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