorrow 2014

General Poor Law Matters

Medical Relief 1837                 Public Assistance Administration 1948

Removal Orders

Removal Orders 1736


Workhouse Crime 

Workhouse Crime 1835-1850

Workhouse Inmates

Tramps admitted to the Workhouse 1847

Workhouse Supplies

Poor Law Union Supplies 1847                 



Death & Estate Notice of William Ford, 1954            Probate and Estate Notice of John Kemble 1840

Parishioners Wills

Mary Miller Jenner 1832 (Walcot)


War, Conflict and Military Matters

War Memorials & Military Gallery

General Military Items

Why The Poppy          Chelsea Pensioners 1808-1828          Military Matters 1850-1899   

Royal Navy

Deserters in Australian Newspapers 1885


Wiltshire Regiment

Return of the Wiltshire Regiment 1902           Servicemen & Families with the 1st Wilts. Regt. in South Africa 1911                 Front Line Cricket Match Wilts v RAMC 1914-1918    



Victoria Cross Recipient Daniel Marcus William Beak 1918

British Red Cross/Voluntary Aid Detachment

V.A.D. & Red Cross Hospitals 1914-1918                 Phyllis Baynton 1915-1917


Calne & District Casualty Lists WWI          Casualty Biographies of WWI           For King and Country 1916

Casualty Biographies

Tom Fox 1916

War Memorials and Books of Remembrance

Bell Ringers Book of Remembrance is St. Pauls Cathedral Library WWI           Postal Services Memorial, Swindon WWI & WWII

Wiltshire Regiment in WWI

Wounded List July 1917


Casualty Biographies of WWII          Civilian Casualties 1939-1945


Alfred Astle 1944




Parish of St. Luke

Church of St. Luke

Parish Registers held at WSHC

Baptisms 1903-1950
Marriages None Listed
Burials None Listed


Crime and Legal Matters

Bigamy Charge 1846 



The Parish of St. Mark, New Swindon

St Mark's Photo Gallery

The Church of St. Mark

St. Mark's was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and built in 1845 for the residents of New Swindon.

Parish Registers held at WSHC

Baptisms 1845-1966
Marriages 1846-1990
Baptisms 1845-1881


Parish History

Civil Registration

1837 - 1898 Highworth Registration District
1898 - Present Swindon Registration District


Crime and Legal Matters

Animal Related Crime

Ill-Treating a Cat 1860


People and Parish Notables

Family Notices 1850-1899           Family Notices 1900-1999

Census Returns Transcripts

1841 (Part)    


War, Conflict and Military Matters

Royal Navy

Casualty George F. Gardner, HMS Captain 1870 


The Parish of Christchurch

Christchurch Photo Gallery               Christchurch Burial Ground Gallery

The Church of Christchurch

Incumbents 1302-1885          Proposed New Church 1847        

Parish Registers Held at WSHC

Baptisms 1623-1975
Marriages 1624-1988
Burials 1623-1992


Parish History

Civil Registration

1837 - 1898 Highworth Registration District
1898 - Present Swindon Registration District


Buildings and Land

The remains of the original parish church, Holy Rood, can still be seen today.  Christchurch, replaced Holy Rood in 1851.




Parish Church of St. Paul

People and Parish Notables

People Gallery

Family Notices 1900-1999


War, Conflict & Military Matters

Military Gallery




Buildings and Land

Liden Lagoons

These lagoons were man made in the early 1970's as flood storage for South Dorcan.  Today the area is a popular fishing location for young people and home to many birds.  One of the most popular birds to be seen here are the Canadian Geese.




Baptist Movement in Swindon

Cambria Place Baptist Chapel

By 1882 there were only a few members and they approached Fleet Street Baptist Church to take charge, which they agreed to do. The Chapel was sold to them for £55, the amount due to the Monmouthshire Association.

Cambria Place

This chapel was built in 1866 for the Welshmen and their families who came to Swindon about the middle of the 19th century to work in the G.W.R. works. For many years sermons were preached in Welsh The chapel could accommodate 250. In 1882 the church placed itself under the superintendence of the Fleet Street Baptist church, which later moved to the Tabernacle, Regent Circus, and in 1964 was still a dependent church of the Tabernacle. A schoolroom was provided in 1905.  (source: British History Online)

Fleet Street Baptist Church

Church Book

Fleet Street Baptist Chapel - 1848

Fleet Street Baptist Chapel Minutes

Fleet Street Baptist Chapel Membership

Fleet Street Baptist Chapel - Surname Index

This was the first General Baptist chapel in Swindon and was opened in 1849.  Its earliest congregation consisted mainly of Baptists who had formerly attended the Stratton Green chapel, and for the first few years the Revd. Richard Breeze superintended both chapels. Fleet Street remained subordinate to Stratton Green until 1855 when an independent church was formed with 24 members and Breeze became its first pastor. In 1868 the chapel was enlarged to seat 520 and a schoolroom was added. Soon after this mission work was begun in the Gorse Hill district and in 1882 a mission church, dependent upon Fleet Street, was built there. In the same year the Baptist chapel in Cambria Place also became dependent upon the Fleet Street church.

