The forecourt at Buckland was recently expanded to include a new restaurant and hotel.
COVID-19 update: These details were updated on 9 January 2021, with changes caused by COVID-19.
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Trivia and History
The service area was built on the site of a bungalow called Cranford, which was attached to some farming sheds. The farm was abandoned in the 1960s, and the land was put up for sale.
The first plan for a service station, by a local developer, was rejected in 1978. At the time it was known as Cranford services. A second plan was rejected in 1985, with the council arguing the road was too fast for this sort of development, and the road wasn't busy enough to warrant it.
The council were eventually convinced that the opening of new bypasses on the A420 meant the road would need a new service area, but they preferred a site at the roundabout at Kingston Bagpuize. An inquiry considered this and Faringdon.
Planning permission for Buckland was chased up by the family who own Barton Stacey services, and the land was then sold to Trusthouse Forte. Until then Forte had been looking to turn the Plough Inn on the A420 near Little Coxwell into a Little Chef, but preferred the new-build site at Buckland. Planning permission was granted for a Little Chef and a Mobil petrol station with their Mobil Mart shop in 1989. Space was left for a Travelodge.
The restaurant was delayed and opened in 1993 with a small, stone-cladded building. It was expected to gain a Coffee Stop. Repeated efforts to build a hotel were blocked.
In 1997 the petrol station changed to BP branding.
The Little Chef restaurant closed February 2012, citing low trade. It reopened as Awesome Diner, but this closed soon after. In June 2014 it re-opened as 'Chariots & Cherry Pie', but this closed the following November. The site was purchased in early 2018 and the restaurant was demolished. The new site reopened in January 2019 with a new restaurant, a general store and a hotel branded 'Mollie's'.
The petrol station was demolished in 2016 and rebuilt.
|Leigh Delamere (M4 west, 36 miles)||Services on the A420||Peartree (A34 north, 15 miles)|