Slough originally developed as a stopping-off point for coaches travelling between London and Bath. It remained as a small village until the mid-1800s and the coming of the railway - Slough quickly became a thriving town and a popular place to live, within easy reach of London and Windsor. The growth of the Trading Estate in the 20th Century means that Slough continues to be a busy, successful town.
Most of the area was traditionally part of Buckinghamshire and formed over many years by the amalgamation of villages along the Great West Road from London in the east to Bath and Bristol in the west. The first recorded uses of the name occur as Slo in 1196, Sloo in 1336, and Le Slowe, Slowe or Slow in 1437. The name may have derived from the various sloughs in the area, although some people think it may refer instead to Sloe bushes growing in the vicinity. The name first seems to have applied to a hamlet between Upton to the west and Chalvey to the east, roughly around the 'Crown Crossroads' where the road to Windsor (now the A332) met the Great West Road. Along with Salt Hill, these settlements formed the parish of Upton-cum-Chalvey.
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.
The historic development of Slough has been unveiled in a new collection at the Berkshire Record Office, revealing a fascinating picture of the architectural, social and economic history of the much maligned town.
Postcards from Slough is a website covering many aspects of the history of Slough. It is published by Gary Flint.
Slough has a place in history before 1920s, with it’s close proximity to Windsor. Indeed the town has received much Royal patronage, and many notable squires have enjoyed residence in or close to Slough.