Slough's history

When did Slough's history start?

In 1086 William the Conqueror's Domesday Book lists some of the landowners in 'Upton', but the first recorded mention of Slough was in 1196, when it was spelled 'Slo'. Most historians think that the name came from the slough or muddy land between Upton-cum-Chalvey and Eton.

What's the oldest building in Slough?

St Laurence's Church in Upton is around 900 years old. Parts of Upton Court (home to the Slough Observer newspaper now) were built in 1325, while St Mary's Church in Langley was probably built in the late 11th or early 12th century, though it has been re-built and enlarged several times.

When did Slough start to grow?

When the railway from London to the west was built. Slough Station opened in 1840, and by 1841 the population was twice the size it had been in 1831 (but it there were still only 2405 people there!) By 1891 the population was 7,700.

In the 1920s the trading estate began to develop, and people began to arrive in Slough from other parts of the country, looking for work.

After the Second World War, housing estates at Britwell and Langley were built to re-house Londoners whose homes had been destroyed in bombing raids.

Since the 1960s, Slough's employment opportunities and location have encouraged a steady stream of people from other countries or regions to settle in the town, and the population has now reached around 119,000 people.

Where can I find out more about Slough's history?

Slough libraries local studies collection can be found in the Library at The Curve and holds many books, newspapers, maps, photographs and other items to help you learn more about Slough's past. See also the libraries pages on family history resources and local studies.

Slough Museum is another good source of information at The Curve, where you can see eight museum pods celebrating the town’s past, present and future.

Visit the Slough History Online website to discover the interesting stories and characters in Slough’s past. Over a thousand photos of the borough’s past and present are available as well as copies of the Slough Observer dated between 1883 and 1929.