Folly Country Park

Folly Park Sign

Folly Park Entrance 2020Folly Country Park started as a 10 acre site situated on the slopes of Jespers Hill to the east of the town centre between Stanford Road and Park Road. The park can be accessed via Palmer Road and Clements Way off Park Road with ample space for car parking. Work started on the site towards the end of 2002. It was created for the new millennium to provide a stepping stone for residents and visitors to enjoy a co-ordinated network of walks and leisure activities in a range of landscape types. There are woodland and grassland walks, including one around a small fishing lake, with a picnic area and park benches. The fishing lake was once an old clay pit filled with water and now looked after by Faringdon Angling Club (photos below). From the top paths there are panoramic views across the Vale of White Horse towards the Berkshire Downs. In 2012, the park was extended towards the Stanford Road to provide a variety of sporting facilities, which include a cricket pitch, rugby pitch, tennis courts, skate park, and sports pavilion. A cycle park was added recently for young children to practise their road sense. There are now two entrances to the park on Stanford Road. A short walk up the road and you will find a footpath on the right leading up the hill to Faringdon Folly (¼-½ mile).

Folly Park Pond C1994
1994. The old clay pit before it became the fishing lake. The Folly Tower is visible on the horizon to the right of the pine trees.
Folly Park Pond 2020
2020. The lake from same view point. The Folly Tower is now hidden from view behind the pine trees.
Folly Park Flower Meadow 2020
2020. Going up the hill from the lake is some open grassland with wild flowers.
Folly Park Woodland Walks 2020
2020. A woodland walk as you climb through the park.
Folly Park Ball Pitch 2020
2020. View across the rugby field on the top of Jespers Hill.
Folly Park Cricket Field 2020
2020. Far across the rugby field is the cricket pitch and sports pavilion.
Folly Park Club House 2020
2020. The sports pavilion and parking area.
Folly Park Tennis Junior 2020
2020. The junior tennis courts just beyond the club house.
Folly Park Skate Park 2020
2020. Swinging round to the right, opposite the club house is the skate park.
Folly Park Tennis Courts 2020
2020. Heading back are the adult tennis courts.
Folly Park Cycle Park 2020
2020. Back across the rugby field is the cycle park for young children.
Folly Park 2020
2020. Looking back down from the top of Jespers Hill towards the fishing lake.

A420 Bypass 20002000. The site before the country park was created on Jespers Hill. The pale coloured field to the right of the new housing estate later became the sports field. In the centre of the field, the ‘Old Sand Pit’ that appears on old maps of the area is still visible. It is now the club house and cricket field. The field boundary beyond marks the route of Stanford Road, which has been cut off by the bypass. Coming down through the trees is the ‘Old Clay Pit’, also marked on old maps and now filled with water. Park Road is crossing the foreground to the roundabout on the bypass; with Oriel Cottages, factories and garage dead centre. The new Volunteer Way, once a footpath to the end of Southampton Street is bottom left. The old cricket ground and whole area behind is now another housing estate. Funding for the original park of £104,500 came largely from the Countryside Agency, as well as from other local sources. When the developers later built on the old cricket field one assumes that they aided the funding of the new sports park on the top of Jespers Hill as part of the deal.

Researched and compiled by Ian Lee, July 2020.

Page first published 29-07-2020 | Last updated 10-05-2023 | Copyright © 2018-2024 Ian Lee | All rights reserved.