Swindon is a British city in the county of Wiltshire in the region South West England with 155 432 inhabitants ( 2001). Swindon belongs since 1998 to the independent administrative unit Borough of Swindon. She is one of the fastest growing cities in the United Kingdom. Swindon is the headquarters of the UK Space Agency.


The city is located in the Thames Valley between London and Bristol and is served by the M4 Motorway, a freeway that connects Wales using Heathrow airport in London. The municipality covers an area of ​​39.70 km ².

The Swindon area is hilly and green all year. The forest stock is not very dense. The climate is fairly mild, the rainfall is usually not violent, but over the whole year (an average of 720 mm per year, with the month of July is 47 mm and the driest month of December with 77 mm the wettest month). Frost in winter rarely occurs.


First settlement

The History of Swindon goes back to the time of the Romans who had settled on and around the limestone rocks around. After the Romans, the Saxons settled on this particularly suitable for the defense point. In the Domesday Book it is mentioned as Suindune. It is believed that the name swine either from the Anglo-Saxon words and dun ( hill pigs ) or Sweyn 's hill ( Sweyn was a local landowner ) comes. 1066 gave William the Conqueror Swindon his half-brother, Bishop Odo of Bayeux. After Odos capture Swindon reverted to the crown until it. Of Henry III was given to William de Valence, 1st Earl of Pembroke. Until the mid-18th century Swindon was a small market town, mainly in the bartering system was used. The historic market square of Swindon is on top of the hill and is now called Old Town.

Industrial Revolution

With the Industrial Revolution Swindon grew rapidly. This began with the construction of the Wilts & Berks Canal in 1810 and the North Wilts Canal in 1819, two channels, which gave impetus to the trade in the region.

Railroad town Swindon

Perhaps the most important event in the history of Swindon dated to the year 1840. Swindon was chosen by Isambard Kingdom Brunel as the location of the main workshops of the railway company Great Western Railway. According to legend, traveled Brunel and his assistant from the route between London and Bristol and took a lunch break on the slope is due to the Swindon. The Wizard (possibly Daniel Gooch, the first head of the later Locomotive Works Swindon Railway Works), Brunel asked where the Great Western Railway should have their seat. Brunel threw a sandwich in the air and declared that this would be where the sandwich lands. 1842, the work was taken up in Swindon and the demand for labor rose sharply. To the factories came around a new housing for the workers, which is now called New Town and forms the city center. Most of the time building workers' houses still stand today.

In the second half of the 19th century created by the Great Western Railway area (Swindon New Town ) with the historic area around the market (Swindon Old Town) were merged to Swindon.

Until about 1975, British Rail was the largest employer in the city. But then a lot of the factories was closed. The dismissed workers had to make an effort to work with the numerous newly established companies.

After 1980

Among the major employers today include Honda, BMW and Intel; also several insurance companies and financial service providers are located in Swindon. The computer science company Galileo International Corporation was founded in Swindon and built in 1987. The Thames Valley is sometimes jokingly called, The UK 's Silicon Valley ( "Silicon Valley of the UK ").


Swindon is located at the junction of the east coming from London railway line to the west to Bristol and north to Cheltenham, Gloucester and continuing to Birmingham. Swindon Railway Station is served in long-distance and regional services by First Great Western.

Further, it is right on the main east - west highway M4 between London and Bristol. Swindon is known for its many roundabouts. At almost every intersection (even very small ), there is a roundabout, including " double roundabouts ". A well-known oddity among the largest roundabout in the world, the Magic Roundabout, a system of five roundabouts arranged in a ring.

The nearest airport is Bristol International Airport at 80 km. There are 105 kilometers to London Heathrow Airport.

Internet supply

Swindon should be an investment of £ 400,000 the first " Digital City " of England. Wireless 1400 access points should the population ( in time and quantity limited) allow free access to the Internet. Until the bankruptcy of the company commissioned Digital City UK in 2011, but only the pilot project in the village of Highworth was operational. Thereupon, the project of the company UK Broadband has been commissioned, with extension to a hybrid WLAN / LTE network, but while abandoning the free access for the inhabitants.


Sporty figurehead of the city is playing in the third highest English Championship Football League One Swindon Town Football Club, whose Stadium County Ground is located on the Magic Roundabout.

The second well-known team of Swindon Speedway is the team of the Swindon Robins in the Elite League.


You can explore the Museum of the Great Western Railway, also known as the Swindon Steam Railway Museum or STEAM is known. Until 2000 it was known as the Great Western Railway. It is housed in a former railway factory of the Great Western Railway ( one of the largest second to none in the world), which was in operation 1843-1986.

The collection shows old locomotives ( steam-powered to majority ) in the original and in pristine condition, and other rolling stock. Closer interested visitors can also benefit from the archive, which kept an overwhelming amount of books, periodicals, photographs, drawings and plans related to derGreat Western Railway.

In Swindon Designer Outlet on the grounds of the Great Western Railway Works were exterior shots for the Warehouse 13 series, which played according to the script in France, Made.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • William Stanier (1876-1965), railway engineer
  • Ray Barlow (1926-2012), football player
  • Diana Dors (1931-1984), actress
  • Colin Bailey ( born 1934 ), jazz drummer
  • Rick Davies ( born 1944 ), musician and songwriter
  • Justin Hayward ( born 1946 ), singer and songwriter
  • Rachel Shelley (born 1969 ), actress
  • David Howell ( b. 1975 ), professional golfer
  • Tim Payne ( born 1979 ), rugby players
  • Billie Piper ( b. 1982 ), singer and actress
  • XTC - pop band


  • Germany Salzgitter ( Germany ), since 1975
  • Poland Toruń (Poland), since 1978
  • Ocotal Nicaragua (Nicaragua ), since 1990
  • United States Chattanooga (Tennessee ) (United States ), since 2006

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