St Michael's Church, Enborne
Enborne shown within Berkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||West Berkshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Enborne is a village and civil parish in Berkshire, England. It is situated just to the west of Newbury in West Berkshire. The River Enborne shares its name, although it does not run through the village; rather, it runs through the nearby village of Enborne Row. Enborne is both a civil and an ecclesiastical parish in Berkshire, England. It is very roughly rectangular in shape and comprises rather fewer than 2,500 acres (1,012 hectares), having lost some of its eastern territory to Newbury's 20th century expansion. The village name has had many variant spellings in the past, including Anebourne in 1086, and Enbourne, Enborn, Enbourn in the last 200 years.
The parish lies immediately west of Newbury in West Berkshire, and contains the settlements of Redhill, Crockham Heath, Skinner's Green, Enborne Row and Wash Water. There is no main population centre; the settlements are scattered.
The River Enborne marks the southern boundary of the parish, where Berkshire joins Hampshire. The northern boundary is the railway line. Newbury lies to the east, and the parish of Hamstead Marshall to the west. The Kennet & Avon Canal passes across the northern end of the parish, together with the River Kennet.
The parish has always been, and still is, mostly agricultural in character, with substantial woodland and private parkland. However, in recent years, many of Enborne's former farmsteads have been redeveloped into housing.
Enborne is served by Heyfordian Travel bus service 13 from Hungerford to Newbury. Enborne has never had a railway station but the now-closed Woodhay railway station was nearby. From the 1880s to the 1960s Enborne Junction marked the forking off of the Didcot, Newbury and Southampton Railway from the Berkshire and Hampshire Line of the Great Western Railway. The now-disused DN&SR line became the route of the Newbury bypass (A34). Environmental protest against the building of this bypass in the late 1990s brought Enborne into media prominence.
Enborne's parish church is of 12th-century origin, dedicated to St Michael and All Angels. There is a Church of England primary school, founded in the 1820s. There is also a pub, the Craven Arms, which certainly dates back to the early 18th century and probably much earlier.
Traditional legal practices
Enborne historically adhered to an unusual legal practice. The rights to copyhold land inheritance from a husband were forfeited if his widow remarried or was unchaste. However, the steward of the manor was obliged to reinstate the rights if she rode into the manor court, backwards on a black ram, whilst at the same time reciting a particular set of bizarre lines ending in a request for their restoration.
- Stokes, Penelope (2011). Enborne and Wash Common. Newbury: author. ISBN 978-0-9528339-2-5.
- "History of Enborne, Berkshire". Nash Ford Publishing. 2001. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
Media related to Enborne at Wikimedia Commons
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