Shinfield

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Shinfield
Two pubs at Shinfield - geograph.org.uk - 39408.jpg
The Bell and Bottle and The Royal Oak facing onto the village green
Shinfield is located in Berkshire
Shinfield
Shinfield
 Shinfield shown within Berkshire
Population 8,136 (2001)
OS grid reference SU7368
Civil parish Shinfield
Unitary authority Wokingham
Ceremonial county Berkshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Reading
Postcode district RG7
Dialling code 0118
Police Thames Valley
Fire Royal Berkshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Wokingham
List of places
UK
England
Berkshire

Coordinates: 51°24′29″N 0°56′49″W / 51.408°N 0.947°W / 51.408; -0.947

Shinfield is a village and civil parish in the English county of Berkshire, just south of Reading. It contains 4,313 acres (17.45 km2) and is administered by the unitary authority of Wokingham District.

Geography[edit]

The parish includes the roadside hamlets of Ryeish Green, Spencers Wood, Three Mile Cross, Shinfield Village and Grazeley and the southern suburb of Reading called Shinfield Rise. It is surrounded on its eastern and southern boundary by the River Loddon.

The M4 motorway runs west-east through the northern portion of the parish, near the county's old Shire Hall, now the offices of Foster Wheeler; the part to the north of the M4 corresponds closely with the part known as Shinfield Park. The main road through the village, running north-south, is the A327, running between Reading and Aldershot.

Shinfield Village is centred on the village green (School Green), surrounded by two pubs, a few shops, the village school and recreation grounds. Its residential housing has increased considerably in during the first years of the 21st century.

The parish consists of a central ridge of high land sloping down to the Loddon on the east and the Kennet Valley on the west. The soil is mostly London Clay, with patchy spreads of valley and plateau gravel.

Government[edit]

As well as being part of the District of Wokingham, Shinfield is governed by a parish council consisting of fifteen parish councillors, assisted by two part-time administrative staff and several part-time caretaking and maintenance employees.

Shinfield has been part of the Hundred of Charlton since before the Norman Conquest. Hundreds effectively ceased to function after 1886. Between 1894 and 1974, it was in the Wokingham Rural District.

There are many manors and supposed manors in the parish: Shinfield, Hartley Dummer alias Arbor, Hartley Battle, Hartley Amys, Hartley Pellitot, Moor Place, Diddenham Court, Hartley Court and Garston. Hartley Dummer is in the hundred of Theale. The Diddenham estate was officially a detached part of Wiltshire until transferred to Berkshire in 1844.

History[edit]

The village was named Shining Field, by the Anglo-Saxons, after the sparkling flood-waters which still often cover the meadows down by the Loddon on the Arborfield border. The manor was one of the many owned by Catherine of Aragon in Tudor times.[1] She is said to have stayed there on occasion, possibly while visiting Reading Abbey.[1] During the Civil War, King Charles is said to have stayed at Goodrest House (now part of Crosfields School).[1] Later, the local church tower was blown to pieces by Parliamentary soldiers trying to oust a group of Royalists who were hiding out there.[1] The fine brick replacement can still be seen today. The church is the last resting place of the parents of author Mary Russell Mitford.[1]

RAF Shinfield Park was located in the north of the Parish, it was the home of RAF Flying Training Command from 1940 until 1968. It then became the home of the Meteorological Office College from 1971 until 2002. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) remains on the site though the rest has been converted to residential housing.

Business[edit]

The wind turbine at Hartley in Shinfield

The Green Park Business Park lies half in the Hartley area of Shinfield and half in the Smallmead area of Whitley in Reading. The 2 megawatt (peak) Enercon wind turbine, near Junction 11 of the M4, stands in Shinfield. It has been described as "the UK's most visible turbine". It was constructed in November 2005 and is owned by Ecotricity. The blades are 33 metres (108 ft) long, with a tower height of 85 metres (279 ft). At a wind speed of 14 m/s (31 mph) the machine generates 2.05 MW of electricity (less for lower wind speeds) and has the potential to produce 3.5 million units of electricity a year, enough to power 1,063 local homes. The Courage Berkshire Brewery, built in 1978, is also half within Shinfield but was demolished in 2011.

Institutions[edit]

Churches[edit]

Schools[edit]

  • Shinfield Infants & Nursery School – built by Richard Piggott in 1707
  • Shinfield St Mary's CoE Junior School
  • Whiteknights County Primary School
  • Crosfields Independent Day School for Boys – centred on the early 17th century Goodrest House
  • Ryeish Green School

Sport and leisure[edit]

Notable residents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Ford, David Nash (2001). "History of Shinfield, Berkshire". Royal Berkshire History. Nash Ford Publishing. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 

External links[edit]