The following trail was used for the Heritage Day on 8 May 2004, please print it and have a go yourself to test your knowledge of Fairford!
Leave Fairford Community Centre and look across the road to ‘The Old Police Station’. The building was also used as a Magistrates Court.
1.Who was allowed to enter? Cross the road and enter Croft Lane through the archway. Continue into The Croft passing Croft House on your left. Before reaching the second house along, look over the high wall if you can and you may see remains of the old Congregational Chapel demolished in the 1960s. As you continue down the Croft there is a large field on your left.
2.Can you name it?
Cross the road and look at Fairford Cottage Hospital. The original red-brick building was built in 1897 and new wings added subsequently.
Turn into the Orchard and continue down to the library. There were two previous structures built on this site, one was the Fairford Workhouse, which was demolished in 1870, and the stone used to build a school. One of the library buildings is all that is left of this establishment, the rest being demolished to make room for the houses.
3. Can you name the school?
Continue down the path to the main road and look across to ‘The Hyperion’. Before it became a residential care home, it was a hotel. Named after a certain animal, the owner had a passion for an associated sport.
4. Can you name the sport? Cross the road and continue along to the Londis store.
5. Can you name the previous owner? Carry on past the ‘takeaways’ and look across the road toward the Palmer Hall.
6. How old is it and what were the Palmer family famous for? Turn into Back Lane and at the first junction, follow the sign for River Walk. Stop at 7____________Cottage where, perhaps chemical distillation was carried out. This was the site of the Fairford Gas and Coke Co. Continue down the path and cross over 8__________Bridge, turn right onto the path leading back to the main road. You will enter 9___________ Lane where maybe a famous battle took place.
On reaching the road turn left and stop at Fairford United Church. Above the centre window, there are some Roman numerals; from these.
10. Can you tell when the chapel was built? Continue up the to the crossroads and carefully cross over.
11. One of the roads is linked to a well-known TV soap; which one?
Look across at Coln House School which in a previous life was called ‘The Retreat’ a private asylum. Retrace your steps down
12____________ Street where perhaps, paradise was lost. There are a number of grand houses along the Street but also a number of cottages on the side of the road you are on.
13. Name as many as you can before you get to the water meadow. Stop here for a while and look at the view of St Marys Church – probably one of the finest views of any church in England. Continue over the bridge and notice
14_____________Cottage across the road. Could you turn off the water here?….. Carefully cross the road at this point and walk down until you are at the bottom of the Market Square.
You will be standing next to White Hart Court. Look across and you see the Post Office and the Bull Hotel.
15. What do these three buildings have in common? Re-cross the road into the Market Square and High Street and walk up to St Marys Church – Fairford’s crowning glory. Described in England’s Thousand Best Churches as one of England’s outstanding galleries of church art, it is just over 500 yrs old. It contains the only complete set of medieval narrative stained glass and is well worth a visit when you have time.
Enter the churchyard and walk up the path towards the main (south) entrance. On your left you will find a memorial to Tiddles the church cat. However just behind this there is a circular slab with part of a famous prayer carved into it.
16. Try to copy out the prayer.