Welcome to the Faringdon edition of The Oxford Magazine.
An adorable historic market town 18 miles southwest of Oxford, at the edge of the Cotswolds midway between Oxford and Swindon, Faringdon has much more going for it than you might expect for settlement of this size.
In the centre, the Town Hall is the standout sight, dating to the 1600s and still a cornerstone of daily life. The town was granted a charter for a weekly market in 1218 by King Henry III; a weekly market that is still held today.
For all its serenity today, Faringdon Hill (Folly Hill to some) to the east has seen some big events, like the 12th-century battles in the succession crisis known as “The Anarchy”, and the 17th-century English Civil War when the Republicans had a fortress.
Today, the hill is topped with a 43-metre-high folly built on a whim for Lord Berners in 1935. It boasts a neo-gothic design and great views of the Vale of the White Horse and across the five counties.
Venture further out of town and you’ll find the 14th-century Great Coxwell Barn, and the Uffington White Horse, a chalk hill figure fashioned some 3,000 years ago.