Some Hotels, Inns and Pubs in Swindon, Wiltshire, England

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Introduction

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).

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Bell Hotel

Bell Hotel 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).

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Goddard Arms Hotel

Goddard Arms Hotel 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.

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Kings Arms Hotel

Kings Arms Hotel 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).

 

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Genealogy and Wiltshire, England | Genealogy and Swindon, Wiltshire | Some Buildings and Views of Swindon

This page last updated 8th March 2004