Welcome to the Rudloe and environs website.


Here you will find news, articles and photos of an area that straddles the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north-west Wiltshire.


Contributions in the form of articles or photos are welcome. Even those with completely contrary views to mine!


Thanks to the website builder 1&1 and Rob Brown for the original idea.


Rudloescene now, in January 2014, has a sister, academic rather than anarchic, website about Box history here: http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/

It contains thoroughly professional, well-researched articles about Box and its people.


Contact rudloescene through the 'Contact' page.


27th June 2021 and on this hike around the backwaters of Swindon, we encountered Freddie Ljungberg on the towpath of the Wilts and Berks Canal twixt Swindon and Wichelstowe. The height of the bridge has little to do with canal traffic but enabled the line of the Midland & South Western Junction Railway (MSWJR - Cheltenham to Andover) to cross the canal.

Old Town terraces from Sanford Street
The start of the Canal Walk (the Wilts & Berks Canal) in central Swindon with a substantial building called Swindon Court (not the Magistrates or Crown courts) at left
After crossing the A4289, we come to the part of the canal which still remains water-filled
Substantial canal width and canalside greenery here
Canalside idyll at the bottom of the garden
A swan family heads north towards Swindon
Heading towards the abutment and bridge of the Midland & South West Junction Railway (MSWJR - Cheltenham - Andover)
The track bed of the old MSWJR is now the Chisledon to Marlborough cyclepath, part of the National Cycle Network
A local landowner (David Watkins of Westleaze Farm) has blocked the canal to traffic as we approach Wichelstowe
This arch of this canal bridge, built in 2000, has also been used by the landowner to restrict traffic
We now approach the substantial, and still ongoing, residential, canalside development at Wichelstowe
The apartment end of the canalside development
And, beyond a Waitrose supermarket and Hall & Woodhouse pub/restaurant, another element of the development is underway
Here is that pub/restaurant with the canal in the foreground. We couldn't figure out what might be the purpose of the tall structures.
Now heading north-east, towards Old Town, with the water meadows of the river Ray in the foreground (and the MSWJR beyond)
Meadow and dwellings in the area of West Leaze
Heading up into Okus and Old Town from the meadows south of Swindon and, once again, encountering the MSWJR
I said "from the meadows" but those meadows are being built over here as in every other location around the country
One of the many leafy avenues of Okus
Here, we are at the southern entrance of Town Gardens in Westlecot Road
Town Gardens are typical old gardens with a bandstand, aviary (hmmm), pond and refreshment kiosk but also ...
... the Swindon Bowl, a 1930s creation for outdoor theatre and music events
A well-crafted memorial to PC Bell in Town Gardens
Leaving Town Gardens to head down Quarry Road (what quarry?) towards Westlecot Road ..
... and we look over a bridge parapet in Westlecot Road to, once again, see the track bed of the old MSWJR which we can access from here
Heading down from the road to the MSWJR track bed
We are now back on the track bed of the MSWJR looking south-west towards the area whence we came
And now looking north-east towards Old Town
... beyond this bridge, the track bed has been built over ...
... and is now an industrial estate
Compare and contrast: the old Town Hall in High Street, Old Town ...
... with the adjacent abomination of a 1960s parade of shops (we could compare Chippenham here and the 1960s parade of shops by the town bridge for which the fine, old town mill was demolished)
Further along High Street, we find the ivy-covered Goddard Arms where the first Masonic meeting was held in 1818 and a typical, 19th-century bank building
Charlotte Mews, the entrance to The Lawns, the largest and least manicured of the parks visited today
Old sycamore in The Lawns
A misty, midsummer view over Swindon from The Lawns

Lakeside views in The Lawns follow; today's star prize to anyone who discovers the two wildlife specimens in the photos (both begin with the letter 'r')

Big, esoteric, gable-end sign in the Devizes Road. If the small print is the key, it's too small to be seen by passing traffic.
The last of today's three parks - Queen's Park, which we entered from Devizes Road
The worshippers (?) leaving this event at Holy Rood Catholic Church in Lincoln Street reflect the significant demographic change which has taken place in Swindon in the last few years
A wall at Holy Rood Catholic Church demonstrates unusual building construction in this part of the world - flint in buildings is usually to be found in the east of England
This fine Victorian building (which looks like a church) is adjacent to the (new) church building - perhaps this is the old church?
Here, the frontage of our putative old church may be seen beyond the junction and the new demographic
Fine old Victorian building in Clarence Street - actually Clarence Street School - this reminds me of my old primary school in Warrington
Swindon's old demographic queueing at a soup kitchen in the Islington Street (Wyvern Theatre, Magistrates Court) car park
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© Paul Turner