Mainline Spirit Co is operated from a 17th Century farm in Obridge, Taunton. The ‘Great Western Mainline’ is our land boundary and can see (and hear) every train that travels down the tracks. Historically our site was an orchard. We have worked hard to bring back the fruit bushes to a formally derelict site. Funds generated from the sales go towards repairing the listed buildings in our area.
Great Western Mainline
The Great Western Railway originated from the desire of Bristol merchants to maintain their city as the second port of the country and the chief one for American trade. The increase in the size of ships and the gradual silting of the River Avon had made Liverpool an increasingly attractive port, and with a Liverpool to London rail line under construction in the 1830s Bristol’s status was threatened. The answer for Bristol was, with the co-operation of London interests, to build a line of their own; a railway built to unprecedented standards of excellence to out-perform the lines being constructed to the North West of England.
The company was founded at a public meeting in Bristol in 1833 and was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1835. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, then aged 29, was appointed engineer.
The original Great Western Main Line linked London Paddington station with Temple Meads station in Bristol by way of Reading, Didcot, Swindon, Chippenham and Bath. This line was extended westwards through Exeter and Plymouth to reach Truro and Penzance, the most westerly railway station in England. Brunel and Gooch placed the GWR’s main locomotive workshops close to the village of Swindon and the locomotives of many trains were changed here in the early years.