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John Fowler

John Fowler was the third son of Henry & Lucy Fowler, born in 1826, and lived at Elm Grove Gastard. He attended school in Corsham, probably at the Quaker run school at Pickwick.

During his journeys from Gastard to Corsham to attend school, his attention was probably much taken by the building of the Great Western Railway between 1836 and 1841.

The building of the cutting and the bridge at Pound Pill would have enabled young John to watch the progress of the line, and become well-versed in the working of stationary and moving steam engines.

In 1847 he joined a firm of engineers in Middlesborough – Gilkes, Wilkes, Hopkins & Co, and over the next 15 years devoted his energies to inventing and patenting a system of mole draining and ploughing which completely changed aspects of farming in the UK, and other parts of the world.

The name of John Fowler and his products are now known all over the world, and his steam engines considered to be some of the finest ever made in Great Britain.

This legacy is a worthy testament to a young man who was born in Corsham, and whose ingenuity gave agriculture the opportunity to blossom in the 19th and 20th centuries.