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 RoyalBerkshire, 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. This is the bural place of Giovanni Battista Castiglione (1515-1597), 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.
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.
- Heyfordian Travel Route 4 timetable
- Go-Ride Routes 5 & 5A timetable
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