South Marston is a village in north-east Wiltshire, England. The name Marston derives from the common English village name meaning marsh farm. It is part of the Borough of Swindon. Early in World War II, a Ministry of Aircraft Production shadow factory and airfield were built for the Phillips & Powis (later Miles) aircraft company which built Miles Master training aircraft there. Short Brothers Ltd also used part of the airfield for final assembly and testing locally-built Stirling bombers and Vickers-Armstrong-Supermarine acquired the site by the end of the war and continued to produce military aircraft such as the Attacker, Swift and Scimitar there until the early 1960s.
As the economy and population of Swindon expanded through the latter half of the 20th century, so did that of South Marston; the purchase of the former Vickers-Armstrong factory airfield by Honda in 1985 and large residential development on the site of the Manor House in the mid-80s contributed to the diversification of the population to include industrial workers and commuting professionals.
Although the earliest documentary evidence for continuous settlement in the parish dates from the thirteenth century, there is fragmentary evidence for earlier occupation from as far back as the Bronze Age. Local wisdom has it that there were Roman remains just outside South Marston (on a field of Rowborough Farm), which have long disappeared. Certainly one of the major Roman roads, the Ermin Way from Cirencester to Speen, runs close to the southwest side of the village, separating it from Stratton St Margaret. There was a Roman station at Durocornovium (now Covingham) one mile south of the village.
The name Marston is from Saxon origins, which would date the founding of the village prior to the Norman arrival in 1066. However, it is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. Documentary evidence exists from c1280, when the village is mentioned as part of the Highworth Hundred, to the modern era.
This article summarises the history section of the village web site, which is a well referenced resource for the latest research on the village's history.
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