You are here: Home : Search : Search Results : Detailed Result
  |   Print  

THE MECHANICS INSTITUTE

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  CIVIC PLAYHOUSE, PLAYHOUSE THEATRE
DESCRIPTION + /

The Mechanics Institute is situated in the northern half of Emlyn Square in Swindon's Railway Village and is perhaps one of the finest surviving examples of its kind. It was constructed in 1854, funded by The New Swindon Improvement Company, a company formed by Great Western Railway, to provide entertainment, academic and shopping facilties for the inhabitants of the village. The building was designed by Edward Roberts and opened in 1855. It originally comprised a large reading room, library, baths, a theatre and an octagonal covered market. The market was demolished in 1893 when the institute was extended. The extension was designed by Brightwell Binyon and housed a new reading room, games room, a lecture room and other facilities including new features for the theatre. In 1930 the centre of the building was badly damaged by fire. The first-floor hall was rebuilt as a theatre, the Playhouse, later known as the Civic Playhouse, with a larger stage. It had a pit, stalls and dress circle and a fly tower. The building was closed in 1986 and has since been disused and in some disrepair.

PICTURES + / -
DETAIL + / -
MORE INFORMATION & SOURCES
+ / -
RELATED MONUMENTS + / -
MONUMENT TYPES + / -
COMMENTS + / -
Please help us keep our information accurate let us know if you see any errors on this page.

Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.