Coxwell Street heads south-west from the roundabout at the end of Marlborough Street. At what was the Eagle public house, before the junction with Coxwell Gardens opposite, it changes its name to Coxwell Road, earlier called Shrivenham Road. Faringdon’s last surviving toll gate was situated at some point along this road, it being a turnpike road to Bristol, Bath and Somerset, whose local upkeep had to be paid for.
This is one of the roads that made Faringdon the important five-way road junction of the past. It was once part of the main road (A420) from Oxford to Swindon, and onwards to Marlborough and Salisbury or Bath and Bristol before the bypass was built in 1979.
See Faringdon Streets for an indexed list of all streets in Faringdon.
See Coxwell Street Shops & Businesses for a brief history of occupation.
Views of Coxwell Street
1912. The crossroads at the bottom end of Coxwell Street. First photo – looking up the street. The ‘white’ buildings on the corner with Station Road on the left have now been demolished. The darker building further up the street may be the current cycle shop. On the right is the Methodist Church then the Duke of York public house. Second photo – looking back into town. On the left is the Methodist Church next to the Duke of York public house, licensee Michael Giannadrea. The inn was demolished and the new United Church now stands there. The left-hand turning is Gravel Walk, on the far side of it can be seen the White Hart with its inn sign standing on the corner. The road facing is Marlborough St. showing how the road is cut away at Arthurs Hill. To the right is Station Rd (now Park Rd), which lead to the railway station.
1990 & 2018. Quarry Engineering on the left through the iron gates; now the new terraced houses in the second photo, which are addressed as #7-9 Nichol Court. Previous owners were Ballard & Sons, blacksmith and wheelwright, who occupied it from at least 1895. The large white house at #7 in both photos is Ballards Cottage. The Ballards were followed by Frank Lane, then D.W. Lansdown, before Quarry Engineering took it over. The shop at #3 was originally a butcher shop and has changed many times since – various hair salons, party shop, bride shop, and now a bike shop.
1991 & 2000. Just beyond Ballards Cottage shown in the previous photos is another entrance to Ballard’s yard, which has now become Nichol Court. The old building, which is attached to the right of Ballards Cottage has been converted into homes. They are addressed as #10-11 Nichol Court, and new houses were built in the yard behind.
Nearby was the site of Faringdon’s last Toll Gate which was demolished when a haulier was driving home from Swindon late at night. The man was very drunk and fell asleep on the cart and so the horse failed to stop and walked straight through the Toll Gate.
1994/95. Turning around and looking back up the street. The Pink Elephant public house on the right at #40 Coxwell Street was originally The Queens Arms. It became The Riddle for a short time then closed down in the late 1990s. It then became Pianoforte, a piano shop and the building was also given the name ‘Ivory House’. In 2014 it was converted to a private house. The Eagle Inn, at #56 can be seen at the end of the street. It is the last property in Coxwell Street as hereafter it becomes Coxwell Road. The Eagle closed down in the 2000s and was converted to a private house.
c.1910. Further up the street looking back towards town. The Eagle, #56 Coxwell Street is on the left. The Queens Arms is half way down on the left at #40. The Gardeners Arms is further down at the bottom of the street. The man on the horse is the local doctor, Dr. Kennard, accompanied by his faithful dog. This dog stayed with the horse whilst the doctor was making his calls, and allowed no one to approach the horse. Note how high the pavements are from the unmade road. Children used to sit on the pavement and dangle their legs over the edge. The children in the picture are dressed in the costume of the day. Note the breeches and caps worn by the boys and the gleaming white apron and hat worn by the girl on the left. The Pink Elephant became The Riddle for a short time then closed down in the 1990s. The Eagle closed down in the 2000s. Both are now private houses. Coxwell Street now becomes Coxwell Road.
Looking away from town, the Eagle pub sign can just be seen on the right and houses #31-35 on the left before the old wall. This is the end of Coxwell Street and beginning of Coxwell Road. At the end of the old stone wall on the left, which is a lot longer than it looks, there used to be access to Eagles Coaches then Barnes Coaches Ltd, which was located behind the houses up there facing the road. Coxwell Gardens (sheltered housing) has now been developed on that site (see below). What was left of the stone wall was replaced with brick at some time before 1982 but that fell down and is now a low wicket fence set further back off the road and covered with roses bushes. There is a car park and garages directly behind for some of the new houses at the end of the Eagles housing development accessed from Station Road.
Views of Coxwell Road
c1900. Faringdon Cottage Hospital on the left of the Coxwell Road looking back into town. It later became the Health Centre for local GP’s until a new premises was built towards the end of Park Road; then it was converted into flats. Note the unmade road with the horse and trap approaching. There were Tea Gardens on the opposite side of the road at this time, now all large detached houses.
The Cottage Hospital was erected in 1892. Captain Dundas initiated public subscriptions to help build it and contributed a considerable amount of the money required. The first Matron was Miss Rosa Broughton. The medical officers were J.P. Lockwood, H.D. Ley and C. Spackman; the consulting surgeon was H.P. Symonds from Oxford. The hospital was comprised of two wards of two beds each, one for women and one for men; two private wards of one bed each, one male and one female; matron’s sitting room and an office. Later on there was an operating room and a morgue. The first major operation was for Mrs Elliott, wife of the Saw Mills proprietor, who had a burst appendix. A well-loved matron, in later years, was Gertrude Taylor, sister to Percy Taylor the butcher.
1982. Coxwell Road looking away from town from the corner of Highworth Road. The three old cottages on the right appear on a map of 1910 with just one building and open fields opposite.The next junction up the road on the left is Fernham Road where a service station can be seen on the corner.
1986. The Eagle Motors Service Station still here. It was very busy when all traffic passed through Faringdon but when the bypass was opened in 1979, the trade dropped away. By 1991 it had moved to the end of Park Road and the site was redeveloped for new housing – Clock Tower Court..
During the severe winter of 1962-3, the White Horse Dairy had to hire tractors and drivers to enable the milk deliveries to get through to the outlying villages. This was a Sunday morning delivery of milk for the dairy outside Eagle Motors Service Station on the corner of Coxwell Road and Fernham Road. Bill Carter is driving his tractor that he used on his market garden. Ann Carter (no relation) is behind him and her husband Jimmy is sitting on the trailer.
1991. Looking up then looking back at the Fernham Road turning. The service station is now demolished and the site redeveloped for new housing – Clock Tower Court. Fernham Road leads to the secondary school, leisure centre, and Coxwell Lodge Nursing Home, but no longer to the village of Fernham, as it was cut off by the new bypass in 1979.
c1910. The old police house, opposite the entrance to what later became a service station and now Clock Tower Court. The outside wall of the current building shows signs of the house attached on the right in the photo having been demolished. The local ‘Bobby’ would often be seen on his bike, cycling all the way through the town on his way to the Police Station in Coach Lane, way up London Street – nearly a mile distant.
2000. Beyond the turning to Fernham Road, at the top of ‘Red House Hill‘ and on the right, is the new Coleshill Drive housing estate. The road has risen 89 feet (27m) from the brook under the road in ‘The Narrows’. The road here had to be closed for 4 weeks to lower the hump at the new site entrance and a bungalow was also demolished. The entrance was previously known as ‘Badgers Walk‘.
Researched by Ian Lee, January 2020.