Southampton Street heads south from the Market Place. In 1399 it was simply called Suthstrete, South Street in 1464 and then from 1537 it was known variously as Hampton Street or Southampton Street. Nearly all the original buildings on the street have been demolished to make way for new housing developments and parts have been closed off to traffic. Outside the old town it becomes a footpath and continues down beside what is now Volunteer Way past the new health centre to what was once the very end of Butts Road (now Park Road). It then continues as an old disused tarmacked road blocked by the A420 bypass, on its way to Wicklesham Lodge Farm. There is then a dirt footpath continuing across the fields but it is doubtful if this is what remains of an ancient route though Berkshire into Hampshire and all the way to Southampton.
See Faringdon Streets for an indexed list of all streets in Faringdon.
First a quick tour down the street in more recent times then follows some old views before all the demolitions and developments:
A Tour of Southampton Street in 2000
A. The start of Southampton Street heading south off the Market Place between the Bell Hotel and what was then Barclay’s Bank, until about 2014. This is still known as Pocock’s Corner as there was once Pocock & Son’s tailor shop here from around 1910 before it became a bank sometime before 1935. The Bell goes back a long way and has a courtyard and old barn at the rear. On the right behind the bank is Jackson & Browning (undertakers), previously the Electricity Generating Company.
B. Looking to the right at the public toilets and town car-park created in the 1960’s behind the bank. Once this site was Taylor’s (a cobbler) and old cottages were said to be there. Also a brewery yard with large stables for teams of horses and a long shed for the drays. In 1863 it was called the Vale of the White Horse Brewery and changed its name in 1876 to the Eagle Brewery. See some adverts from the local paper below. The buildings were all demolished in the 1940/50s
C. Looking up Southampton Street just past the car park with Portway branching off to the right. The new flats on Portway can just be seen behind the trees on the right. A map of 1910 shows cottages here all along the right hand side of Southampton Street. On the left, out of view, are private houses #1-3 shown below.
At the same point looking up from Portway. #3 Southampton Street is up the steps on the far right. The large house at #1 is a Grade II Listed Building. It used to be a dress and drapers shop. Mr and Mrs Morton were owners and before them Mr and Mrs. Wilkes. In the early years of the 20th century it was owned by the Vincent family. The Vincents ran a heavy haulage firm that was based in the Brewery Yard directly opposite in what is now the Southampton Street car park. They used heavy horses and steam engines. Des Vincent who, in the 1950s worked for Harold Indge the coal merchant in Gravel Walk was an expert on the operating of steam engines and was often consulted by the users of them.
D. Just across the junction with Ferndale Street (previously Union Street) and the new Hart Avenue (a link road to Bromsgrove). New private houses #6-12 on the left. On the right is the back garden wall of the new flats on The Lees estate built in the 1960s/70s. Note the grassed area in front of the photos, effectively cutting off the street – it can now only be accessed by foot from this direction. The house on the left can be seen at the top in the previous photograph. A map of 1910 shows cottages here along both sides of the street.
E. Bennett Road crossing. A new road, which now provides the only vehicle access to this part of the street. Private houses #23-25. The white gable-end wall up the street is #27 with the red door shown below.
The same house but looking back down the street across Bennett Road to the cut-off at Ferndale Street. The pink house at #1 Ferndale Street belonged to Raymond Hutt, who donated his verbose photographic tour in and around Faringdon to the society: Hutt Collection 1953
F. Private houses #27-35 on the left-hand side. #35 at one time was Phillips, a grocery & sweets shop, which was later run by Jane Long. To the right of the house in the third photo is Cadel’s Row. Immediately opposite these houses on the right of the street, once a row of old cottages and orchards in 1910, is now three tennis courts.
House #35 again on the left and the high fence of the tennis courts on the right. Access to Liddiard’s Row (built pre-1910) is a gated gap in the wall at the lamp post. Private houses #41-43 can be seen in the distance beyond the wall. On the opposite side, the turning to the right just past the tennis courts now provides pedestrian access to the new housing development of Willes Close, but was once the site of Faringdon Girls’ School and adjoining Infants School in the 1920-30s. The school became Faringdon Secondary (mixed) School in the 1930s, then Faringdon Secondary Modern School before that moved to its new site in Fernham Road. It reverted to a Junior School in 1964 but was demolished in 1986 to make way for Willes Close. The White Horse Dairy and Russell Spinage’s builders yard were also on the right of the street opposite the wall. See older photos later.
G. Arriving at footpath access to Harding Close on the left (part of the new Berner’s Way housing estate). Private houses #41-43 are just before the bend. Southampton Street continues straight on as just a wide tarmacked footpath. Turning around to look back at the same point shows part of the new housing development of Willes Close, where the schools used to be. There is an old footpath running along the wall to the left that once lead to Hobwell cottages, which were between the railway line and Station Road in the mid 1950s. The now neglected scrubland to the left of the path was once Hobwell allotments. Hobwell Path now provides a useful walking route to Tesco’s, the industrial estates that replaced the railway, and across Park Road to Tucker’s Park. The garden fence for #43 (middle photo above) can be seen here on the right.
