Station Road & Park Road

Faringdon Map 1842
Faringdon in 1842. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland: https://maps.nls.uk/index.html

Faringdon Streets ParkPark Road was originally Butts Road or Butt’s Lane and the main road ended at the junction with Sandhill Lane, but with the advent of the railway in 1864 it was renamed Station Road as far as the station and Butts Road continued thereafter. It was probably called this because of archery butts erected for practising the art of the bowman, the earliest reference to this name was in 1551.

The station closed in 1963 and the only part of Station Road now remaining is the very short section from the Marlborough Street/ Gravel Walk crossroads up to The Swan public house on the corner with Bromsgrove.

The map of 1842 shows a track continuing from the end of Butts Road at Sandhill Lane to join up with a track extending from Southampton Street, where by 1910 Oriel Cottages and a bathing pond existed. The track then continues on to Wicklesome Lodge Farm. When the A420 bypass was built in 1979 this cart track or minor road by then, had to be upgraded and slightly redirected to join up Park Road with the bypass. The short section that was cut off by the redirection still exists as a public footpath to Wicklesome Lodge Farm on which there remains evidence of earlier tarmacking.

A turning off Park Road called Butts Close was renamed Butts Road as it now leads into what in 1972 became the Marines Drive housing estate.

See Faringdon Streets – Introduction for an indexed list of all streets in Faringdon.

A Tour of Station Road & Park Road in the 1900s

Station Road 19861986. Looking from the top of Marlborough Street. This section up to the Swan public house, the tall building on its own in the background, is still called Station Road. Turners Fishing Tackle is on the right, now VIP Hair & Beauty Studio, and previously Watts (greengrocer), then Westhall (baker). Next door is the new purpose-built Fire Station with its practice tower, after it moved from a temporary location in Marlborough Street. There was once a Coop Hall on this site and before that there were extra classrooms for Faringdon Infant School. On the opposite side of the road used to be Absolum (draper) and before that a coal yard.

Boffin Butchers C1925c1925 Somewhere on Station Road was Boffin’s butcher shop. Standing outside are Thomas Boffin and Lovell Drawbridge. Later the site was redeveloped and the shop moved next to the White Hart pub on Gravel Walk. Then further redevelopment in 1977 moved them on to London Street.

Christopher Square C1900c1900. Looking back down Station Road from the Swan Inn on the right is Christopher Square and the road into Bromsgrove. The Baptist Chapel is on the far side of the Square. The next tall building to the left that looks like part of the church has since been demolished.

Bromsgrove 19531953. Turning around and looking towards Christopher Square from Bromsgrove. The Swan Inn is dead ahead. The Baptist Chapel is on the right. A car can be seen passing along Station Road in front of Eagle Motors car repair workshop and stores. This used to be Clare’s Coaches. Tommy Clare started up with an ex-Army lorry at the end of WWI doing haulage and later on branched out into coach travel. The buildings have been demolished and a road put through called Eagles to a new housing estate. The house to the right of the garage, with the two upper windows visible, was Elliott’s sweet shop. It has also been demolished and made into a small public garden.

Park Road Eagles 19881988. Back on Station Road at the start of Park Road. The white wall on the left is part of the Swan pub, once a hotel. Opposite is a road simply called Eagles, a new residential estate. The name derives from Eagle Coaches that used to occupy this whole area. The grass covered corner was occupied by the Eagle Motors car repair workshop and stores, shown in the previous photo. They also had a car-hire service and a fleet of coaches.The nearest corner, now a small public garden used to be Elliott’s sweet shop.

Park Road Old Station 19881988. Further up what is now Park Road is the old Railway Station, closed in 1963 and shown here as occupied by Russel Spinage (builders & decorators). During the 1990s it became Scats (farmers’ wholesale store) and now it is The Old Station Nursery for pre-school children. Further up the left side of the road are numerous industrial buildings that sprung up on the site of the old railway line.

Marlborough Close Gardens 19881988. The next junctions on the right side of Park Road are Marlborough Close and Marlborough Gardens. The latter leads up to the housing estate on Folly View Road. Out of view on the left side of Park Road here is now the new Tesco Supermarket.

Park Road Ind Est 2 1988 1988. Further up Park Road on the left is Old Sawmills Road, named after a sawmill that was there, owned by D.J.Elliot & Sons. It closed down in 1961 and the Express Dairy purchased the premises. On the left here in 1988 is CP Tyres & Batteries, which was later demolished and became Second-2-None (car repairs). Cameo Glass, on the other corner has also rebuilt and is now Active Plumbing Supplies. Cameo Glass moved to larger premises up Pioneer Road (the next turning on the left). The building marked Challow next door is now Screwfix.

