Fairfield Road, KT1

Place Name

Agricultural heritage. The Fairfield was once a large public field used for grazing and agriculture but by 1834 development had begun encroaching on the land. It was saved from disappearing completely thanks to one man, entrepreneur John Williams. Williams had taken over the failing Griffin Hotel in 1851 turning it into such a success that it even attracted the patronage of royalty. Having established the business he turned his attentions to the wider area, becoming a councillor in 1855. Chief among his concerns was saving Fairfield for future generations. After a good start the public’s support wained, unhelped by Williams’ enemies running him down. Despite his best efforts he was only able to save 12 acres largely due to his own donations. In 1889 the Fairfield Recreation Ground was laid out and opened. But the man who did so much to save it was not there to see it however as he had died 12 years earlier.

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