South Marston

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South Marston
SouthMarston StMaryMagdalene SW.jpg
Church of St Mary Magdalene
South Marston is located in Wiltshire
South Marston
South Marston
Location within Wiltshire
Population836 (in 2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSU194879
Civil parish
  • South Marston
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townSwindon
Postcode districtSN3
Dialling code01793
FireDorset and Wiltshire
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
51°35′24″N 1°43′19″W / 51.590°N 1.722°W / 51.590; -1.722Coordinates: 51°35′24″N 1°43′19″W / 51.590°N 1.722°W / 51.590; -1.722

South Marston[2] is a village and civil parish in the Borough of Swindon, Wiltshire, England. The village is about 3 miles (5 km) north-east of Swindon town, where many of its inhabitants work or attend school.


The earliest documentary evidence for continuous settlement dates from the 13th century, but there is fragmentary archaeological evidence of occupation as far back as the Bronze Age.

It is claimed that there were Roman remains just outside South Marston in a field belonging to Rowborough Farm, but these have long disappeared. Ermin Way, a major Roman road linking Silchester and Gloucester, passed close to the village on the south-west side, separating it from Stratton St Margaret. There was a Roman station at Durocornovium, now Covingham, one mile south of the village.

The name "Marston" derives from a common Old English toponym meaning "marsh farm". This suggests that the village was founded before the Norman conquest of England in 1066, although it is not recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Documentary evidence of the village exists from about 1280, when it is mentioned as part of Highworth Hundred.

South Marston became a civil parish in 1894.[3] For church purposes, South Marston was a chapelry of Highworth until it became a separate church parish in 1889.[4]


Early in the Second World War, a Ministry of Aircraft Production shadow factory and airfield were built for Phillips & Powis Aircraft Ltd,[5][6] and 1,090 Miles Master training aircraft were built there.[citation needed] Short Brothers Ltd also used another part of the airfield for final assembly and testing of locally-built Short Stirling bombers.[5] Vickers-Armstrongs-Supermarine acquired the site in 1945[7] and produced Supermarine aircraft including Spitfire, Seafire, Attacker, Swift and Scimitar there until 1961; the factory continued to produce components for Vickers until the early 1980s.[5]

In 1985, Honda bought the site, which straddles the boundary with Stratton St Margaret parish, and turned it over to car manufacture. It was the company's sole British plant and employed 3,500 in 2019 when Honda announced that it would close in 2021.[8] In that year the site was sold to Panattoni, an American industrial real estate developer, who intended to use it for a large-scale logistics operation.[9]

The principal book storage facility for Oxford's Bodleian Libraries has been on South Marston Industrial Estate since 2010.[10]

Notable resident[edit]

  • Alfred Williams, poet and steam-hammer operator at Swindon Railway Works, died in South Marston on 10 April 1930 aged 52.


A large residential development was built on the site of the Manor House in the mid-1980s. Further development plans were made in 2015.[11]


  1. ^ "Wiltshire Community History - Census". Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  2. ^ South Marston Village Website
  3. ^ "South Marston Ch/CP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  4. ^ "South Marston EP through time". A Vision of Britain through Time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Aircraft production at Vickers, Swindon". SwindonWeb. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  6. ^ "South Marston". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust UK. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  7. ^ "Vickers-Armstrongs". Graces Guide. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  8. ^ Shane, Daniel; Riley, Charles (19 February 2019). "Honda is closing its only British factory, wiping out 3,500 jobs". CNN. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  9. ^ Griffith, Matt (26 March 2021). "Business West welcomes Honda site announcement and the hundreds of jobs it will create". Business West. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Book Storage Facility". Bodleian Libraries. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  11. ^ Village site. Retrieved 3 August 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to South Marston at Wikimedia Commons