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The Towns Of The Cotswolds

The Town

Fairford Market Place Fairford is a prosperous market town lying in the Coln valley. The first written evidence of Fairford comes from AD850 when the town was mentioned in the transferring of land to the Abbess of the Church of Gloucester. Fairford, comes from Saxon origins, is just outside the designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but is part of the Cotswold Water Park with many former gravel pits in the surrounding area.

There has been evidence that people have been living in the area since the Iron Age and finds from this period, the Romans and from Saxon settlements have been discovered throughout the town and in 1850 an Anglo-Saxon cemetery was  excavated. Many of the finds are held at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

Fairford like most other Cotswold towns, the early prosperity was from the medieval wool trade and the great church of St Mary the Virgin is testament to the wealthy wool merchants and in particular John Tame, a local merchant from Cirencester  who had present churchbuilt in 1497. The churchyard has a mixture of tombs and here amongst the bigger memorials is the final resting place of  "Tiddles" the 27 year old church cat, complete with headstone.

The wealth of  the town declined  with the  wool trade in the late medieval period but prosperity was rekindled in the 18th century when much of the High Street was rebuilt to service the increasing stage coach and wagons trade on the main coaching routes of which Fairford stood. Today there are small individual stores and a regular market is held in the Market Place each Wednesday, following on from a strong tradition of markets.

In more recent times the town has relied upon the nearby airfield of RAF Fairford, a former war time base which became famous for the test flight of the supersonic aeroplane, Concorde, and latterly has an important base for the United States Air force. Each July the town is taken over by the Royal International Air Tattoo when the population of the town increases dramatically. 


Getting Here

The town is situated on the A417 between Cirencester, 8 miles & Lechlade, 5 miles. Swindon is 15 miles, Oxford is 30 miles, Gloucester is 26 miles, & 86 miles from London. The nearest rail station is at Kemble, 13 miles away, with main line links to London & Birmingham.

Bus services connecting to Cirencester are:


There is one car park close to the church & on street parking.


Local Amenities


  • The Plough Inn
    Tel: 01285 712409
  • The Marlborough Arms
    Tel: 01285 713540




Restaurants & Take Aways

  • Fairford Fishbar
    Tel: 01285 711555
  • Fairford Kebab & Pizza
    Tel: 01285 711777
  • Curry King
    Tel: 01285 713990
  • Drakes Brassiery & Restaurant
    Tel: 01285 712200
  • New Peking House
    Tel: 01285 712342


Nearby Attractions

  • Lechlade Garden Centre