Farley’s most famous son was Sir Stephen Fox, a woodcutter’s son, who became loyal companion and confidante to Charles II while in exile during Cromwell’s reign. On return to England, King Charles appointed him paymaster to the army and awarded him a coat of arms. Becoming an extremely rich and powerful financier, he took a long lease of most of the manor from the Cathedral in 1678 besides purchasing a number of freeholds – he also proved a generous benefactor of his native village.
In 1681, Sir Stephen commissioned the building of the Church, attributed to Sir Christopher Wren. The Church and Village Hall, and adjacent Hospital, Wardenry and School building now form the historic core of the village and form the site of the Festival