Ufton Court, near Ufton Nervet
Ufton Nervet shown within Berkshire
|Population||321 (2001 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||Ufton Nervet|
|Unitary authority||West Berkshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|Website||Sulhamstead and Ufton Nervet|
Ufton Nervet village is in hills south of the River Kennet, and its parish stretches down into the valley to the north as far as the A4 road. Two narrow lanes link the village with the A4, crossing the Kennet and Avon Canal and the Great Western Railway line in the valley bottom. Both lanes cross the canal by swing bridges. The smaller lane passes through Ufton Green, crossing the railway by the level crossing involved in the rail crash, and the other by an overbridge. Other lanes connect the village with other villages on the higher ground above the valley. To the north lies the village and parish of Sulhamstead; Padworth is to the south west and Burghfield Common to the east. On the Kennett and Avon canal is Ufton Lock, now de-gated.
An excavation at Ufton Green revealed a site which showed evidence of stone-working for the manufacture of tools or weapons and a number of scattered stone artefacts dating from the Mesolithic era.
The original Ufton Nervet, also called Ufton Richard, was about 1 mile (1.6 km) north west of the current village, at the current site of Ufton Green. It had its own parish church of St John the Baptist, the ruined west wall of which survives. The place was named after Richard Neyrvut, later corrupted to Nervet, who held the manor in the 13th century.
Ufton Robert manor house was just west of the current village and had a moat, which still survives. Excavations in the 19th century found bridge piles, a gateway and other foundations. The moat is also part of a set of linked medieval fishponds fed from an artificial stream which flowed into the south pond. The water was controlled to the ponds and moat by a series of sluices. The Perkyns family held the manor from about 1411. When they bought the manor of Ufton Pole in 1560 the two manors were combined and the main residence moved to Ufton Pole, which is now Ufton Court, a large Elizabethan manor house south-west of the village.
In 1434–35 the parishes of Ufton Nervet and Ufton Robert were merged and Ufton Robert's parish church of St Peter became the church of the merged parish. Although the original parish of Ufton Nervet had ceased to exist, this eventually became the name of the current village and parish.
After the merger Ufton Robert's parish church of St John the Baptist fell into decay, but the west wall survived by being adopted as the dividing wall between two cottages. In 1886 the cottages were demolished, re-exposing the west wall, which is now a Grade II listed building and a scheduled monument.
The Church of England parish church of Saint Peter was built in 1862 on the site of an earlier church. The building is in a Gothic Revival rendition of 14th-century Decorated Gothic. The walls are predominantly a dark grey rag-stone with ashlar dressings. It has a chancel, north chapel (used as an organ chamber), nave of three bays, west tower with tall octagonal shingled spire, and south porch.
The present St Peter's contains church monuments salvaged from the old church. They include one to Richard Perkins (died 1560) with Corinthian columns, one to Francis and Anna Perkyns (died 1615–16 and 1635) with recumbent effigies and a brass to William and Constantia Smith (died 1627 and 1610). St Peter's has stained glass windows from two London makers: Charles Clutterbuck and Lavers and Barraud.
The Ufton Nervet rail crash took place in the parish on 6 November 2004. Seven people were killed when a First Great Western train from Paddington to Plymouth was derailed by colliding with a stationary car on an unstaffed level crossing.
- "Monument No. 1213740". National Monuments Record.
- "The Domesday Book Online: Berkshire N–Z".
- Ditchfield & Page 1923, pp. 437–444
- Pevsner 1966, p. 246
- "National Monuments Record (Monument No. 240946)".
- "Remaining wall of the Church of St John the Baptist at SU 6251 6827". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "Remains of St John the Baptist church at Ufton Green Farm". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "National Monuments Record (St Peter's Church)".
- "Church of St Peter". National Heritage List for England. English Heritage. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- Ditchfield, P.H.; Page, W.H., eds. (1923). A History of the County of Berkshire, Volume 3. Victoria County History. pp. 437–444.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1966). Berkshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 246.
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