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Fairford (Gloucestershire)

Fairford shown within Gloucestershire
Population 3,200
OS grid reference SP149010
District Cotswold
Shire county Gloucestershire
Region South West
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town FAIRFORD
Postcode district GL7
Dialling code 01285
Police Gloucestershire
Fire Gloucestershire
Ambulance Great Western
European Parliament South West England
UK Parliament Cotswold
List of places: UKEnglandGloucestershire

Coordinates: 51°42'27?N 1°47'06?W? / ?51.7076, -1.7851

Fairford is a small town in Gloucestershire, England. It lies in the Cotswolds on the River Coln. RAF Fairford is located near the town, as is the Cotswold Water Park.

The 15th Century parish church of St Mary's is famed for its magnificent stained glass windows. There are 28 windows and they are the only surviving (almost) complete set of 15th Century stained glass in the UK. They tell Old Testament and New Testament stories, around the church. The windows were made by Barnard Flower, the Master Glazier to King Henry VII, between 1500 & 1517 and were recently restored, in a process taking several years. The church was featured in a BBC television programme A Passion for Churches broadcast in March 2006.

Fairford also has a 19th Century Catholic Church St Thomas of Canterbury. Following the closure of the recusant chapel at Hatherop Castle in 1844 a church was built at Horcott (Fairford) during the following year for the cost of £700. The first Mass was celebrated on Sunday, 12th October 1845. This was five years before the Restoration of the Hierarchy in England and before the creation of the Diocese of Clifton. The stained glass window behind the altar depicts St. Thomas of Canterbury in the centre panel, with the date of 1845 still visible. The adjoining Presbytery was erected twenty years later to the designs of Benjamin Bucknall, the architect of Woodchester Park. The Church contains an Organ by Hill and stained glass by Wailes, Hardman and Geoffrey Robinson. The two windows in the porch were added to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the first Mass. The left window depicts the crest of the de Mauley family whilst the one on the right depicts the Eucharist which has been celebrated in this church continuously for 150 years.

Each year, RAF Fairford hosts the world's largest military air show the Royal International Air Tattoo. The event brings a large boost to economy of the town and surrounding areas.

The town has a football club Fairford Town F.C., whose ground is at Cinder Lane.

The Ernest Cook Trust has its headquarters in Fairford Park, which it owns. Fairford Park also hosts the annual Fairford Steam Rally and Show.

Fairford was formerly linked to Oxford by the Oxford Witney and Fairford Railway.

In July 2007 Fairford suffered unseasonably high rainfall which led to major flooding of 64 homes on Milton Street and London Street as well as some other surrounding areas.

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