Saturday, November 11, 2017

Farmington, Gloucestershire


I think I have mentioned before in a blog post that I once went to a talk by Sue Clifford, one of the authors of the excellent book England in Particular. She illustrated the concept of local distinctiveness with a series of photographs of bus shelters built of different, local materials – it might have been cob and thatch in Dorset, brick and tile in Sussex, limestone in the Cotswolds, that sort of thing. It was a good way of making the point because it showed how even the most modest building could be distinctive and could exemplify local geology and local cultural traditions.

There are, indeed, plenty of limestone bus shelters in Gloucestershire, with walls and roofs of Cotswold stone. But there are few as memorable as this one, a perfect octagon with a neat gable over the entrance in Farmington, a village just off the A40 between Cheltenham and Oxford. Making a building octagonal requires special effort, of course, in both walls and roof. The builders who took this challenge on did so in 1951, to create a small building to mark the Festival of Britain.

This bus shelter must have been very well used in the 1950s and 1960s, when rates of car ownership were still quite low. Today, most households here probably have at least one car and there are few local buses – all I could find after a quick look online were buses serving local schools during term time. But there’s still shelter here for anyone who needs it, and an attractive bit of Cotswold architecture for anyone passing, in car, by bus, or on foot, to admire.

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Stand by for another post on a nearby octagonal building.

1 comment:

Eileen Wright said...

That's fabulous, Philip; lovely, quirky bus shelter...especially interesting to me, as I'm a life-long pedestrian who never learnt to drive. You've given me an idea for a new project! :)