Faringdon through history
Faringdon in 20th century
Shops and Businesses
There have been many changes in the range and numbers of shops in Faringdon over the years. You can see where shops were located on this Excel spreadsheet. Look for the worksheet tabs to look at different streets.
You can also see a photographic record since 1980s
Around 1900 there were 19 inns in Faringdon. By 2006 there were 8.
Take a humorous journey around Faringdon's pubs, and see photos of some closed and those remaining.
Find out more on the dead pubs website.
Faringdon in 1903 Geoffrey Williams
Faringdon in 1907 Geoffrey Williams
Faringdon in World War II
The threat of a German invasion required defences inland. The German intention was to move rapidly inland and to attempt to capture the Thames bridges.
In June 1940 Faringdon was identified to be a 'Vital Point' and designated as an 'Anti-Tank Island' (a defensive strongpoint) comprising road blocks, pill boxes, fortified houses and loopholed walls.
The defence system of Faringdon was part of 'Stop Line Red' which extended along the River Thames. Radcot Bridge was a major defensive feature located some 2 miles to the north on the A4095.
World War I and II memorial names
More Information and Coleshill Secret Army
On the site in Ferndale Street where Brackendale sheltered accommodation now is, there used to stand the Faringdon Workhouse. Many will remember the rather grim building which stood there. This is a brief sketch of its history in the 19th century.
In 1800 the Faringdon Poor House Committee met for the first time to discuss the prospects of ‘either hiring or purchasing a house for the maintenance and employment of the Poor’. The Committee resolved to erect a Workhouse in Ferndale Street (then called Back Street) and the six nominated Guardians of the Poor were asked to borrow £1500 for the purpose. Read more.....
Extract from Workhouses website
Coaching era . Mid 17th century for up to 200 years
I need to find out more for this
Faringdon was an important place for carriages and post coaches to stop on their journies between ..... and .............
Southampton Street, Faringdon did go to Southampton for drovers, but not carriages
The route goes up Southampton Street, past the tennis courts and then goes right to Rogers Concrete, Coles Pits, Fernham, Uffington, the Blowing Stone etc and on to Hungerford, where the coach roads started again.
But the drovers did not like sharing roads with wheeled traffic, so beyond Hungerford they probably went on very minor roads or paths.
The main Bristol service ran to Colnbrook, Maidehead, Henley, Dorchester, Abington, Faringdon, Margret.
Kindly provided by John Gillman
Unfortunately Faringdon is at the bottom of the page. Note that Buscot seems to be listed as Musket.
Civil War 1642-1651
At the beginning of the Civil War between the forces of Parliament and King Charles, the King had to base himself on Oxford, surrounding the city with a circle of fortified towns which included Faringdon. The market town of Faringdon was an important five way road junction with Radcot Bridge over the Thames to the north, the main London coach road to the east via Abingdon, Southampton Street to the south and then going west the main London coach roads to Gloucester via Lechlade and to St Annes via Highworth.
Blessed with a plentiful supply of clean running spring water throughout the year, Faringdon was a vibrant market town, strategically vital for the western defences for the King at Oxford.
Cromwell quartered himself on the slopes of Folly Hill on 29th April 1645. He called upon the Royalist's Commander Colonel Lisle, who had a strong defended position at Faringdon House and All Saints Church, to surrender, but to no avail.
The muster roles for Rawdon's Regiment defending Faringdon in 1646 still exist, held in a library in St Albans.
The roles show that 48% of Rawdon's combat strength in Faringdon were men, 10% women in support and 42% "Posemen". A Poseman was a woman dressed as a soldier and normally used in the musket block as a sniper.
The Posemen in Rawdon's were armed with long 28 bore muskets which were accurate to about 120 yards, compared with the men's 10 bore muskets which fired a heavier ball, but only accurately to about 40 yards. Rawdon appreciated that for siege defence he needed long range snipers to defend the ramparts, recruiting a large number of female Posemen. So Faringdon was defended actually by a force made up of 52% women - the deadly majority who saw off Cromwell with heavy casualties.
The musket ball on display in All Saints' Church is of 28 bore calibre, so would have been fired by a female Poseman.
More information and pictures
King Stephen and Empress Matilda war 1144
Faringdon was heavily fought over in 1144 when King Stephen attacked Queen Matilda's fort on Folly Hill, capturing it after a 3 day battle.
There were cavalry skirmishes later during the Wars of the Roses at Radcot Bridge, 1387, with Faringdon opting for the Red Rose side - look in the Crown Hotel's downstairs bar for the red rosed crown in the window, glass which by definition predates the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, when the Crown merged red with white.
Displayed in a bar below street level this surely signifies one of current Oxfordshire's oldest political statements - Red Here, go White Somewhere Else!
Market Charter for Faringdon
7th March 1218. Reign of Henry III
Ferendon Market: The Shire of Berkshire is ordered to hold a market in Ferendun on Mondays so long as this does not cause nuisance to surrounding markets.
18th February 1313. Reign of Edward II
Market changes from Mondays to Tuesdays
More information and pictures (pdf)