Fairford town originated as a river-crossing settlement on the River Coln, the ancient market town is dominated by the beautifully proportioned Late Perpendicular 'wool' church of St Mary with its pinnacled tower, magnificent stained medieval stained glass and a wealth of carvings in both wood and stone. The stained and painted glass in the windows ranks among the finest in England.
Fairford is well known for its military air base nearby where Concorde had its maiden flight.
The main street of Fairford is lined with 17th and 18th century stone houses, and along with the many inns, are a reminder of Fairford's importance as a coaching town.
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The 15th century church of St Mary has a set of 28 stained glass windows which is the only complete medieval glazing scheme to survive in England. The glass is of excellent quality and the work of the royal glazier, Barard Fowler, who also designed the windows for Kings College Cambridge.
Royal Airforce Fairford
In 1944 the airforce base at Fairford was hastily constructed to provide a base for British and American troop-carriers gathering for the Normandy invasions. After the Second World War Fairford continued to provide a base for the American Airforce. During the Cold War years it was home to US Bomber operations and in 1953 contained a deadly force of B-47's held on permanent heightened alert. In 1970's the airbase was used as a test centre for Concorde's supersonic flights. In 1986 US Stratotankers flew out to launch attacks on Libya and in the first Gulf War of 1991 B52s were launched. More recently Faiford was a base for the USAF in the 2003 Iraq War. Nowadays the airbase is kept on standby but comes to life every summer when it is host to the Royal International Air Tattoo - on of the world's largest military air shows.
The International Air Tattoo RAF Fairford in July.
The Air Tattoo is the biggest military airshow in the world .
The Royal International Air Tattoo is staged annually in support of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. The show brings together some of the world's most spectacular aircraft and display teams, including the Vulcan bomber and the Red Arrows. The show has run at Fairford since 1985.
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Fairford Tourist Information Guide Cotswolds
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