Text Size

Monday, 05 February 2018 19:25

Stratton St. Margaret (Gorsehill) - The OPC is Nigel Chalk

Written by 
Rate this item
(4 votes)
St. Barnabus St. Barnabus

Gorsehill Forms part of the Parish of Stratton St. Margaret

Gorsehill Gallery

The Church of St. Barnabus

Church Gallery

St. Barnabas Church          St. Barnabas Church Murals          St. Barnabus Christenings 1946-1947

History of Gorse Hill

Originally a small hamlet of Stratton with just a farm, the first buildings were a large house and The Tabernacle public house built behind where The Duke of Edinburgh is today.  The long straight road through the area was used for foot-race handicaps over 100 and 200 yards, there were also dog races and shooting matches, in fact there was something most weeks.

In 1863 John Brunsden, a corn factor, was Conservative voting member.

1876 saw the opening of a Money Order and Savings Bank office, (The Star, 4/11/1876). It was burnt down in 1895, believed arson, Postmaster Mr. R. J. Walker. (The Western Daily Press 25/9/1895.)

The area was taken over by Swindon Council in 1891 when expansion of the area followed by the building of St Barnabus Church in Cricklade Road meant that it became a parish in it’s own right. The first streets to be built were School Street which became Avening Street, Chapel, Hinton, and Bright Streets.   Gorse Hill was the only area of the original Stratton to see trams, In December 1902 the Borough Council adopted the scheme and just had to wait for parliamentary agreement, the service started in 1904, the last tram - Tramcar No.1, driven by motorman George Cathcart, made Swindon's last tram journey over the Gorse Hill to Rodbourne route on 11 July 1929. December 1912 saw the opening of the Cinema.  December 1929 saw the formal opening of a new Police Station in Gorse Hill, first Superintendent, J. J. Meaney, first Inspector, Betteridge, also a Drill ground was added to rear at cost of £798 16s, the station has now been converted to flats.   During the war Kembrey Street was bombed and several people killed, Italian prisoners of war were kept in some of the buildings of Kembrey Estate. Bright Street was demolished in 1973 to build a Residential Home. 

Swindon Society YouTube video can be seen here.

Places of Worship in Gorse Hill

Buildings and Land

Hinton Street in Gorse Hill Built 1890 by James Hinton (b. 1842) who was a wealthy Swindon builder and Mayor of the Borough in 1903-4.

In 1937 Malvern Road was added and the extension, over a small bridge, in 1963 on site of pig farm.

The gap on the south side of Beatrice Street, was caused when two houses, numbers 152 & 153 were demolished due to subsidence in about 1980.


Electra Picture Palace Knocked down in 1990's and replaced with Thomas Edward Coard Building


Gorsehill Farm (97 acres) - Originally sited near where Iceland is now, a new farm was built where Beatrice Street is at the end of the 19th century by the entrepreneurial George Whitehead. Work began in 1897.  It was also known as Furze farm for 1860 sale when owned by Thomas Tuckey.

Tabernacle Farm (23 acres) - Bought by Arkell’s in 1870’s from A T Reeves to build new pub. Original farm cottage still exists as 5 Argyle St.

General Building Items

New Name for Crowdy's Hill 1981          Thamesdown Hydrotherapy Pool

Isolation Hospital

History of the Isolation Hospital


Map Gallery


In 2017, 4 New houses were built behind Majestic Wine in Caulfield Road.

Property for Let

Property to Let 1900-1999         

Property for Sale

Sale of Freehold Land 1876          Seven Freehold Houses for Sale 1878          Building Plots & Property for Sale by Auction 1895          Sale by Auction of Buildings & Land 1902

Public Houses

Public Houses Gallery

Read more about the Public Houses of Gorsehill by following the link

Carpenter’s Arms, (now renamed the Swiss Chalet)

Originally opened as an Off-licence in 1874 108/110 Cricklade Road, and was run by a local carpenter named William Penny.

