Town History

A Modern Community with a Historic Past

Fairford is a modern, thriving community which has been formed by a long history. Its people, spirit and buildings still reflect that history, making it a very desirable place to live and work.

Ancient Times

Fairford, first mentioned in written records in AD 850, gained its name from the Saxon “Fagrinfordia”, which means “fair” (easy to cross) ford. The ford was an ancient crossing place for the river Coln, before the town bridge was built in the 13th century. In 1787 the river was excavated, making it much deeper and narrower.

There is still a mill in the town, though no longer working. The river Coln which bi-sects the parish north to south was, and still is, known for its trout fishing. Inhabited since ancient times, there is considerable evidence around the parish of Iron Age, Roman and Saxon sites. See the Fairford History Society website for more details on the Mill.

There are three Scheduled Monuments within the vicinity of Fairford:

  • SAM459 Thornhill Farm, Extensive late Iron Age ranching/pastoral Complex
  • SAM270 Tanners Field, Anglo-Saxon Cemetery (opposite Dynevor Terrace)
  • SAM11505 South of Burdocks, Bronze Age hengiform barrow mound and ring ditch.

Further information on the above can be found from Gloucestershire Sites and Monuments Record at Gloucestershire County Council.