The earliest reference to rugby being played in Swindon was in the Evening Advertiser on 26th November 1870 between Swindon Rangers and Highworth on some land loaned to the Rangers by a Mr J Brunsden in Gorse Hill. Swindon Rangers won.
Swindon Rangers were playing other teams in the area such as, Bath, Bristol, Gloucester.
By 1895 Swindon Rangers were starting to disband.
At a meeting at the Cricketers Arms public house on 14th November 1895 Swindon Rugby Football Club was formed. The first match was played on 16th November away against Walcot (Bath) – Swindon RFC won 5-0.
An early captain was Mr E. O. Twitcher, a local printer, who was still involved with the club in the 1930s. Swindon picked up many of the Swindon Rangers fixtures, so they too played Bath, Bristol and Gloucester.
In the years since its formation Swindon RFC has seen it fortunes changes from the days of playing, what are now, Premiership clubs to playing in the lower leagues created by the Rugby Football Union.
Last season, however, saw all three teams win promotion as Champions of their respective leagues – an achievement that no other club in England has managed.
Swindon 1st XV are now playing in the highest league, Southern Counties West 1, they have ever played in and are currently fifth in the league.