Old Images of Thatcham, Berkshire

Old book illustration of the Kings Head at Thatcham Berkshire published in 1888

Glimpse history through old images of Thatcham, Berkshire, England.

Melon Harvest

Sometime between 1910 and 1919, footage recorded melons being harvested from the coldframes, wrapped in paper, and laid into a straw filled wicker basket for transportation.

Melon Harvest -Thatcham (1910-1919) – British Pathé on YouTube


A bit of Thatcham History

Extract from:

Magna Britannia;: Bedfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire

by Daniel Lysons

Published in 1813

Pages 385 – 387 (note the old print shows f instead of modern s)

THATCHAM , in the hundred of Reading , lies three miles to the east of New .
bury , on the road to London ; although now only a village , it appears to have been
formerly a town of fome confequence , as appears from the furvey of Domefday ,
and other records , in which it is defcribed as an ancient borough , but it does not
appear that it ever fent repreſentatives to parliament . From a very early period , it
had a market on Sundays , which was confirmed to the abbot and convent of
Reading , by King Henry I’s charter : King Henry III . in 1218 , altered the
market – day to Thurfday : the market has long been difcontinued . Two annual
fairs are ftill held , the Tuefday after Eafter week , and the first Tueſday after the
29th of September .


The manor of Thatcham was given to the abbot and convent of Reading , by
their founder , King Henry 1. After the diffolution of that monaftery , it was
granted , in 1539 , to John Winchcombe , fon of the celebrated Jack of Newbury .


Upon the attainder of Henry Lord Bolingbroke , who married one of the coheirefies
of his defcendant , Sir Henry Winchcombe bart . it was purchafed , in 1722 , of the
truftees , appointed under an act of parliament then paffed , by James , Duke of
Chandos , who conveyed it the fame year to Brigadier General Waring ; from his
family it paffed by bequeft to the Crofts , who were allied to them by marriage .
After the death of Sir John Croft bart . it was fold by auction , and is now the pro .
perty of William Mount efq . of Waling .

Dunftan – Houfe , the feat of the Warings and Crofts , defcribed by Rocque , in
1761 , as one of the moft magnificent manfions in the county , was bought on
fpeculation at the fale of Sir John Croft’s eftates , and , although in complete
repair , pulled down for the fake of the materials .


The monument of Judge Danvers ( mentioned in Afhmole’s Collections ) ftill
remains in the pariſh church , but the infeription and figures have been removed .
There are ſome memorials for the family of Fuller , of Chamber – houfe , the late
Sir Archer Croft bart . who died in 1792 , and his mother , ( daughter of Brigadier
General Waring ) who died in 1767 .


The great tithes of this parish belonged to the abbot and convent of Reading ,
by whom they were appropriated to the hoſpital , founded by abbot Hugh ‘ : after
the reformation , they were annexed to the manor , till the fale of Sir John Croft’s
eftates , when they were divided into lots , many of which were purchaſed by the
farmers , who occupied the feveral eſtates . The advowfon of the vicarage , which
is in the deanery of Reading , had been alfo appurtenant to the manor , till the
above – mentioned fale : it is now veſted in the reprefentatives of the late incumbent ,
the Rev. Archer Thompson .


Lady Frances Winchcombe , mother of Lady Bolingbroke , in the year 1707 ,
founded a charity ſchool at this place , and endowed it with 531. per annum . The
fchool , which was intended for the education of children of this parifh , Buckle
bury , and Eaft – Shefford , had been long difcontinued , and its revenues loft to the
parish ; when the late vicar’s father , being then the incumbent , very laudably in
ftituted a fuit for their recovery , and , after a long conteſt , had the fatisfaction of
feeing his labours crowned with fuccefs , and the ſchool re – eftablished , with an
income increaſed to 200l . per annum : forty boys , 20 of whom are of the parish of
Bucklebury , are now clothed and educated in this fchool , and fix of them are
annually apprenticed , with premiums of sol . cach .

The fchool – houfe was a decayed
chapel , of the early hiftory of which nothing can be now afcertained ; it was pur
chafed by Lady F. Winchcombe , for the purpoſe of appropriating it to its prefent
ufe : at the eaft end , on the outfide , are two Gothic niches : the ftreet in which
it ftands is called , in the purchafe deed , Chapel – ftreet .


The parish of Thatcham is the moft extenfive of any in the county , excepting
Lambourn , containing , according to Rocque’s Survey , 11,491 acres : it extends
to the town of Newbury , and includes fome part of its fuburbs . The principal
hamlets are Midgbam , Greenbam , and Crokebam . Chamber – houfe , Henwick ,

Cold – afh , and Colthorp , are alfo in this parifh . Midgham and Greenham have
chapels of eafe : there was formerly a chapel at Crokeham .

Page 388

In the year 1447 , John Pury , being then Lord of the manor of Chamberhoufe ,
in this parifh , had the king’s licence to embattle his manor – houfe , and to impark
344 acres of land . From the Purys , Chamberhoufe paffed , by a female heir , to
William Danvers ” , one of the juftices of the common pleas , who died in 1504 ,
and lies buried in Thatcham church . Nicholas Fuller , a barrifter , and his fon ,
Sir Nicholas Fuller knt . both died feifed of this houfe and manor , in 1620¹ . It
was purchafed of their defcendants , in the early part of the laft century , by
Mr. Lonfdale , whole family fold it , not many years ago , to Sir George Cornwall ,
bart .: it is now the property of Mr. Richard Tull .


The manor of Henwick was , for a confiderable time , in the Tippings , and is now
the property of the Rev. Philip Wroughton , and Mary Anne , his wife , the repre
fentative of that family . Mr. Mount , of Wafing , gives a deputation for another
manor , or reputed manor , in Henwick , as attached to the manor of Thatcham ,
purchaſed by him at the fale of Sir John Croft’s eſtates .


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