Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Exploring Swindon- #1

I was fascinated by a programme on TV about the old Swindon railway village connected to the railway works. Mr T took us on a guided tour.

The houses were built for the railway workers and can be found near the train station. The streets are named after the train destinations- such as Bristol Street. The nicest houses were built nearest the station so that would be workers and their families saw these first on arrival, to say nothing of any dignitaries arriving by rail.

In this terrace of houses each entrance serves two houses with front doors set at an angle.

Not content with just building houses

education and welfare were deemed important. This is the institute building for education , the current owner would like to convert it to flats I understand. Elsewhere there is swimming pool and what was a hospital- in fact the NHS in 1945 was based on the health service provided for the railway workers and their families in Swindon. Well who knew that?

This village is very similiar to other model villages built by Captains of Industry for their workers, such as Port Sunlight. I wondered if there were any near you, love to hear about them.

Comments on: "Exploring Swindon- #1" (25)

  1. An interesting post; I never liked the history in the school curriculum but local/social history fascinates me. Not far from me is the village of Barrow Bridge which has featured in a couple of my blog posts, it was built during the Industrial Revolution as a model community village for mill workers and their families. The mills had disappeared by the early 20th century but the cottages are all still there and are among the most sought-after homes in the town

  2. Masses of interesting facts! I love how you are really getting under the skin of your new surroundings. 🙂

  3. Great trip – lovely homes and interesting history!

  4. Looks a nice area to live.
    Still haven’t visited Port Sunlight, but have been to Salttaire, built by Sir Titus Salt for his mill workers. X

  5. New Lanark in Scotland. Housing, health care and education for the workers from the mill.

  6. On the way into Bradford there’s a terrace called Midland Terrace, clearly a row of railway cottages, urban history always fascinates me.

    • How interesting- we visited a woollen mill in Bradford where there was a row of workers cottages. Love to see those railway cottages if you are about there ever.

  7. Port Sunlight isn’t far from me, over the Mersey. Enjoyed reading about Swindon’s railway houses, social history at its best. x

  8. Ohhh, that is cool! It makes sense, too – in my area, there are a lot of houses that were build for miners. They had a little garden in the back so folks could grow vegetables.

    • If only houses with gardens were built now instead of high rise flats- think how different Lockdown would have been for everyone.

      • Absolutely, yes!! (on the other hand, at least were I live, there isn’t enough living space generally, so people take the flat over the house any day, as long as they HAVE a place to live.

  9. Not quite the same but near me in the part of Southampton called Highfield there are what are called ‘Collins’ houses built by a local builder ins the 1920s and 30s that are very distinctive and have landscaped surrounds with trees. I think some of the trees along the side of the roads are apples trees.

  10. That’s interesting. I’m depressed by how many lovely old buildings are being turned into flats though – or is that just selfish? Some of them are done really beautifully and, if they’re not being used for anything else, I suppose it makes sense.
    The nearest we’ve been to living in a (sort of) model village was looking at a house for sale in Milton Abbas

    • I always fancied living in one of the lodge houses you see at the entrance to the Big House- they look like gingerbread houses to me. I agree it ‘s a shame they are turned into flats- surely community spaces are better- but then who funds the upkeep?

  11. Not very near me, but Bournville in the midlands is another model village founded on chocolate! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bournville)

    • I remember going there on a school trip and being given lots of chocolate goodies at the end of the visit.

      • How wonderful to be given lots of chocolate! These model villages are really very nice places, maybe Amazon should build a few for their staff.

      • You used be able to visit the Cadbury factory in Hobart, Tasmania, until 2015. They’ve closed the visitor centre now… 😦

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