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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.
A short stroll from central Faringdon are open fields and a network of footpaths and eight themed walks to nearby villages of Radcot, Pusey, Buckland, Wicklesham, Fernham, Great Coxwell Badbury Hill and Thrupp. Two of England's national trails - the Thames Path and the Ridgeway – are accessible within a short ride / drive.
The Berkshire Pig was first bred by local farmers around Faringdon. Now classed as a rare breed, bacon from these large black animals was often used to make the local dish of Berkshire bacon pudding, a suet roly-poly filled with home cured bacon and flavoured with sage and onion.
A number of myths exist about Dragon Hill. Most popular are that St George slayed the dragon here; that the dragon's blood poisoned the ground preventing the grass from growing; and that the site marks the burial place of the dragon and / or Uter Pendragon, father of King Arthur.
Five things to do in Faringdon:
- The Church of All Saints – a beautiful historic church built in the late 12th century with a splendid 1390 pipe organ.
- Visit Faringdon Folly – the last folly built in England is a stark 104ft high tower topped with gothic flourishes and mock battlements or try your hand at fishing in Faringdon Country Park.
- Follow the Faringdon Historic Walk– a written commentary of significant historical buildings.
- 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
Five things to do near Faringdon:
- Uffington White Horse – the 3,000 year old chalk hill figure is the most impressive in Britain
- Buscot Park and The Faringdon Collection – Lord Faringdon’s stately home and art collection
- Kelmscott – Tudor manor house which was the home of William Morris, founder of the Arts and Crafts movement.
- Tom Brown’s School Museum – attained world-wide fame as the school in Thomas Hughes book Tom Brown’s Schooldays.
- Ashdown House - Unusual Dutch-style house with a dolls'-house appearance on the Berkshire Downs.
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The Corn Exchange
Tel: 01367 242191
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