The Swindon Baptist Tabernacle
Swindon's Baptist Tabernacle
The imposing historic building which was torn down in 1978 looks set to be making a return to the town. Watch cine footage of when it once stood proud in Regent Street in the 1960s.
One of Swindon's most well-remembered buildings - The Baptist Tabernacle was demolished in 1978. It stood at the top of Regent St where The Pilgrim Centre is now situated.
But The Tabernacle, or at least some of it looks set to return to Swindon. Local man Stanley Frost purchased the portico of the building after it was torn down and planned to use it as the frontage of a house he was building in Malmesbury.
When his planning application was rejected he hoped to sell what bits of the Tabernacle he had in his possession, but one setback after another also prevented him from doing so.
His loss looks like being Swindon's gain as the local council are in the process of having the portico returned to the town to be incorporated into the architecture of a new museum or art gallery.
What is left of the building which was built out of Bath stone, are six columns, the roof, the facade, and the stone wall surrounds.
AVP Studios in Swindon who previously supplied us with video material of Swindon filmed over the last 50 years, have given us access to some newly acquired silent colour cine footage of The Baptist Tabernacle from the late 1960s.
The two clips below show how the top of Regent Street - which at that point had yet to be pedestrianised - looked very different with the imposing coliseum-like Tabernacle at its centrepiece. There is a also a fascinating glimpse inside the building itself as a service is conducted.
last updated: 17/10/2008 at 10:30
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