Historically, the larger part of the present-day Slough area was formerly in Buckinghamshire with a small part of the borough a part of Middlesex. Slough is home to the Slough Trading Estate, which, coupled with extensive transport links, makes it an important business centre in South East England. It is the largest industrial estate in single private ownership in Europe. The town straddles the A4 Bath Road (it becomes the Great West Road closer to London) and the Great Western Main Line railway, west of central London. The whole of Slough is located less than 15 miles from the UK's largest airport, Heathrow. At the 2001 census, the population of Slough was 119,070 (140,200 in 2011) and the borough area was the most ethnically diverse local authority area outside London in the United Kingdom.
In 1974 county boundaries were changed and Slough became a borough within the county of Berkshire, England. In 1998 Berkshire organized its local government structure into unitary authorities, one of which was Slough Borough.
The first recorded uses of the name occur as Slo in 1196, Sloo in 1336, and Le Slowe, Slowe or Slow in 1437. It first seems to have applied to a hamlet between Upton to the east and Chalvey to the west, roughly around the "Crown Crossroads" where the road to Windsor (now the A332) met the Great West Road. The Domesday Survey of 1086 refers to Upton, and a wood for 200 pigs, worth £15. During the 13th century, King Henry III had a palace at Cippenham. Parts of Upton Court were built in 1325, while St Mary the Virgin Church in Langley was probably built in the late 11th or early 12th century, though it has been rebuilt and enlarged several times.
From the mid-17th century, stagecoaches began to pass through Slough and Salt Hill, which became locations for the second stage to change horses on the journey out from London. By 1838 and the opening of the Great Western Railway, Upton-cum-Chalvey's parish population had reached 1,502. In 1849, a branch line was completed from Slough station to Windsor and Eton Central railway station, opposite Windsor Castle, for the Queen's convenience.
Slough has 96 listed buildings. There are
1918 saw a large area of agricultural land to the west of Slough developed as an army motor repair depot, used to store and repair huge numbers of motor vehicles coming back from the battlefields of the First World War in Flanders. In April 1920, the Government sold the site and its contents to the Slough Trading Co. Ltd. Repair of ex-army vehicles continued until 1925, when the Slough Trading Company Act was passed allowing the company (renamed Slough Estates Ltd) to establish an Industrial Estate. Spectacular growth and employment ensued, with Slough attracting workers from many parts of the UK and abroad.
During World War II, Slough experienced a series of air raids, mostly in October 1940 (the largest number of people, five, dying as a result of one on the 13th), and an emergency hospital treating casualties from London was set up in Slough. Local air raid deaths and deaths at the hospital account for the 23 civilian lives recorded lost in the borough area.
After the War, several further large housing developments arose to take large numbers of people migrating from war-damaged London.
The Town Hall has since been torn down and replaced by a multi-storey apartment block. Cippenham is a suburb of Slough originally in Burnham parish. Salt Hill was a village in Farnham Royal and Stoke Poges parishes adjacent to the north end of Slough.
The following description of Slough from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72 is a very good snapshot of a 19th-century "new town". (Source:A Vision of Britain through Time)
In 1863, Slough became a local government area when a Slough Local Board of Health was elected to represent what is now the central part of the modern Borough. This part of Upton cum Chalvey, Buckinghamshire, England Civil Parish became Slough Urban Sanitary District in 1875. The functions of these two bodies were strengthened in 1894, when Slough Urban District was created, Buckinghamshire County Council having been created in the previous decade. In 1900 part of Langley Marish parish was transferred into Slough, and in 1930, a much larger expansion to the west. Parts of the parishes of Burnham, Dorney, Farnham Royal and Stoke Poges and more of Langley Marish were absorbed at this time. In 1938, the town became a Municipal Borough by Royal Charter.
Slough was transferred to Berkshire in the 1974 local government reorganisation. The old Municipal Borough was abolished and since it was not deemed part of an urban conglomeration, replaced by a non-city type second-tier authority called a non-metropolitan district. Slough was however made a Borough by the town's second Royal Charter. Britwell and Wexham Court civil parishes (20th century housing estates and parts of the municipal borough) became part of Slough at this time. On 1 April 1995, the Borough of Slough expanded slightly into Buckinghamshire and Surrey to the east, to take in the civil parishes of Colnbrook and Poyle (which had originally been in Middlesex).
Slough became a unitary authority, on 1 April 1998. This coincided with the abolition of Berkshire County Council and the dissolution of Slough's Borough Status received under its second Royal Charter. Howerver, to enable the continued use of the word Borough, as in some other parts of Berkshire, Slough received its third Royal Charter in 1998.
Birth, marriage and death certificates can now be ordered online from Buckinghamshire County Council. The full postal address is Buckinghamshire Register Office, County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1YU.
The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies (County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1UU) holds
In Buckinghamshire, as with other counties in England and Wales, the location of offices where Births, Marriages and Deaths were registered has altered with other changes in local government. A list of the location of Registration Offices since civil registration began in 1837 has been prepared by GENUKI (Genealogy: United Kingdom and Ireland). The table also gives details of when each Registration Office was in existence. In the case of Buckinghamshire, the same registration offices were used for the censuses since 1851.
Nineteenth Century Local Administration
English Jurisdictions is a webpage provided by FamilySearch which analyses every ecclesiastical parish in England at the year 1851. It provides, with the aid of outline maps, the date at which parish records and bishops transcripts begin, non-conformist denominations with a chapel within the parish, the names of the jurisdictions in charge: county, civil registration district, probate court, diocese, rural deanery, poor law union, hundred, church province; and links to FamilySearch historical records, FamilySearch Catalog and the FamilySearch Wiki. Two limitations: only England, and at the year 1851.
During the 19th century two bodies, the Poor Law Union and the Sanitary District, had responsibility for governmental functions at a level immediately above that covered by the civil parish. In 1894 these were replace by Rural and Urban Districts. These were elected bodies, responsible for setting local property assessments and taxes as well as for carrying out their specified duties. Thses districts continued in operation until 1974. Urban districts for larger municipalities were called "Municipal Boroughs" and had additional powers and obligations.
Poor Law Unions, established nationally in 1834, combined parishes together for the purpose of providing relief for the needy who had no family support. This led to the building of '"union poorhouses" or "workhouses" funded by all the parishes in the union. The geographical boundaries established for the individual Poor Law Unions were employed again when Registration Districts were formed three years later. In 1875 Sanitary Districts were formed to provide services such as clean water supply, sewage systems, street cleaning, and the clearance of slum housing. These also tended to follow the same geographical boundaries, although there were local alterations caused by changes in population distribution.
Online Historical References