The market town of Faringdon is perched on a golden limestone ridge between two river valleys – the Ock and the Thames – Faringdon enjoys panoramic views of the surrounding area. On the threshold of the Cotswolds, distinctive regional stone is evident in buildings around the town.
The Anglo-Saxon kings of Wessex located a palace here and Faringdon is recorded in the Domesday Book. A weekly market was granted in 1218 and these continue to take place on Tuesdays in the central market-place, overlooked by the 17th century elevated market hall.
The Parish Church dates from the 13th century. A turbulent history has robbed it of many usual features including a spire but the interior reveals interesting features including scroll work and brasses. The churchyard is rumoured to have a ghost.
Faringdon is noted for the curious custom of dying pigeons with bright colours, a practice started by the eccentric Lord Berners when resident at Faringdon House. His on-going influence is still evident around the town through stone plaques with comments such as "Please do not throw stones at this notice". Faringdon house is privately owned and not open for public access.
A short stroll from central Faringdon are open fields and a network of footpaths and themed walks. Two of England's national trails - the Thames Path and the Ridgeway – are accessible within a short ride / drive.
On 1 February 2004, Faringdon became the first town in the South East of England to achieve Fairtrade Town status.
Five things to do in Faringdon:
• The Church of All Saints – splendid 1390 pipe organ
• Faringdon Folly – the last folly built in England is a stark 104ft high tower topped with gothic flourishes and mock battlements.
• Follow the town tour – a written commentary of significant historical buildings by local historian Jim Brown.
• Great Coxwell Barn - large, early 14th century monastic tithe barn cared for by the National Trust
• Badbury Hill and Woods - iron age hill fort and woodland renown for bluebell walks in April / May
For more ideas on what to do in Faringdon download the Fabulous Faringdon brochure.
Great Coxwell Barn
Thirteenth-century monastic stone tithe barn with interesting timber construction.1.51 miles away
Kelmscott Manor was the country home of William Morris – poet, craftsman and socialist – from 1871...3.09 miles away
A privately owned 17th century farmhouse with 4 acres of part-moated gardens and nature trail open...3.38 miles away
A late-18thC country house with landscaped formal park and gardens. House contains the Faringdon...3.76 miles away
Tom Brown's School Museum
Exhibition of the life and works of Thomas Hughes. Exhibits on Uffington White Horse and local...3.97 miles away
Buscot Old Parsonage
An early 18thC house of Cotswold stone, set on the banks of the Thames and with a small garden.4.14 miles away
Cotswold Boat Hire GLS Marine
A small family company operating from the scenic Cotswolds. Based on the River Thames Cotswold Boat...4.52 miles away
Lechlade & Bushyleaze Trout Fisheries
Trout and fly fishing. First organic Trout farm in the UK.5.41 miles away
Aston Pottery - Ellis Baughan Design
A traditional working pottery alongside a contemporary gift shop and country cafe...5.63 miles away
Tools and artefacts relating to domestic life and rural trades and crafts that are particular to...6.24 miles away
Cotswold Woollen Weavers
The splendid 18th century buildings, in the idyllic setting of the tranquil village of Filkins,...6.33 miles away
Kingston Bagpuize House & Garden
Beautiful manor house, cantilevered staircase, panelled rooms, fine furniture. Garden of botanical...7.62 miles away
Vale and Downland Museum
Converted 16thC cloth merchant's house. Local displays of Wantage and the Vale of the White Horse....8.3 miles away
Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens
Wildlife park in 200 acres of gardens and woodland - variety of animals from all over the world.8.55 miles away
Venn Mill Garford
Venn Mill is the only regularly working watermill in the Vale of White Horse. Powered by the...8.88 miles away
Millets Farm Centre
Garden centre, farm shop, pick-your-own, trout fishery, munchery, restaurant, picnic area and play...8.93 miles away