Speen, Berkshire

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Church, Speen - geograph.org.uk - 50314.jpg
St Mary the Virgin parish church
Speen is located in Berkshire
 Speen shown within Berkshire
Population 2,634 [1]
OS grid reference SU4668
Civil parish Speen
Unitary authority West Berkshire
Ceremonial county Berkshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Newbury
Postcode district RG14
Dialling code 01635
Police Thames Valley
Fire Royal Berkshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Newbury
List of places

Coordinates: 51°24′18″N 1°20′49″W / 51.405°N 1.347°W / 51.405; -1.347

Speen is a village and civil parish[2] 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.[3]

Notable buildings[edit]

Parish church[edit]

The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary the Virgin is late Saxon and is the oldest church in Berkshire.[4] 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 Ladywell[edit]

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.[5]

Speen House[edit]

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.[citation needed] There is evidence[citation needed] 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[edit]

Main article: Benham Park

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,[6] and one of its pairs of ornate gate piers is Grade I listed.[7][8]


Bus services include:

Speen railway station served the parish until it was closed in 1960. The nearest railway station now is Newbury.


External links[edit]