Part Two - Slough is put 'on the map'

By 1577 the Bristol Road had become one of the five post roads, with Maidenhead the nearest postal town, and Slough had three alehouses to cater for the travellers passing through. In 1618 The Crown and The Reindeer became the first two licensed inns in Slough (following a grant obtained in 1617 to license inns throughout the country), and by the time the first stage coach rumbled its way through Slough to Bristol in 1657, Slough had at least two more - The White Hart and The Red Lion.

The Bristol Road was renamed the Bath Road when Bath became the great pleasure resort. In 1711 a new stage coach service from London to Bath was introduced. The state of the Bath Road left a lot to be desired, but stones and gravel were carted to fill the pot holes (no changes there then! - this still seems to be happening all around Slough), the road was widened at Salt Hill and various other places, and flat bridges were built over the streams which crossed the road. Slough was now an important thoroughfare village, sharing with Colnbrook the role of the second stage from London. It had some thirty or so houses, including at least seven inns and alehouses - the Crown, Reindeer, Red Lion, White Hart, Bear, Black Boy and the Pied Horse. By the end of the 18th century its houses had begun to spread along the Bath Road towards Langley and a new coaching inn, The Dolphin, was built at the Langley Road junction. Slough now had several small businesses and its population had reached about two hundred.

Its most important inhabitant was William Herschel who had come to Slough in 1786. Herschel left Bath to live near Windsor because George III had appointed him as his private astronomer following his discovery of the planet Uranus. He lived in a house in Windsor Road which became known as Observatory House. Herschel and his telescopes literally put Slough 'on the map', for when the first Ordnance Survey map of the area was published in 1822, the site of the 40-foot telescope was clearly marked.....