Arborfield is a village on the A327 road in Berkshire about 4.5 miles (7 km) south-east of Reading, about 4 miles (6.4 km) west of Wokingham. It lies in the civil parish of Arborfield and Newland in the Borough of Wokingham, about 0.6 miles (1 km) west of its sister village of Arborfield Cross and the two villages have become collectively known as Arborfield, with no signs marking their boundary.
The name 'Arborfield' is first recorded in 1166 as Edburgefeld, meaning 'Edburga's Field', Edburga being a widespread Anglo-Saxon lady's name. It evolved through variations to the modern Arborfield as first recorded in the 17th century.
The manor house, which originally stood on the site, was occupied by the Bullock family from the mid-12th century. The last Arborfield Hall, built in 1837, was the home of Sir John Conroy, Controller of the Household of the Duchess of Kent. It was demolished in 1955.
The new building replaces an older St Bartholomew's church that had been built in the 13th century and altered probably early in the 18th century. When the new church was consecrated the roof of the old one was removed and later layers of plaster stripped from the interior walls, revealing Medieval wall paintings of "figure subjects and geometrical and masonry patterns" that "covered the walls". These have now been lost and the church ruins have greatly deteriorated.
The army garrison (below) has its own garrison church, a 20th-century building dedicated to Saint Eligius.
Arborfield is also known for the School of Electronic & Aeronautical Engineering (SEAE) where the British Army train their Electronic, Aircraft and Avionic engineers for RADAR, Telecommunications, Control Equipment, Aircraft (Airframes and Engines) and Avionic (Aviation electronic and weapon system) modalities. Arborfield Garrison is about 1 mile (1.6 km) the other side of Arborfield Cross and which is mostly in the civil parish of Barkham.
International Cocoa Quarantine Centre
Since 1985, Arborfield has also been the home of the International Cocoa Quarantine Centre whose aim is to investigate and reduce diseases in cocoa plants worldwide.
- Bullock, Llewellyn C W, Memoirs of the Bullock Family, A J Lawrence 1905
- Ford, David Nash (2013). "Royal Berkshire History: Arborfield Hall". Nash Ford Publishing. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- Pevsner 1966, p. 66. sfn error: no target: CITEREFPevsner1966 (help)
- Historic England. "Remains of old church at NGR SU 7495 6802 (1313014)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- Ditchfield & Page 1923, pp. 200–203.
- Ditchfield, P.H.; Page, W.H., eds. (1923). A History of the County of Berkshire, Volume 3. Victoria County History. pp. 200–203.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1960). Buckinghamshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. p. 66. ISBN 0-14-071019-1.
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