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Gooch Tomb in churchyard, about 24m north of north tower, Church of St Mark

A Grade II Listed Building in Central, Swindon

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Latitude: 51.5616 / 51°33'41"N

Longitude: -1.7948 / 1°47'41"W

OS Eastings: 414320

OS Northings: 184768

OS Grid: SU143847

Mapcode National: GBR YP5.JP

Mapcode Global: VHB3L.V00P

Plus Code: 9C3WH664+J3

Entry Name: Gooch Tomb in churchyard, about 24m north of north tower, Church of St Mark

Listing Date: 23 April 1986

Last Amended: 22 June 2020

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1283831

English Heritage Legacy ID: 318713

Location: Central Swindon, Swindon, SN1

County: Swindon

Electoral Ward/Division: Central

Parish: Central Swindon South

Built-Up Area: Swindon

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Swindon New Town

Church of England Diocese: Bristol

Tagged with: Tomb

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Tomb of Emma Brent Gooch, 1872; and William Frederick Gooch (1825-1915), inscription added in 1915.


Tomb of Emma Brent Gooch, 1872; and William Frederick Gooch (1825-1915), inscription added in 1915.

Portland stone.

The memorial takes the form of a low chest tomb, with hipped table and an extended kerb. It is inscribed on the faces of the table to EMMA BRENT GOOCH and dated 1872, and WILLIAM FREDERICK GOOCH, added in 1915. The low kerb extends on all sides of the tomb.


The Great Western Railway works in Swindon were established in 1841, to provide a central repair facility for the various locomotives which had been sourced to run on the railway line from London to Bristol, whose construction had begun in 1840. The Great Western Railway (GWR) village was established in Swindon from 1841, aiming initially to provide 300 homes and associated health, welfare, lodging and education facilities for a new community of workers and their families arriving from across the country to staff the railway works, which came to house an extensive and integrated design, engineering, construction and repair plant for locomotives and other rolling stock, and rails. At its peak in 1925, the workforce numbered over 14,000. The works remained in use by GWR and, following the nationalisation of the railways, British Rail, until 1986.

William Frederick Gooch (1825-1915) was the youngest brother of Sir Daniel Gooch (1816-1889), who was the first Superintendent of Locomotives at the Great Western Railway, and was responsible for identifying the site for the new engineering works at Swindon. William Gooch trained as an engineer under his brother in Swindon, then in 1851 moved to Devon to become Superintendent of Locomotives at Newton Abbot, producing locomotives for the South Devon Railway. In 1857, William returned to Swindon to take up the post of manager of the GWR Works, which he held until 1864 when he became managing director of the Vulcan Foundry at Newton-le-Willows. He died in 1915, and although buried elsewhere, was commemorated by the inscription added to his wife’s tomb at the Church of St Mark in Swindon.

Reasons for Listing

The tomb of Emma Brent Gooch, 1872; and William Frederick Gooch (1825-1915), is listed at Grade II, for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:
* as a memorial to William Gooch, who was manager of the celebrated Great Western Railway works in Swindon from 1857 to 1864.

Group value:
* with the Church of St Mark (listed Grade II), in whose churchyard it lies, and all the listed buildings of the Swindon Railway Village to its east and south, created as part of an overall plan to provide the staff of the works and their families with integrated housing, health, welfare and leisure facilities.

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