The Towns Of The Cotswolds
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.
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:
- 74 Fairford-Swindon Stagecoach Swindon
- 76 Fairford-Swindon Stagecoach Swindon
- Lechlade-Cirencester Adrians Coaches
There is one car park close to the church & on street parking.
- The Plough Inn
Tel: 01285 712409
- The Marlborough Arms
Tel: 01285 713540
- Railway Inn
Tel: 01285 712284
- The Eight Bells Inn
Tel: 01285 712369
- Bull Hotel
Tel: 01285 712535
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