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Picklepythe Lane, Beenham - - 1808736.jpg
Picklepythe Lane
Beenham is located in Berkshire
 Beenham shown within Berkshire
Area  8.05 km2 (3.11 sq mi)
Population 459 (2011 census)[1]
   – density  57/km2 (150/sq mi)
OS grid reference SU5868
Civil parish Beenham
Unitary authority West Berkshire
Ceremonial county Berkshire
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Reading
Postcode district RG7
Dialling code 0118
Police Thames Valley
Fire Royal Berkshire
Ambulance South Central
EU Parliament South East England
Website Beenham Online
List of places

Coordinates: 51°24′59″N 1°08′52″W / 51.416295°N 1.147744°W / 51.416295; -1.147744

Beenham is a village and civil parish centred 6 miles (9.7 km) east of Newbury in West Berkshire.


2011 Published Statistics: Population, home ownership and extracts from Physical Environment, surveyed in 2005[1]
Output area Homes owned outright Owned with a loan Socially rented Privately rented Other km² roads km² water km² domestic gardens Usual residents km²
Civil parish 51 47 48 33 4 0.08 0.0001 0.13 459 8.05


Church history[edit]

The history of the Church of England parish church of Saint Mary begins in about the end of the 12th century.[2] An old print of the original building shows that it had some 13th century lancet windows and a 16th-century window.[2] In 1794 the church was struck by lightning and burnt down[3] and was replaced with a Georgian building of brick.[2][3] In 1859 the nave was demolished and replaced by a Gothic Revival one[2] designed by the architect Henry Woodyer.[3] The 1794 brick tower was retained and has a peal of six bells.[2]

19th century summary[edit]

The following is an extract from the most detailed 1870s gazetteer of the British Isles.

"Beenham, or Beenham-Vallence, a parish...adjacent to the Kennet and Avon canal and to the Berks and Hants Railway, 1 ¼. mile N of Aldermaston station, and 8½ WSW of Reading. It has a post office...Acres, 1,890. Real property, £2,548. Pop., 505. Houses, 105. The property is much subdivided. Beenham House and Beenham Lodge are chief residences. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Oxford. Value, £250. Patron, Mrs. Bushnell. The church was chiefly rebuilt in 1860. There are a Primitive Methodist chapel and a National School. Stackhouse, the author of the "History of the Bible," was [its] vicar." [4]

1960s murderer[edit]

In October 1966 children's nanny Yolande Waddington, age 17, was found dead having been stabbed and strangled in Beenham. Less than six months later, two nine-year-old girls, Jeanette Wigmore and Jacqueline Williams, were found murdered at a local gravel pit. David Burgess, of Beenham, was jailed for life in 1967 for the murder of the two girls and spent more than 25 years behind bars. Waddington's killer was not identified at the time. Burgess subsequently admitted to the crime but challenged the police to "prove it". Following advances in DNA profiling, in November 2011 the 64-year-old Burgess was re-arrested, and subsequently tried and convicted of her murder. He received his third life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years.[5][6][7]


Beenham has a primary school catering for approximately 100 pupils aged 4 to 11.[8][9] The UK Wolf Conservation Trust is based at Butlers Farm, Beenham, along with ten wolves that can be heard howling within a three-mile radius.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Key Statistics: Dwellings; Quick Statistics: Population Density; Physical Environment: Land Use Survey 2005
  2. ^ a b c d e Page & Ditchfield, 1923, pages 277-279
  3. ^ a b c Pevsner, 1966, page 85
  4. ^ Imperial Gazetteer of Britain John Marius Wilson (1870-72). (University of Portsmouth website). Retrieved 2014-12-03
  5. ^ "Yolande Waddington: David Burgess guilty of nanny's murder". BBC News Berkshire. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "David Burgess jailed for 27 years for 1966 murder of Yolande Waddington". Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Soham echoes of Beenham murders". Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Beenham Primary School
  9. ^ "Establishment: Beenham Primary School". Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Wolf project is a howling success". Retrieved 12 January 2015. 


External links[edit]

Media related to Beenham at Wikimedia Commons