By 1879 accommodation had become inadequate and in 1886 the congregation moved to the Tabernacle in Regent Circus, opened that year. The Fleet Street chapel was demolished, although the schoolroom was left and was still standing, used as a store, in 1951. [ source: British History Online]

By March 1883 with the increase in the number of Membership (about 245) and not sufficent seating for them all; the Church Committee decided that further accommodation was required.

At the Church Committee Meeting of September 1884 it was decided that there were 3 courses of action

1st - Building a Chapel at Old Swindon retaining the present Place without alteration
2nd - Pulling down the present Chapel & building another on the enlarged site obtained by adding the Ground now occupied by the Chapel House & yard
3rd - Selling the present Premises and removing to another Site.

After much discussion the 3rd option was decided upon as a Site has been offered for sale by the Rolleston Estate Trustees in Regent Street opposite Yorke Place.

The new Baptist Tabernacle Chapel opened on 20th October 1886.

Gorse Hill Baptist Chapel

A small chapel was built at Gorse Hill in 1883 as a result of mission work by the Fleet Street Baptists. In 1904 a larger chapel was built at the corner of Beatrice Street and Cricklade Road, and the original chapel was given up, but not demolished In 1913. Gorse Hill was constituted a separate church, having been until then dependent upon the Tabernacle. It was still in use in 1964. source: British History Online)  - For information regarding Gorse Hill please refer to the Stratton St. Margaret Page



The Swindon Collection

The Swindon Collection, housed at Swindon Library, are happy to answer family history and local studies questions.  They have a huge resource collection, not just for Swindon and the immediate area, but for many other Wiltshire parishes too.  They work closely with local history and heritage groups throughout the county and, with their valuable assistance, are often able to provide information that might otherwise allude researchers.  The services of The Swindon Collection are provided free of charge (except in very exceptional cases).

Contact Details

Swindon Collection: Local Studies & Family History, Central Library, Regent Circus, Swindon, SN1 1QG
Phone:   01793 463238
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: The Swindon Collection 
Twitter: Follow Us
Flickr: Photographic gallery

Parishes Covered

We are able to assist with queries for all parishes within the Borough of Swindon:-

Bishopstone (Nr. Swindon) Blunsdon St. Andrew Broad Blunsdon Castle Eaton
Chiseldon Hannington Haydon Wick Highworth
Hinton Parva Inglesham Liddington Lydiard Tregoze
Rodbourne Cheney Sevenhampton South Marston Stanton Fitzwarren
Stratton St. Margaret including - Hyde - Kingsdown - Lower Stratton - Upper Stratton Swindon including - Christ Church - New Swindon - Old Swindon - St. Mark's
Wanborough Wroughton

Plus we also can help with 4 non-borough parishes (collected because they are contiguous or too close/important to ignore!)

Cricklade          Lydiard Millicent      Purton         Wootton Bassett

Some key resources from our collection:

Every available book, report, pamphlet, leaflet and poster we can obtain for the above parishes and masses of Wiltshire-wide material.
Complete microfilm runs of all local newspapers (inc. Swindon Evening Advertiser from 1854, and North Wilts Herald from 1861).
Microfilm of original parish registers for all Borough parishes (as listed above), Bishop’s Transcripts and census.
Early Poll Books (from 1705-1831) & electoral registers (1945 to date).
Complete GRO BMD (1837-1999) & the GRO Overseas indices on fiche.
Street, trade and telephone directories (from 18th Century to date).
All available printed & microfiche transcriptions, indexes and finding aids, including everything we can get produced by the WFHS.
Free access to Find My Past Community Edition) across all Swindon Libraries.
Free online access to The Times Digital (from 1785), British 19th Century Newspapers, The Illustrated London News and more great premium sites.
Staff magazines for GWR, British Rail, Garrards, Wills Tobacco, Vickers-Armstrong (based at South Marston) and more.
Massive map collection – from earliest Ordnance Survey.
c20,000 photographs, slides and other images.
3 microfilm and 3 microfiche readers with printing.
Public self-service photocopiers with free scanning up to A3.
Fully searchable catalogue.
Monthly talks & drop-in sessions by Archivists from the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham.
Regular local and family history talks and other events.
Dedicated team of staff happy to help where they can!

Anyone wishing to visit the Collection in person will be welcomed by the friendly and helpful staff who will be very happy to assist you and show you around



Read 18941 times Last modified on Thursday, 09 January 2020 23:36

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