Saturday, 5 January 2008

Some more historic buildings in Old Town

Bath Road Methodist Church
Built with strangely austere grey stone - it was constructed in 1880
The 'gingerbread house' - or rather houses.

Two very attractive brick Victorian residential houses on Drove Road near the entrance to Queen's Park.

The Old Vicarage on Bath Road - an example of one of Swindon's many red brick Victorian buildings. I am told the Old Vicarage stood derelict for many years after a new smaller vicarage was built next to Christ Church. It is now rather desirable retirement flats with many of the original Victorian features retained.

The Corn Exchange
The famous Corn Exchange - part of the very fabric of Old Town, Swindon when it was just another little Wiltshire hill-top market town. It has had a chequered history since it fell out of use as the Corn Exchange, known as the Locarno back in the 1960's it was the venue for many well known pop groups of that era. I understand that it then had a stint as a bingo hall, oh dear! More recently it was very badly damaged by fire and has since stood virtually derelict. However, it has been bought by a local businessman and there are plans to restore it retaining at least the tower and facade (sadly, much of the building has been deemed unsafe).

The Frome Hotel - Hythe Road

Now private apartments, the Frome Hotel on Hythe Road closed as a public house in 1978. I have it on good authority that an excellent pint of cider could be had there. The ceramic plaque (below) is still visible on the side of the building, giving a clue to its history.

The ceramic plaque on the building that was once the Frome Hotel

The Providence Chapel, South Street
Now also a private residence - the Providence Chapel on South Street dates back to the middle of the 1800s (1845), built of locally quarried Purbeck Stone, it is a rather lovely building both inside and out. See also October's entries for other historic buildings in the Prospect Place area also built from local stone.
A row of houses on Prospect Place - built from locally quarried stone.