"FAIRFORD, a parish and market town, in the hundred of Brightwells-Barrow, county Gloucester, 4 miles N.W. of Lechlade, and 23 S.E. of Gloucester. The nearest railway station is Faringdon Road, about 16 miles S.E. of the town. Fairford is situated on the river Colne, which is here crossed by two bridges. In the Domesday Survey it is mentioned as a crown manor; afterwards it belonged to the Clares, and passed through several families to the Barkers.
The town consists mainly of one street, and is lighted with gas. There are a library and reading room. Petty sessions are held here once a month, and there is a police station; also a private lunatic asylum. The townspeople are mostly employed in the cloth manufacture. Fairford gives name to a deanery, in the archdeaconry of Bristol, and diocese of Gloucester and Bristol.
The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol, value £432, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter. The church is a handsome edifice in the perpendicular style of architecture with a large number of stained-glass windows, illustrative of various Scripture subjects. It is dedicated to St. Mary, and has a brass of John Tame, a London merchant, who built the church in the 15th century. The parochial endowments produce nearly £330 per annum, £126 of which is for the free school of the Hon. Mrs. Farmer, and about £70 arising from a bequest by Lady Mico for apprenticing poor boys. The Baptists and Independents have each a chapel.
Various Roman remains have been found in the vicinity. The Marquis of Downshire takes the title of viscount from this place. Thursday is market day, and fairs are held on the 14th May and 12th November."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
- Original source material relating to Fairford, and other parishes in Diocese of Gloucester may be found at the Gloucestershire Archives.
- The transcription of the section for Fairford from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.
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