A Timeline of Swindon

By Tim Lambert

1697 Swindon has a population of 791. It is a very small market town.

1801 Swindon is still a tiny market town. It has a population of 1,198. As well as weekly markets Swindon has 4 annual fairs.

1840 The Great Western Railway reaches Swindon and the company decides to build an engine building and maintenance works there.

January 1843 Swindon Railway Works is officially opened. Meanwhile, houses are built for the workers.

1845 As the settlement grows St Marks Church is consecrated

1846 The first shops in the new settlement open

1851 New Swindon has a population of 1,454

1860s Henry Street, Reading Street, and Oxford Street are built

1864 New Swindon is lit by gas

The 1870s More houses are built in North Street, Western Street, Dover Street, and Prospect Hill.

1872 A sewage farm is built. A cottage hospital is built.

1881 The population of Swindon is over 15,000

1887 Swindon and North Wiltshire Victoria Hospital is built

1889 Radbourne Recreation Ground opens

1894 Town Garden Park opens

1896 A Technical College is founded

1889 Cambria Park opens

1900 Swindon is made a borough

1901 The population of Swindon is 45,000

1904 Trams are introduced in Swindon

1910 The first cinema opens in Swindon

1920 A museum opens in Swindon

1929 The last trams run in Swindon

1938 New Civic Offices are built

1952 Swindon is designated an overspill town for London

1962 A Railway Museum opens in Swindon

1964 The Parade is built

1972 The Magic Roundabout is built

1976 Oasis Leisure Centre opens

1986 The Railway Works close

1997 Swindon is made a unitary authority

2000 Steam opens

2002 The Great Western Hospital opens

2008 A new library opens in Swindon