Barkham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Barkham (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 51°24′07″N 0°52′34″W / 51.402°N 0.876°W / 51.402; -0.876

Barkham
Barkham, St James Church - geograph.org.uk - 135120.jpg
St James' parish church
Barkham is located in Berkshire
Barkham
Barkham
 Barkham shown within Berkshire
Population 3,511 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference SU7867
Civil parish Barkham
Unitary authority Wokingham
Ceremonial county Berkshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Wokingham
Postcode district RG40, RG41
Dialling code 0118
Police Thames Valley
Fire Royal Berkshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Wokingham
Website Barkham
List of places
UK
England
Berkshire

Barkham is a village and civil parish in the borough of Wokingham in Berkshire, England, located around 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of the town of Wokingham.

Geography[edit]

The old part of Barkham is the small settlement by the parish church at grid reference SU781666 and close to Barkham Street. However most of the population lives in the north-east of the parish, around the post office, or in the Arborfield Garrison, which is largely in Barkham, as is the REME Museum of Technology. It is a rural parish, mostly consisting of dairy farmland and woods, despite being surrounded by the town of Wokingham and the large villages of Winnersh, Arborfield Cross and Finchampstead.

Manor[edit]

Barkham Manor house in winter

The toponym "Barkham" is derived from the Old English bercheham[2] meaning "birch home" referring to the birch trees on the edge of Windsor Forest.[3] The name evolved via forms including Berkham' in the 14th century and Barcombe in the 18th century.[2]

In King Edward III's reign the income from Barkham Manor helped to pay for the rebuilding of Windsor Castle and, not long afterwards, timber from Barkham was sent to make the roof of Westminster Abbey.[3]

For many centuries the manor house was a secondary home of the Bullock family.[3] The Bull Inn public house in Barkham is named in reference to their surname.[3] The Bullocks had inherited the manor from the family of William Neville, a 13th-century valet to Saint Thomas Cantilupe, the Bishop of Hereford and Chancellor of England, from whom the manor was originally bought.[3]

The present manor house is a late 18th-century[2] Georgian building of two wings of differing dates.[4] Barkham had two moated farm-houses.[2] One of these survives, having been divided into two cottages.[2]

Parish church[edit]

The earliest known record of the Church of England parish church of Saint James[5] dates from 1220.[2] However, the present church building was built in 1860–61[4] or 1862.[2] It was designed in a 13th-century Gothic Revival style[2] by the architects J.B. Clacy and Son[4] of Reading.[6] The chancel and transepts were added[4] or rebuilt[2] in 1887. The building retains two features from the earlier church: a late 13th-century wooden memorial effigy of a woman, and the late 18th-century baptismal font.[4]

The bell-tower has a ring of four bells cast in 1863 by John Warner and Sons[7] of Cripplegate in the City of London.[8]

Rev. David Davies (1741–1819) was Rector of Barkham from 1782 until his death in 1819.[2] He studied the condition of the labouring poor, recorded statistics of their wages, cost of food, etc. in various districts of England and Scotland.[2] He published his findings in 1785 in the form of a book called Cases of Labourers in Husbandry Stated and Considered.[2]

Rev. Peter Ditchfield, FSA (1854–1930) was Rector of Barkham from 1886 until his death.[9] He was a Freemason, historian and prolific author. With William Page he co-edited three Berkshire volumes of the Victoria County History, which were published in 1907, 1923 and 1924.

Social and economic history[edit]

Another prominent farming family, that of Ball, is erroneously said to be that of George Washington's mother, Mary Ball Washington. They lived in the parish from the late 15th to the mid-17th century, but William Ball, the man once thought to have emigrated to Virginia and become Mary's great grandfather, may have actually died in London and his family lived in the East Berkshire area for at least two more generations. This is still disputed by American relatives of Mary Ball.[3]

An open field system of farming prevailed in the parish until early in the 19th century. Parliament passed the Inclosure Act for Barkham in 1813, but it was not implemented until 1821.[2]

Parish Council[edit]

Barkham Parish Council meets regularly at Barkham Village Hall.[10] It has 10 councillors that are elected by the parish residents for a term of four years.[10]

Village hall[edit]

Barkham Village Hall is next to St James' parish church and is owned and run by its users.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Area selected: Wokingham (Unitary Authority)". Neighbourhood Statistics: Full Dataset View. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Ditchfield & Page 1923, pp. 238–241
  3. ^ a b c d e f Ford, David Nash (2004). "Barkham". Royal Berkshire History. Nash Ford Publishing. Archived from the original on 1 November 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Pevsner 1966, p. 75
  5. ^ Arborfield and Barkham Churches
  6. ^ Brodie, Antonia; Felstead, Alison; Franklin, Jonathan et al., eds. (2001). Directory of British Architects 1834–1914, A–K. London & New York: Continuum. p. 375. ISBN 0-8264-5513-1. 
  7. ^ Davies, Peter (18 November 2006). "Barkham S James". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  8. ^ Dovemaster (31 October 2012). "Bell Founders". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Families: Rev. Peter Ditchfield". Arborfield Local History Society. Arborfield Local History Society. Retrieved 8 July 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Barkham Parish Council
  11. ^ Barkham Village Hall

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]