Central Swindon is the retail core of the modern town and its residential environs.
It began in the 1840s, when the model village for railway workers was laid out on marshy ground to the north of Swindon hill.
By the 1860s, pockets of development had been established around its edges, and by the mid-1880s, New Swindon on the plain had twice the built-up area of Old Swindon on the hill.
Industrial Swindon expanded southwards, slowly pushing red-brick and Bath stone dressings towards the hill.
This book details the line of this exploration, from its base in the railway village to the point where it set out to climb into Old Town.
It was a route that would become the town's shopping centre, and along which New Swindon, eager to assert its superiority, erected most of its best buildings.