"Slough, which in 1831 is described as a township in Upton-cum-Chalvey and Stoke Poges, has developed rapidly during the 19th century, and in 1894 was formed into a civil parish, which now includes the ancient ecclesiatical parish of Upton and parts of Langley Marish and Stoke Poges. The area of Slough is 1538 acres, of which 550 are arable land and 481 permanent grass. The entire parish is very low, and the land, even in the north or highest part, is not much over 100 ft. above ordnance datum, while in the south it is less than 70 ft. London clay is found in the neighbourhood, and supplies material for the large brickworks in the east of the parish." [© copyright of the editors of The Victoria Histories of the Counties of England]


The following reference sources have been used in the construction of this page, and may be referred to for further detail. Most if not all of these volumes are available in the Reference section of the County Library in Aylesbury.

"Buckinghamshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, ISBN 0 901198 27 7.
"The Place-Names of Buckinghamshire", Mawer A. and Stenton F.M., 1925.
"The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire", Page W. ed., 1905-1928



Availability of census transcripts and indexes.

  • 1851 - Full transcripts and indexes for Buckinghamshire are available on CD-ROM, hard copy and microfiche from the Buckinghamshire Family History Society.
  • 1861 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
  • 1881
    • Available on CD-ROM from the Church of the Latter Day Saints, as part of the National 1881 Census Index.
    • Available on CD-ROM for Buckinghamshire, with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from Drake Software.
  • 1891 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.


Church Records

The original copies of the parish registers for Slough have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1899 - 1953
Marriages 1906 - 1958
Burials 1906 - 1986

The church of St Mary in Slough was built in 1837, and the ecclesiastical parish of St. Paul was created in 1904, prior to this christenings, marriages and burials would mainly have been recorded in the registers of Upton-cum-Chalvey.

An ecclesiastical census was carried out throughout England on 30 March 1851 to record the attendance at all places of worship. These returns are in the Buckinghamshire Record Office and have been published by the Buckinghamshire Record Society (vol 27). The returns for Upton-cum-Chalvey indicate the following numbers for the churches indicated as being specifically in Slough:

Church Attendance
Wesleyan Methodist Chapel
100 - Morning General Congregation

48 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars

100 - Evening General Scholars

Wesleyan Chapel
[possibly a second return for
the church above?]
30 - Morning General Congregation
40 - Morning Sunday Scholars
70 - Morning Total

50 - Evening General Scholars
50 - Evening Total


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Slough which are provided by:




Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Slough has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



The town of Slough, once in Buckinghamshire, now in Berkshire, grew to become Buckinghamshire's largest town, but its origins are as a very small hamlet, which was part of the parish of Upton-cum-Chalvey.

There are a number of reasons for the phenomenal growth of the town, perhaps, the most important originated from the ending of the First World War, and the Depression which followed. At the end of that war, Slough was chosen, by the Government, to be the location for the storage of the huge quantity of motor vehicles and machinery brought back from France. As a result, these unwanted stores, were used as a basis for developing light industry on 600 acres of land in the area. Within a quarter of a century the 'Dump' became an important Trading Estate, bringing many workers from all parts of the country, consequently the small country town became a Borough and acquired the right to have its own Member of Parliament.

Slough does, however, have an interesting history, which predates its huge modern existence and appearance. The first recorded reference to Slough was in the reign of Henry III (1216 - 1272), when Osbert de Slo and William de Slo appear in a list of men of Upton. The modern spelling, appeared for the first time in the accounts of Eton College between 1443 and 1444, which was built from bricks made in Slough.

In 1786 William Herschel, astronomer to George III, and discoverer of the planet Uranus, came with his sister to live in Slough, where he built in his garden the biggest telescope of that time. Herschel's residence in Slough led the famous French scientist, Louis Arago to describe the, then, village as "... the place in the world where most discoveries have been made. The name of the village will never perish".

Slough was also the place where Queen Victoria embarked for her first train journey in 1842, making a journey to Bishop's Bridge, near Paddington.

On the 1st January 1845, Slough was the scene of a murder in which John Tawell, who had recently returned from Australia, murdered his former mistress, Sarah Hart, by lacing her drink of porter with prussic acid. Tawell was spotted leaving the scene of the crime, and the police were alerted. However, Tawell managed to reach the train station and catch a train before the policeman and Dr. Champneys, who was accompanying him, could arrest Tawell. The doctor, however, quickly remembered the new electric telegraph, recently installed to transmit messages between stations, and a description of Tawell was forwarded to London, where on the train's arrival Tawell was apprehended. He was convicted of murder at Aylesbury Assizes, and hanged on the 28th March 1845. The case created a sensation, as it was the first time that the electric telegraph had been instrumental in trapping a murderer.

Slough has another famous son in James Elliman, who started as a draper of Chandos Street. Like most families of the time, the Ellimans had certain favourite recipes and prescriptions for common ailments, which were handed down through the generations and carefully guarded. Amongst these was a formula for a linament, which James made a quantity of for some friends and relatives. So popoular was it, that in 1847 James embarked on the manufacture and wholesale distibution of what became known as 'Elliman's Embrocation'.

The product became world famous and made James and his sons very wealthy, but they did not forget the local people of Slough, donating land for playing fields, and making bequests amounting to £100,000 during his lifetime.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SU980797 (Lat/Lon: 51.507743, -0.589318), Slough which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name of Slough derives from the old english sloh and means 'slough or mire'.