Faringdon House

Faringdon House 1984Faringdon House Rear 2000
1984 Looking north across the lawns to Faringdon House and from the back.

The house was built in the mid-18th century by Henry Pye after fire had damaged the original one. Much of the material from the original was used in the new building and traces of charring can be seen on the underside of the oak flooring. Later Henry Pye had to sell the house and estate due to his and his father’s debts.

Lord Berners inherited his title and baronetcy on the death of his uncle Sir Raymond, fourth baronet, in 1918. [The houses and estates that he had been left had been entailed, which meant that the land and houses could not be sold. However this had recently been repealed and it was now possible to sell them.] Lord Berners sold the inherited estates as quickly as possible and was able to negotiate the purchase of Faringdon House. His mother and step father, William Ward Bennitt, were already occupying the house and they lived there until their deaths in 1931. When Lord Berners purchased Faringdon House and estate in 1919, he became Lord of the Manor.

Faringdon House 1600sThe drawing shows the original Faringdon House of over 200 years earlier, a rambling Elizabethan mansion. It was twice under siege during the Civil War of 1642-1646, being a Royal Garrison and one of the last places to hold out for the king. In 1646 fighting was so fierce that the church, in a position between the Royalists in Faringdon House and the Parliamentarian guns to the east of the town, lost its steeple, the top of the tower and part of the south aisle. Two canon balls were found in the debris of the belfry when the bells were re-cast.

Text extracted from: The Changing Faces of Faringdon and Surrounding Villages – Book 1 p44. By Rosemary Church, Jim Brown, Millie Bryan and Beryl Newman. Robert Boyd Publications.