Great Shefford

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Great Shefford
Great Shefford-g3.jpg
St Mary's parish church
Great Shefford is located in Berkshire
Great Shefford
Great Shefford
Location within Berkshire
Area13.6 km2 (5.3 sq mi)
Population937 (2011 census)[1]
• Density69/km2 (180/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSU3875
Civil parish
  • Great Shefford
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Historic countyBerkshire
Post townHungerford
Postcode districtRG17
Dialling code01488
PoliceThames Valley
FireRoyal Berkshire
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
WebsiteGreat Shefford and Shefford Woodlands
List of places
51°28′30″N 1°26′53″W / 51.475°N 1.448°W / 51.475; -1.448Coordinates: 51°28′30″N 1°26′53″W / 51.475°N 1.448°W / 51.475; -1.448

Great Shefford (or West Shefford) is an English village and civil parish on the River Lambourn in the West Berkshire district of Berkshire. The modern civil parish includes the historical parish of Little or East Shefford, a small, much-reduced community downstream.[2] It also covers the village of Shefford Woodlands, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south-west of Great Shefford, near Junction 14 on the M4 motorway.


The toponym of both Sheffords is derived from the Old English for "sheep ford".


Great Shefford village has a primary school, which forms part of Chaddleworth St. Andrew's & Shefford Church of England Federated Primary Schools. It also has a pub-restaurant, The Great Shefford,[3] a shop and a petrol station.


St Mary[edit]

The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary is one of two existing round-tower churches in Berkshire. The other one is at St Gregory's parish church at nearby Welford.

The interior of St Mary's church

Unlike the three round-towered churches in Sussex, where the towers are plain flint cylinders with few openings, the tower at Great Shefford is built up of sections with ample fenestration, more like the East Anglian type. The base of the tower at least seems to date from the 13th century, and it joins the west wall of the nave in such a way that suggests it was constructed at the same time as the nave, which shows early Gothic features.

St Mary's belongs to the West Downland Benefice, a group of eight neighbouring churches. There is a service held at St Mary's on the first, second and third Sunday of the month.[4]

St Stephen[edit]

The church of Saint Stephen at Shefford Woodlands is a former Methodist chapel that was consecrated as part of St Mary's Church of England parish in 1911.[5]

A group service is held at St Stephen's on the fourth Sunday of the month.[4]

St Thomas[edit]

St Thomas' Church, East Shefford is redundant. However, it is listed as a Grade I historical building and contains important monuments to the widespread Fettiplace family.


The 2011 Census recorded a parish population of 937,[6] and 880 are listed on the Millennium Stone opposite the petrol station. The population had grown by approximately 5 per cent since the 2011 census.

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 126 146 50 70 9 0.258 0.039 0.246 937 13.6

Notable people[edit]

In birth order:


Public transport[edit]

Reading Buses route 4 (NewburyLambourn) serves Great Shefford.[7] From 1898 until 1960 the parish was served by Great Shefford railway station on the Lambourn Valley Railway. The nearest mainline station today is Newbury, 10.5 miles/16 km away.


The A338 between Hungerford to the south and Wantage to the north runs through the village, one-and-a-half miles north of Junction 14 on the M4 motorway.


  1. ^ a b Key Statistics: Dwellings; Quick Statistics: Population Density; Physical Environment: Land Use Survey 2005
  2. ^ Ford, David Nash. "Royal Berkshire History". East Shefford St. Thomas' Church. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  3. ^ Own site
  4. ^ a b A Church Near You. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  5. ^ "History of Great Shefford". Great Shefford and Shefford Woodlands. The Parish of Great Shefford. Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  6. ^ Population site Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Connect Service 4" (pdf). Timetables. Newbury and District Buses. Retrieved 23 July 2013.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Great Shefford at Wikimedia Commons