Fairford in 1838
Fairford, four miles from Lechlade and 23 miles east-south-east of Gloucester, is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Colne ; the town consists of two streets neatly and regularly built. It has a free school with an endowment of £130 per annum, and several charities. Fairford is celebrated for the beauty of its church, which was built in the reign of Henry VII, and owes its origin to the following accidental circumstance :- John Tame, a merchant of London, came into possession of a captured vessel which was bound to Rome, and in which there was a large quantity of curious painted glass. He determined to erect a building to receive this glass, and selected for the spot Fairford, which had been his place of residence for some time, Having purchased the manor of Henry VII, he commenced the church in 1493, but dying soon afterwards it was completed by his son. The glass was disposed in 28 windows with four more compartments in each; but in several of them the figures are now mutilated or displaced. Some of the most striking passages in the Old and New Testament form the subjects of the paintings, which are considered extremely beautiful specimens of the art ; they were designed by Albert Durer, to whom the greatest improvement in the art of painting on glass are attributed. In course of time and during the civil wars, these windows suffered some mutilation ; but to secure them from further injury, in 1725 a lattice of wire was fitted to each window. The population of Fairford in 1831 was 1,574, the number of houses 317.