The forecourt at Buckland was recently expanded to include a new restaurant and hotel.
Catering: Mollie's Diner & Drive Thru Shops: Mollie's General Store Amenities: Mollie's Motel Outdoor Space: Limited grass space by the diner and hotel Charging Points: GRIDSERVE Electric Highway 100kW CCS, 100kW CHAdeMO & 22kW Type 2 Forecourt: BP, M&S Simply Food, Wild Bean Café, Jet Wash, Free Cash Machine
Short stay customer parking is available for cars. 3 short stay HGV parking bays are also available within the bp filling station.
This information is provided to us by third parties. You should always check with staff on site.
🌍 Operators & Official Websites:
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, from 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 that 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 a third site at 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 they 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.
Changes and Rebuild
The Little Chef restaurant closed in February 2012, citing low trade. The building went on to house Awesome Diner, and in 2014, it became Chariots & Cherry Pie. This closed the following November and left the building empty again.
The site was purchased in early 2018 by Soho House, who demolished the former restaurant and reopened it in January 2019 with a new drive-thru restaurant, general store and hotel branded 'Mollie's'.
Mollie's announced that it wants to expand to 100 branches by 2031, in a mixture of roadside and city centre locations. It classes itself as an "affordable hotel and diner" chain.
Six GRIDSERVE Electric Highway charging points were added to the car park in 2022.
|Leigh Delamere (M4 west, 36 miles)||Services on the A420||Peartree (A34 north, 15 miles)|