Swan Lane

Faringdon Streets SwanlaneSwan Lane is a narrow road that connects the lower end of London Street to opposite the church on Church Street. The area was becoming very derelict and most of it underwent demolition and redevelopment at the turn of the century and early 2000’s. When the town centre has to be closed for festivities, it gets used for access to the Radcot Road.

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

Views of Swan Lane

Swan Lane 1Swan Lane 1r1997. Looking up Swan Lane from London Street; then while up, looking back, with a view of Skinners Alley across the street.

Swan Lane 2 Swan Lane 3r

1997. Moving forward up the lane, the house on the right next to the white one has been demolished and the next house has been renovated. The second photo is a bit further up and looking back. Note the orange garage doors in both photos for orientation. The rusty grey building used to belong to Davies DIY.

Swan Lane Davies Parking1997. Turning a bit further, opposite that rusty grey building is the back of what was Davis DIY, still used as a car park. This was once a bakery and the tall chimney of the bakehouse can still be seen in the picture. The baker would commence work at 5 am and bread would be ready by 7 am for sale and was delivered in Faringdon by hand-cart and basket. A pony trap would be used for delivering to the surrounding villages. After the bread was baked the ovens were used by people for the cooking of cakes and meat joints for which they were charged about a penny. This facility was used mainly in the summer, as most houses had only a kitchen range to cook by, to give the housewife some respite from the heat. Bakers sold dough by the pound for making dough cakes and flour and yeast for home baking.

Swan Lane 4r1997. Further up the lane but still looking back with a full view of the rusty grey building that used to belong to Davies DIY. Down the track on the left can be seen the back of the old police station on Coach Lane in the distance. On the near left is the brick-paved entrance to Swindon Woodworking (more below). All of this area was demolished in 2002 to make way for Dove Court (sheltered housing).

Swan Lane Carpenters Shop 20022002. Prior to demolition, Swindon Woodworking Co.Ltd. had to clear out all their equipment in both of their workshops. The company were joinery manufacturers, specialists in hardwood purpose made joinery, and suppliers of plywood, chipboard and hardwood, cut to size and machined to detail. The following text was written on the back of this photograph: “30 March 2002 (Easter Saturday). The carpenters shop, Swindon Woodworking Co Ltd, Swan Lane. The final sort out and and clearing up. The building erected by Bowler & Sons and joined on to Listers shed in Bull Paddock.

Swan Lane Machine Shop 20022002. The following text was written on the back of this photograph: “30 March 2002 Swindon Woodworking Co Ltd, Swan Lane. The machine shop from the outside door. Machines disconnected ready to move out. Lister the builders put the building up, made concrete blocks in it, also kept chickens in it. Bought out by Bob Davis (Bowlers) for Swindon Woodworking. The Bull paddock.”

Swan Lane 51997. Moving along towards Church Street. The entrance on the right is the Royal Mail Delivery Office. The building on the left beyond the white door was the Community Theatre at the back of and accessed through the Old Pump House in the Market Place. It is now used by the ‘Old Pump House Project’ to rent out for meetings, classes and other forms of recreation and leisure time occupations. The tall white building at the far end of the lane on the right is Eastfield Court (sheltered housing), which in 1988 had replaced the All Saints Service Station on that site. Straight ahead through the trees is All Saints Church.

Swan Lane 6Swan Lane 6r

A bit further up, All Saints Church is clearly visible at the end of the lane. The second photo is looking back down the lane from the junction with Church Street. These photos were taken much earlier than the previous one as there is a walled garden where All Saints Service Station was built and then later replaced by Eastfield Court.

Researched by Ian Lee, February 2020.