St Mary the Virgin parish church
Speen shown within Berkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||West Berkshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
Speen is a village and civil parish in the district of West Berkshire and county of Berkshire, England. Located 2 miles (3 km) north west of Newbury, the parish takes in the hamlets of Stockcross, Berkshire, Bagnor, Berkshire and Marsh Benham, Berkshire, as well as the village of Speen itself.
It sits on the Ermin Street/Ermin Way, the main Corinium Dobunnorum/Cirencester to Calleva Atrebatum/Silchester Roman road. The English Civil War Second Battle of Newbury was fought at Speen on 27 October 1644. Speenhamland in the parish, now part of Newbury, was the eponymous home of the Speenhamland system of outdoor relief.
The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary the Virgin is late Saxon and is the oldest church in Berkshire. It is the burial place of Giovanni Battista Castiglione (1515–97), Queen Elizabeth I's Italian tutor and servant, who was given nearby Benham Valence house and park in 1570.
The church was built near one of the forgotten holy wells of Britain, which still flows with water. Tenuous local tradition says the waters are able to cure eye diseases and other ills, and there have been reports it is haunted. The Ladywell was fenced off in the Victorian era.
Next to the church and Ladywell are the ramparts around Speen House, the manor house which is mostly late 18th century, but thought to date from the 17th century. There is evidence that the ramparts are associated with the Roman village of Spinae, but it is more likely that they are associated with a later medieval manor house.
Benham Park was built by Henry Holland and Capability Brown for William, 6th Baron Craven in 1775. It was later the home of his widow, Elizabeth, and her second husband, the Margrave of Anspach. The building is Grade II* listed, and one of its pairs of ornate gate piers is Grade I listed.
Bus services include:
- "Speen CP (Parish): Headcount". Census 2001, Neighbourhood Statistics. Retrieved 11 July 2011.
- "Speen". Speenpc.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
- Page, William; Ditchfield, P.H., eds. (1924). "Speen with Speenhamland, Bagnor and Benham". A History of the County of Berkshire. Victoria County History 4. pp. 97–110.
- "St Mary's Church, Speen, Newbury". St-mary-speen.org. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- English Heritage. "Benham Park, Bath Road (Grade II*) (1220740)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- National Monuments Record
- English Heritage. "Gate piers and gates at Benham Park, West Lodge (Grade 1) (1220645)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- Heyfordian Travel Route 4 timetable
- Go-Ride Routes 5 & 5A timetable
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Speen, Berkshire.|
|This Berkshire location article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|