H. Moving on up the wide tarmacked footpath there is an access point to the end of Berner’s Way. The footpath then continues onwards to the new housing development on Volunteer Way, the new White Horse Medical Practice and Oriel Cottages on Park Road.
Back in the 1970s before these estates were built, there were the ruins of a prison of war camp and a cricket field on the left-hand side of the footpath. Earlier there was an old bathing pool (see map dated 1910) just before reaching the section of railway line that later became the extension to Park Road.
Volunteer Way gets its name from the route taken from town by volunteer soldiers to their rifle range, since at least 1551. (See ‘Volunteer Rifle Range’ marked on the map dated 1842). This was where volunteer soldiers used to practise firing at the butts that were placed at the foot of Jasper’s Hill. It was also used by the volunteers in WW1.
Views of Southampton Street in the 1900s
c1951. Looking back towards the Market Place. Carole Vincent and her dog in Southampton Street before the houses on the left were demolished to create the car park. The white building at the end is Pocock’s Corner on the Market Place, that was then Barclays Bank.
1953. Along Southampton Street, beyond the crossing of Ferndale Street (previously Union Street), these rows of cottages were occupied by many old Faringdon families, for example Archer; Barnes; Timms; Long; Phillips; Haynes; Greenaway. The houses on the right were all later demolished and replaced with tennis courts. The last house on the left with its bedroom windows open, also shown close up in the second photo, is No 35 again. At this time it was the home of Mr. & Mrs. Frank Long and Jane Long had a small sweet shop there. Next door was Cadel’s stable and cart house (note the feed loft). Now demolished, there is a narrow passageway there to houses behind, called Cadels Row. The building with the long, low roof was the monumental masons, carpenters and painters shed and was owned firstly by Cadel, then Mr. Reason and finally Russell Spinage.
c1913. At this time, the sweet shop at No 35 was occupied by Mrs Phillips. Her husband, Mr Phillips came to Faringdon in a strange way. Mr Porter, of the Corn Stores in Gloucester Street, was one of the first people in Faringdon to buy a car and, as he was frightened to drive it, he decided to go by train to London and ask the first taxi driver he met to become his chauffeur. This he did and Mr Phillips came to live in Faringdon. However, after marrying and becoming the father of three children, he died, so Mr Porter set up his widow in the sweet shop in order that she might earn a living. The last occupants were Mrs. Bayly and family.
Photo: On the left Nellie Philips with her elder sister, Margaret, and her brother who died young. Later Margaret married Robert Davis and Nellie married Montague Webb.
1953 Worlds End, Southampton Street. This is exactly the same spot photographed in 2000 at point F above, but looking back towards town from the far end of the wall, which is the boundary wall of Liddiards Row cottages and gardens. The house at the end of the wall is #35, which was Jane Long’s sweet shop at this time. The building on the left was occupied by the Lang and Arlott families, the latter being cook and caretaker for the school. It was called ‘Worlds End Cottage’, possibly because it was the last building in the street that soon disappears as a track then a footpath across wide open fields. The White Horse Dairy is next on the left.
1986 Southampton Street School. Prior to 1925 the right hand side of the school was built for Infants and on the left a school for girls. The main hall was built to join the two sections when the Infants moved to Lechlade Road and it became Faringdon Secondary Modern School in 1937. The separate Domestic Science and Woodwork block is out of sight on the left. In 1964 it became the Junior School when the Junior children were moved from Lechlade Road. In 1986 the Junior children were moved again, this time to the Elms site in Gloucester Street, and these old buildings were then demolished. A small housing estate, Willes Close was built on the site.
Extracts from: The Changing Faces of Faringdon and Surrounding Villages – Bk1 p25-26 & Bk2 p17 & 26 . By Rosemary Church, Jim Brown, Millie Bryan and Beryl Newman. Robert Boyd Publications.
Advertisements in Local Media
The following shops were advertised in Southampton Street, Faringdon in the years stated:
COX Susie, dressmaker, at Miss Wheeler’s Southampton St, 1916.
FAIRTHORNE & CO, Faringdon Brewery at Eagle Brewery, FA 1891, 1894, 1897 (became PHILLIPS & SONS).
LONG G., picture frames, art etc, Southampton St, 1902, 1903 (W. Long), 1904, 1907 (G. Long).
PHILLIPS W.G. & SONS, Eagle Brewery, Faringdon, FA 1902, 1903, 1904 (was FAIRTHORNE & CO).
TAYLOR W., boot & shoe repairs, Southampton St, 1919.
WHEELER Miss, Southampton St, 1916.
YATES A.W., cycles, Southampton St, 1903, YATES T. & SON 1907, moved to London St by 1914.
Researched by Ian Lee, December 2019.