Fairford is a parish in the hundred of Brightwells Barrow - the market town is 80 miles W. by N. from London, 25 S.E by E from Gloucester, and 8 E. from Cirencester (the nearest railway town) ; situated at the foot of the Cotswold hills, near the banks of the river Colne, in an exceedingly fertile and pleasent county The town is governed by a constable and two tythingmen under him, appointed at the court leet of the lord of the manor, John Raymond Barker, Esq. held annually in October. The magistrates hold petty sessions monthly, at the George Hotel ; and a county court is held once during the same period, under the County Court Act of 1846, for the recovery of any small amounts not exceeding £20. There or two or three good inns in this town - the Bull may be spoken of as a comfortable commercial, and good posting house ; and it has the peculiar recommendation of a fine trout stream (well preserved), which flows through the grounds of the establishment.
Fairford may be said to have obtained its celebrity from its beautiful church, and the exquisitly painted glass that adorns its windows. This eligant building (dedicated to Saint Mary) owes its foundation to an opulent merchant, John Tame, who, about the year 1492 captured a Flemish vessel, bound Rome, on board of which was a quantity of valuble stained glass ; and, having purchased the manor of Fairford, commenced building the church, in 1493, for the reception of the glass -- but, dying in 1500, it was completed by his son, Sir Edmund Tame, Knight. The imperfections now apparent in the windowws originated in the taking them down during the civil war, to preserve them from the indiscriminating zeal of the fanatics.
The assemblage here displayed in this peculiar art is unrivalled, except by the windows of King's College chapel, and is well worth the inpection of all who feel interested in the church decoration. The living of Fairford is a vicarage, in the gift of the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester cathedral : the present incumbent is the Rev. Francis William Rice. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents and Roman Catholics -- the later of recent erection. 'Fairford Retreat' and Asylum, is an admirably conducted establishment for the reception and cure of persons affected with nervous or mental diseases ; and the managment of the cases of this description is conducted with the first rate skills, and upon the the most appoved systems applicable to the respective patients. The grounds and gardens belonging to the Retreat are extensive, and the locality is well known for its salubrity. The market is held on Thursday, and the fairs May 14th, and November 12th, for cattle, sheep, and pedlery. The parish contained, in 1831, 1,547 inhabitants, and in 1841, 1,672.
LEACHLADE is a parish and small market town, in the same hundred as, and between 3 and 4 miles east from Fairford ; situated near the point where the counties of Wilts, Berks and Gloucester unite. The town, which is pleasant and neatly built, stands near the margin of the Isis (afterwards the Thames), and consists principally of one long and wide street. George Milward Esq., is lord of the manor, and hold a court leet triennially, when a constable, and tythingmen are appointed. The church of Saint Lawrence is as beautiful edifice, of the style of architecture that prevailed in the the reign of Edward VII ; it is adorned with a noble spire, which, for symmetrical proportion, may vie with any in the county : the living is a rectory, of which the Rev. Henry Carnegir Knox is the patron and incumbent. A chapel each for Baptists and Independents, and a school, conducted upon the national plan, are within the parish. The market, which is now little noticed, is held on Friday ; and a fair September 9th. The Population of the parish by the returns made to the government in 1831, was 1,244, and by those for 1841, 1,300.
POST OFFICE, Fairford, John Wilson, Post Master. -- Letters from London and all parts arrive every morning at half - past five, and afternoon (Sunday excepted) at half - past three, and are despatched every morning (Sunday excepted) at eight, and evening at the same hour.
POST OFFICE, Lechlade, John Lockwoos, Post Master. -- Letters from London and all parts arrive every morning (Sunday excepted) at a quarter before four, and afternoon at a quarter before three, and are despatched every morning (Sunday excepted) at eight, and evening at twenty minutes past eight.