Duke of Edinburgh

At the back of the pub, on 4th August 1928 the first 'dirt track' meeting took place at the 'Swindon Auto Drome', in a field formerly used for other sports (the Corinthians football team lost their pitch). The stadium, built by 'Swindon Sports Club Ltd.', had a 356-yard cinder track. The venue was never used for team racing and was re-named 'Swindon Speedway Stadium' in 1930, closing the same year. Tiverton Road was built on the site and remains of the cinder track ran along the end of the gardens that back onto the small field by the stream. Underneath the cinder was a hard layer predominantly chalk as it was nearly impossible to dig into the cinder most residents built sheds over the track.

The Princess Hotel

 Beatrice street, later renamed The Meerkat, now closed.

The Kembrey Inn

Built 2005 by Chef & Brewer.


Crime & Legal Matters

Rd. Walker, no Dog Licence 1896

Crime Reports

1900-1999          2000 - Present

Drunk and Disorderly

Ann Davis, Drunk & Disorderly 1896



Education Gallery

Gorsehill School          

School Attendance

Sheppard, a School Traunt 1908

School Sport

Gorse Hill School Football Team 1927/28 Recalled 1987

School Staff

School Staff 

Employment and Business

Employment & Business Gallery


Advertising Gallery

Advertising 1900-1949

Early Businesses

1875-1878 John Aplin a butcher

1877 John Taylor, milkman

1878 William Easley a shoemaker of Hinton Street.

1879 Richard Hayward a grocer

1880 Joseph Goodman a draper, James Hibbert a smith

1955 saw the first laundrette in Swindon area.

Argyle Street Pet & Garden Centre - 1988 to 2018 replacing an existing Garden Wholesaler.  The buildings were originally pig sheds later used by a Coal distributor.

Gas Works

Cricklade Road Businesses 2018

Industrial Estates

Elgin Industrial Estate & Kembrey Park 2017

Elgin Industrial Estate

Refurbishment of Unit 2272

 New Swindon Industrial Co-op Society

Co-Op Gallery

New Co-Op Store 2001          Co-Op Staff Then and Now 2001   Shop now on corner Cricklade Road and Chapel Street.

They also had a Furniture and white goods store next to cinema.


Known then primarily as a manufacturer of radio components, opened its factory in Kembrey Street, Gorse Hill, in 1940, now a business estate.


Police Inspector Albert Enos Mitchell 1887-1940          Police Sergeant Reakes Retires 1932 (Gorse Hill) 

Trades Unions

Edward Frank Adams 1910


Non Conformity and Other Places of Worship

Non Conformity Gallery

Baptist Church

Baptist Church          Incumbents List

Methodist Church

Incumbent 1965 Rev. P B Philipson

Salvation Army Citadel

The Citadel is located in Chapel Street. In 1936 the band joined with others at Chippenham for their 50th Anniversary. Leaders - 1961 Major W Pontas, 1963 Major J Riddle, 1965 Major T F Snowball. Has been rebuilt after a fire in early 2000's.

Sikh Temple

13 January 2002: Swindon’s Sikh community opened its first purpose-built temple in Kembrey Street, called the Shri Guru Nanak Gudawara. It replaced much smaller premises in North Street that it had taken over from the Salvation Army in 1972.


People and Parish Notables

People Gallery

For entries in the 1868 Poll Book please refer to the main Stratton St. Margaret Page.


Entertinment Gallery


Canon Raymond Harris 2013


War, Conflict and Military Matters

Military Gallery


On the evening on December 19th 1940 167 Beatrice St that took a direct hit at around 8 o'clock from a German bomber traveling in a North Westerly direction. There was one fatality, 57-year-old Jane Hobbs who died the following day at Victoria Hospital

Casualties of WWI          Thomas Fox 1916          WWI Memorial Mystery 2015          Working Man's Club War Memorial          Wesleyan Methodist Chapel War Memorial

British Red Cross/VAD Volunteers

Volunteers 1914-1918 


Interview on WWII for Peoples War 2006         

War Memorial

War Memorial List


Read 2939 times Last modified on Tuesday, 31 March 2020 11:10

Add comment

Please be aware that comments are not checked daily, if you have a question it is better to contact the volunteer directly. However if you just wish to show appreciation or remark upon the page please feel free to do that here.

Security code

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

I accept cookies from this site.
EU Cookie Directive plugin by www.channeldigital.co.uk