St Matthew's parish church
Midgham shown within Berkshire
|Population||282 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||West Berkshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|Website||The Midgham Village Website|
The village extends from the West Berkshire Crematorium in the west to New Road Hill in the east, Midgham Marsh to the south of the A4 road and Midgham Green to the north.
Midgham was anciently a Township in Thatcham parish and is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Relatively little is known of the medieval history of the parish.
Midgham includes Midgham Park which from 1947 until 1955 was the Earl of Clarendon's estate. Midgham has a Village Green which is run by the Parish Council and a Village Hall run by its own committee. As of 2010, the Village Hall has a new management committee who have begun to make improvements to enable the venue to be used more frequently and for a wider variety of community events.
Few if any Roman traces have been found in the parish but there is known to be a Roman Road with a river crossing on Midgham Marsh.
Midgham's history over the past 400 years has been compiled in a series of books by local historian John Trigg. There is evidence that the Knights Templar held land in the area but few details are known. Trade tokens have been found from the 17th century near the church so it is certain that there was trade in the area during the Early modern period.
Midgham was granted to the Pinkney family after the Norman Conquest of England. They divided it into three sub-manors: Erley's Manor and two others of unknown name but which, for identification purposes, might be referred to as Midgham Chenduit and Midgham Everard. Erley's Manor was the most important and is represented by the present Midgham House.
The Poyntz family built Midgham House and lived there for many generations. Residents included the diplomat, Stephen Poyntz, and the MP William Stephen Poyntz. The former was governor to Prince William, Duke of Cumberland who spent much of his youth in Midgham.
In a University College London database published in 2012, British Slave Ownership, Midgham House is listed as being a residence of James Johnstone, sole proprieter of the Whitehall estate in 1835. The records state that he was recompensed by the British Government as part of the abolition of slavery in Britain and her colonies to the tune of £5295 17S 0D, for 294 enslaved (claim for Jamaica St Mary 168).
Benjamin Buck Greene
Midgham had its own chapel from at least 1309. The Chapel of Staint Margaret stood a little to the north-east of the present building, nearer Midgham House. Midgham was part of the parish of Thatcham until 1857 when the then new squire appointed the first vicar (Rev. John Errington) for the proposed Church of England parish church dedicated to Saint Matthew. 13th century in style, the church was built by the architect John Johnson and completed in 1869. The church is now part of a larger benefice with St. Peter's, Woolhampton and St. Mary's, Beenham.
The railway station at Woolhampton was renamed Midgham in the 1930s after the stationmaster became frustrated by frequently redirecting wrongly-addressed packages intended for Wolverhampton in the West Midlands.
- William Crowe (1745–1829; poet and public orator for Oxford University)
- John Jefferys (1701–1754; clockmaker and watchmaker)
- Sir William Sidney Smith (1764–1840; Royal Navy officer)
- "Area selected: West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)". Neighbourhood Statistics: Full Dataset View. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
- Ford, David Nash (2003). "History of Midgham, Berkshire". Royal Berkshire History. Nash Ford Publishing. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- Benjamin Buck Greene at Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Page, William; Ditchfield, P.H., eds. (1923). Victoria County History: A History of the County of Berkshire, Volume 3. pp. 311–329.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1966). The Buildings of England: Berkshire. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 178.
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