CHURCH ROAD


  

Today Church Road is a side road leading away from the high street, past St. Giles church and down towards Shire Lane.  It is mostly quiet, except when there is a big service or funeral taking place at the church, or when the regular commuters from Biggin Hill rush up heading toward Bromley.

These photos contrast the view today with that from over 100 years ago. Not much has changed in Church Road. Yes this is now the location of Farnborough telephone exchange, and the former post office is now a private dwelling. but otherwise it is much the same.

Church Road in the early 20th century and now, showing how little this has changed

But go back to before the early part of the nineteenth century and it would have looked very different. The present road to Green Street Green along what are now the High Street and Farnborough Hill was not established until about 1800, before this Church Road was the main, indeed the only significant route through the village, see the map below which dates from 1789.  Back then it wasn't even called 'Church Road'. but instead the 'High Road'. 

The road itself was higher, level in fact where it passed the church with the natural field elevation to either side.  It was not lowered to its present level until 1833, to make the ascent easier for heavy coaches using what had been the turnpike


The main building in Church Road is of course the church, the history of which is described on the website of St. Giles church

In the grounds of the church are the village war memorial, and several graves and artifacts associated with the Lubbock family. 

In the woods leading down parallel with Church Road toward the High Elms Estate is the burial ground of the Lubbock family, the former owners of High Elms.

 

CHURCH ROAD



St Giles Fairs.

There have been at least two famous fairs in England connected to St. Giles day: One was in Winchester and the other at Oxford. Their original purpose was for buying and selling local produce.


             St. Giles Fair, Oxford

We do not know exactly when the Church at Farnborough was dedicated to St. Giles, but in 1292 Thom Earl of Lancaster of the family of Grandison, was granted by the King a licence to hold a market in Farnborough every week upon a Tuesday and a yearly fair on the Feast of St. Giles

The St. Giles Fair was held in Farnborough on the first Saturday in September, usually in Church Fields, for many generations, at one time with a Gymkhana put on by local riding schools. In recent years this event has been held less frequently, and renamed ‘The Farnborough Fair or Fayre’.

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