The Kingsdown, Upper Stratton
The Kingsdown is what brewers refer to as the brewery tap - an outlet for its beers, right on the doorstep. Few breweries can have a more satisfactory flagship than the Kingsdown which boasts a busy trade, both at lunchtimes and in the evening, attracted by the promise of both good beer and good food.
The Kingsdown was Arkell's first pub, though the original building stood on the other side of Hyde Road which divides the current pub from the brewery.
The first Kingsdown was granted its full licence in 1847, a fact noted in the oldest surviving Minute Book of Swindon Magistrates Court.
When John Arkell needed to set up a new brewery in 1861 he decided to build it behind The Kingsdown and only six years later the rapidly expanding site swallowed up the pub, incorporating it into the brewery offices.
The new Kingsdown was built across the road and ironically its large car park is also across a road - in Kingsdown Road.
A ¬£250,000 refurbishment in 1995, which included the addition of the attractive conservatory, has left The Kingsdown feeling roomy but still cosy. There is plenty to interest visitors inside, including a selection of photographs, memorabilia, artefacts and advertisements charting the history of both the pub and the brewery across the road.