Skinners Lane or Alley is a short passage-way linking London Street with Ferndale Street and directly opposite Swan Lane. It was originally known as Colliers Lane or Row and as such was referred to in deeds of 1689. The family name of Collier was in the town during the 16th C. and 17th C. so presumably they had a business there or owned the land. The name was changed in the late 19th C. or early 20th C. and called Skinners Lane after Skinner’s Bakery which was located along the alley.
See Faringdon Streets for an indexed list of all streets in Faringdon.
Views of Skinners Lane
1914 & 2000. W. Skinner’s bakery is or was the white building shown in both photographs. In the older photograph is Mrs Skinner holding her 2 year old son, Norman. Mr Legge, the delivery boy holding the bicycle, was killed in WWI. The National Trust used these premises after the bakery closed and tried to revive the old name of the street, but the Post Office would not recognise it. Note that the shop front says Union Street (now Ferndale Street), which runs parallel to London Street at the other end of the alley. This suggests that the bakery was originally located in Union Street, perhaps near the pub called the Bakers Arms. Union or Ferndale Street is visible at the end of the alley in the second photograph. The single floor building shown in both photos has since been demolished and by 2008 had become a two-story house.
2000. Entrance to Skinners Lane from Ferndale Street. The two large buildings on the right can be seen from the opposite direction in the newer of the two photographs above. The white bakery building is out of sight here, just behind the red brick building. The Bakers Arms is just off photo to the right, next door to the first building. The photo at the top of the page looking up the alley from London Street in 1953 shows a sign to the Bakers Arms where the gap is between these two buildings. This was presumably a back entrance to the pub. The pub closed down during the 1990s and is now a private house.
The Changing Faces of Faringdon and Surrounding Villages – Bk 1 p43. By Rosemary Church, Jim Brown, Millie Bryan and Beryl Newman. Robert Boyd Publications. Now out of print.
Researched by Ian Lee, April 2020.