Park Road Dairy 19661966. The Express Dairy in Park Road with a milk churn lorry at the milk bay. The chimney was 120 feet high and was a prominent feature in Faringdon. Underneath the chimney was a ship’s boiler that came from Liverpool to what was then the Buscot Dairy before it was purchased by the Express Dairy, who enlarged and modernised it. Next door was D.J.Elliot & Sons Sawmills, Mr Elliott bought the boiler from the dairy and the intervening walls were demolished to enable the boiler to be rolled into its new position. To supply the steam for the mill, the boiler consumed waste wood and sawdust plus a truck-load of coal per week. In the later 1950s, the boiler failed an inspection test. It was cut up for scrap and the associated steam engine was dismantled and sold to a lace factory in Nottingham. The sawmill was Faringdon’s biggest employer. It finally closed in 1961 when the Express Dairy purchased the premises.

Butts Road 19881988. A little further up the road, the corner with Butts Road is shown on the right. The building with a blue-grey frontage in the distance across the road on the left is Faringdon Upholstery. Butts Road was previously known as Butts Close. During WWII it lead into a Royal Marines Camp, which later became an Agricultural Training Camp. In 1952, one of the Nissen Huts, which was used as a cinema and theatre during the war and later just for agricultural storage was converted back into a theatre by Faringdon Dramatic Society. In 1972, all was demolished to make way for a new housing estate – Marines Drive and Town End Road, which leads off from the end of Butts Road.

Park Road Ind Estate C19881988. Turning around at the corner with Butts Road and looking back into town, the road on the right is Pioneer Road. On the corner is Cameo Glass again, now Active Plumbing Supplies. On the other corner out of sight is now Travis Perkins. The next road down on the right is Old Sawmills Road again and you can just see CP Tyres & Batteries, now Second-2-None (car repairs).

Park Road Ind Est 1 1988 Park Road Ind Estate C1980s

1988. Continuing up Park Road and arriving at Faringdon Upholstery on the left. It was there for many years and has recently been converted into another motor repair garage. The second photo is looking back towards town again. On the right is Faringdon Upholstery, then A.P. Heating, and Travis Perkins (timber & building supplies), which is at the corner with Pioneer Road. Cameo Glass can just be seen on the opposite corner.

Park Road Sandhill Lane1980s. Further up Park Road on the right is an old pumping station, which is situated on the corner with Sandhill Lane, just visible to the left. This lane leads to Rogers Concrete and then becomes a public footpath to the village of Fernham. The pumping station was stated as ‘New’ on a map of 1910 and appears here to still be occupied by the Thames Water Authority (so before nationalisation in 1989). It is now derelict and very overgrown.

Park Road Entrance 20012001. Looking back into town a little further up Park Road. The low building just beyond the new ‘town wall’ is the old pumping station and just in front is the turning to Sandhill Lane (shown above). From here up to the Oriel Cottages was originally a cart track and later a tarmacked minor road that had to be upgraded to join with the new bypass opened in 1979.

Volunteer Way Site 1999Health Centre Site 20011999. Continuing up the road on the left, work started on a new Volunteer Way housing estate. 2001. The second photo shows some of the new houses and the land being cleared for the new health centre.

Park Road Garage Site 19871987. A little further up the road and just past Palmer Road on the left, work is being started on the new petrol station that is being moved from its previous location on Coxwell Road (the old A420). Palmer Road leads to another new housing estate and to the Folly Country Park, which can be seen here in the distance.

Oriel Cottages1999. On the opposite side of the road is Oriel Cottages, situated on what was originally a cart track extending from Southampton Street (that later became a tarmacked minor road) leading to Wicklesome Lodge Farm. It remains now as a public footpath to the villages of Shellingford and Fernham. From here on, a brand new route was carved for Park Road to join the new bypass opened in 1979. The cottages are shown on a map of 1910, as was a ‘bathing pond’ on the opposite side of the road.

Park Road A420 JunctionLate 1980s. Looking back into town at the junction of Park Road with the A420 bypass (opened 1979) before the roundabout was added in 1992. Oriel Cottages can be seen in the distance, across the field on the left. The petrol station on the right was moved from its previous location on Coxwell Road (the old A420) in the late 1980s (before 1991). The open field on the right was developed in the late 2010s and is now a new shopping area occupied by Waitrose and Aldi Supermarkets, and a Costa drive-in cafe.

Park Road A420 Roundabout 19921992. The A420 bypass looking towards Swindon, with the new roundabout being constructed at the junction with Park Road.