Gravel Walk

Faringdon Streets GravelwalkGravel Walk connects Coxwell Street to the Lechlade Road and thus acts as a bypass for the town centre.

Many old Faringdon families lived in Gravel Walk,eg. Druett, Flo & Sid King, Gerring, Rixon, Harris, Cox, Pocock, Abel (jewellers), Jim Brown (carrier), and Mr & Mrs Indge (coal merchant and hairdresser). In 1863, houses here were addressed as ‘Westbrook’.

Also see our house by house tour of Gravel Walk in the Year 2000.

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

Views of Gravel Walk in the 18/1900s

Gravel Walk 1910Gravel Walk 1940sWhite Hart 1953Gravel Walk C1987

1910, 1940s, 1953, & 1987. Four photographs showing the top corner of Marlborough Street looking down Gravel Walk. In the first photo, the White Hart Hotel is on the right. Just in front of it can be seen a small building which was the public weigh-bridge (more visible in the second photo). The small buildings beside the pub have had a variety of uses including storage, Boffin & Gill’s butcher’s shop, then Aladdin’s Cave, Book Corner, and an antique centre. The other large building shown further down the road, called The Lindens, is still there and has now been converted into three houses. The second and third photos show Ann’s garage next door to the pub in the 1940s and 50s. The garage was later demolished, certainly by the 1980s, and is now the Faringdon Garage (Peugeot) showroom.

Gravel Walk C1990Gravel Walk 2020

1990s. By this time the hotel had been closed and had become a long-standing eyesore. Permission was given in 1993 for the hotel to be converted into six flats and to replace the outbuildings with five new houses. Also, all the old buildings and weigh-bridge shown earlier were demolished to make way for a large block of flats, shown here just visible under construction in the first photograph. As can be seen in the later photo taken in 2020, the new building was built to closely resemble the old hotel building. A road, called the White Hart Walk between it and The Lindens, gives access to the new houses behind.

Boffin Butchers C1960 70s1960/70s. Boffin & Gill’s butcher’s shop on Gravel Walk to the left of the White Hart Hotel. Standing outside are Lewis Boffin and Thomas Boffin, his father. Thomas Boffin’s first shop was in Station Road but that was demolished in order to build the new fire station in 1961. By which time Thomas had retired and Lewis had been running the shop*. So Lewis Boffin went into partnership with fellow worker Harry Gill and set up a new business here called Boffin & Gill’s.2 In 1977 they moved to #7 London Street and the shop became Aladdin’s Cave, an antique centre. The shop was later demolished to make way for the large blocks of flats mentioned above. Lewis left the running of the business in London Street to Harry when he retired in 1989 but it went into receivership at the end of 1993 and the premises became the current fish and chip shop. (*The Faringdon Folly article2 may have got this out of step as Thomas appears in this photo to be still working at this time and the stated partnership may have been created for the move to London Street.)

Gravel WalkGravel Walk Lindens

Looking back towards the junction with Marlborough Street, Station Road and Coxwell Street. The white house on the left is Westbrook House, a Grade 2 listed building, and next is The Lindens showing above the trees. The Wrens were billeted in Westbrook House during WWII; they had to march up to the Royal Marines Camp off Butts (now Park) Road each morning. The Lindens, in the second photo, also shown in many of the previous photos, was once the home of at least two of Faringdon’s most eminent solicitors. It has now been converted into three houses, #8-12 Gravel Walk.

Gravel Walk 19821982. Looking back along Gravel Walk from the junction with Lechlade Road and Gloucester Street. On the right was Faringdon Motorparts owned by Ian Stringer. The garden wall was later removed to make room for a parking area. The shop was closed and demolished in 2014 to be replaced with an extension on the house behind. The house, known as Chase House, was previously occupied by Mr & Mrs Indge, coal merchant and hairdresser. At the next lamp post on the right is the turning to Faringdon Bowling Club, which used to lead to the Town Pound. Quickly following this is another turning to a row of old white terraced cottages. Then at the next lamp post on the right, opposite the white car is a public footpath up the side of that white house, leading to Oakwood House (sheltered housing) and Ferendune Court (care home) on the new Pines Housing Estate, which has vehicle access only via Canada Lane. The small arch in the wall just behind the white car is an entrance to a row of old houses.

Faringdon Motorparts
c1990s. Faringdon Motorparts, owned by Ian Stringer, at end of Gravel Walk. Lechlade Road to left.
Chase House Gravel Walk
c1990s. Chase House & Faringdon Motorparts, owned by Ian Stringer.
Gravel Walk Bowls Road 2000
2000. Entrance to Faringdon Bowling Club.
Bowls Club C1994
1994/95. Faringdon Bowling Club moved to this site in 1958.
Gravel Walk Terrace C1994
1994/95. A row of old white terraced cottages
Gravel Walk Footpath C1994
1994/95. A public footpath leading to Oakwood House (sheltered housing), Ferendune Court (care home) and the Orchard Hill Estate.
Gravel Walk 13 2000
2000. The arch in the wall is an entrance to a row of old houses.
Gravel Walk Stanford Place C1922
c1922. Stanford Place, Gravel Walk.

Trade Adverts in Local Media

The following shops and businesses were advertised in Gravel Walk, Faringdon in the years stated:

BOUCHER J., Gravel Walk, FA 1927
FARINGDON MOTORPARTS, 51 Gravel Walk, FDS 1984-89, 2002. FCC 2006.
TARRANT R.W., Gravel Walk Stores, agent for Morrells, FA 1907, 1908, 1909.

Media Key: FA = Faringdon Advertiser; FDS = Faringdon Dramatic Society; FV = Faringdon Venture; FF = Faringdon Folly; DG = Directory & Gazetteer of Oxon, Berks & Bucks (Dutton, Allen & Co. 1863); FCC = Faringdon Chamber of Commerce 2006.

Gravel Walk Boucher Advert 1927Gravel Walk Motorparts Advert 1984Gravel Walk Tarrant Advert 1909

The following traders were listed in the Directory & Gazetteer of Oxon, Berks & Bucks (Dutton, Allen & Co. 1863):

Budd Rev Joseph, boarding and day school, Westbrook House
Davies Mary, shopkeeper, Westbrook
Harris Thomas, builder, Westbrook
Horn William, beer retailer and pig dealer, Westbrook
Jackson Henry, Duke of York, Westbrook
Jeffrey Joseph John, baker, Westbrook
Pusey John, While Hart, Westbrook
Sly James, carpenter and builder, Westbrook
Warman Charles, gardener, Westbrook


  1. The Changing Faces of Faringdon and Surrounding Villages – Bk1 p16-17. By Rosemary Church, Jim Brown, Millie Bryan and Beryl Newman. Robert Boyd Publications. Now out of print.
  2. Faringdon Folly, November 1993, p1 – The end of the butchers & the Bakers.

Researched by Ian Lee, February 2020.

Page first published 11-02-2020 | Last updated 29-05-2023 | Copyright © 2018-2024 Ian Lee | All rights reserved.