Swindon in 1843
Swindon is in the hundred of Kingsbridge, 81 miles from the General Post-Office, London, by the Great Western Railway, which passes near the town. Swindon is pleasantly situated on a hill commanding an extensive prospect, and consists of several streets irregularly laid out. The area of the parish is 3,510 acres : it comprehended, in 1831, 332 houses ; namely, 325 inhabited, 4 uninhabited, and 3 building ; with a population of 360 families or 1,742 persons, about one-eighth or one-ninth agricultural. There several good houses in and round the town, inhabited by families in independent circumstances. The parish church is on the south-east side of the town, and is of mean external appearance, but neatly fitted up within. There are some Dissenting places of worship. The market is on Monday for corn and other commodities, and for cattle every alternate Monday : there are five yearly fairs. There is a mill, with an overshot wheel of unusually large dimensions, and near the town are quarries of freestone of the same formation as the Portland stone, which employ a considerable number of men : the stone is used for troughs, tomb-stones, mile-stones, &c. The living is a vicarage, of the clear yearly value of £302, with a glebe-house, in the rural deanery of Cricklade, in the archdeaconry of Bristol, in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol. There were in the parish, in 1833, seven day-schools of all kinds, with 185 scholars ; namely, 92 boys and 93 girls ; and three Sunday schools, with 194 scholars ; namely, 84 boys and 110 girls ; giving between one in nine and one in ten of the population under daily instruction, and about one in nine under instruction on Sundays. One of the day-schools, with 40 boys and 10 girls, was supported by an endowment.