The village of Farndon lies some two miles south-west of Newark town centre and is today only separated from the town by few fields. The oldest part of the village, including the church is found at its south-west end with later development spreading north-east for some 800 yards along a low ridge which bounds the Trent flood plain. This flood plain and the river itself define the north west edge of the village with a large tract of low lying fields known as Farndon marshes being enclosed within a loop of the river. Immediately to the east of the village is the Roman Fosse Way, still in use today as a the A46.
The oldest building in the village is the church, which dates from the 11th century although it was partially rebuilt in 1664 and underwent major alterations at the end of the 19th century. For further information on the church and on our work on adjacent sites please see the separate sections.
There is, however, considerable evidence of earlier occupation in the form of pottery finds dating from the Roman period. These have been found at various locations but appear to be concentrated more towards the north-east end of the village along the low ridge. Finds catalogued by FARI have come from Kirks Bay, Masons Field, Marsh Lane, The Meadows, Willow Farm and Sandhill Road. The last of these comprises an extensive collection of Roman pottery now held by the Newark Museum and subsequently augmented by excavations undertaken by FARI Archaeology in 2005 and 2006.
We consider that these numerous concentrations of pottery must indicate some Roman settlement in the Farndon area in the 2nd to 4th centuries AD. Further information on our investigations, particularly in the Sandhill Road, Masons Field and Kirks Bay area can be found in the relevant sections.
The origins of the name Farndon are obscure. The first accepted reference to the village is from the Doomsday book of 1086 when it is mentioned as Farendune. This name is believed to have a Saxon derivation meaning 'Fern covered dune' although whether this relates directly to the low ridge is debatable. There are then regular references to the village from documents throughout the middle ages although the spelling of the name varies considerably.
There is an earlier reference to a village of Farndon in the Anglo-Saxon chronicles.