Some Hotels, Inns and Pubs in Swindon, Wiltshire, England
Despite having grown from an insignificant market town to major industrial centre in a remarkably short time, and then having the heart of the new town obliterated by 1960s redevelopment, Swindon has a surprisingly large number of interesting buildings. This page illustrates a few of the inns and hotels (more hotels and pubs to come).
The Bell Hotel (photo 215,432 bytes) has a claim over the doorway that it dates from 1515AD, in the reign of Henry VIII, but it is very doubtful if anything survives from that date, other than the stone bearing that inscription. Almost the whole of the present building dates from the mid-19th century. Records show there was an inn there in 1649, then called The Lapwing, but it was known as The Bell by 1764. It is located half way along the west side of High Street.
As well as being an important inn, the Bell also served as the town's post office and a principal coaching house, with three post coaches a week leaving for London (at 6:30a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday) in 1830, as well as the Oxford to Bath coach every day in each direction (excluding Sundays).
The Goddard Arms is shown in this June 2000 photo (254,465 bytes) covered in ivy, and this is how it looked also in 1930. However, when I stayed there early in 2002 it had reverted to the ivy-free state as it was at the beginning of the 20th century, making it look like a quite different building. It was in fact built in the late 18th century, replacing an old thatched inn named The Crown. This inn was where the local magistrates held their deliberations until the building of the old town hall in 1852. It was also an important coaching inn, the Cheltenham to Southampton coach calling three times a week in each direction. It is located at the north end of High Street, facing west down Wood Street.
The late 19th century facade of this hotel occupies a large central section of the north side of Wood Street, although, as can be seen, a building society and a wine shop are using part of the ground floor. The Goddard Arms can be seen in the distance on the right of the picture. (Photo 32,884 bytes).
Browser compatibility statement
I believe web pages should be accessible to all browsers, rather than surfers being browbeaten into switching to some particular browser to see a page. (How many people would be happy if popular TV programmes could only be watched with the latest model of one particular make of TV set?). I am currently going through this site trying to achieve this as far as possible, but I do not have any means of testing it with all the dozens of browsers out there. When I think I have managed it with a page I'll include this paragraph at the end and a suitable logo at the top. If you have trouble viewing any page on this site, especially a page including this paragraph, please let me know (see my contact page), and tell me what browser (name and version) and what operating system you are using, so I can try to do something about it. Thanks.
Main links within this site:
Jim's Jottings Home Page
Genealogy and Family History | Gardening with Strange Ideas
Humour? | Politics and Philosophy | Science
Jim Fisher Summary Biography | Miscellaneous Small Items
Contact me | Map of This Site | Top of this page
Genealogy and Wiltshire, England | Genealogy and Swindon, Wiltshire | Some Buildings and Views of Swindon
This page last updated 8th March 2004