Mortimer Common

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Mortimer, Berks - - 199.jpg
Church of St.John the Evangelist, Mortimer
Mortimer is located in Berkshire
Location within Berkshire
Population3,807 (2011 census including Stratfield Mortimer)[1]
OS grid referenceSU6565
Civil parish
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townREADING
Postcode districtRG7
Dialling code0118
PoliceThames Valley
FireRoyal Berkshire
AmbulanceSouth Central
UK Parliament
List of places
51°22′37″N 1°03′47″W / 51.377°N 1.063°W / 51.377; -1.063Coordinates: 51°22′37″N 1°03′47″W / 51.377°N 1.063°W / 51.377; -1.063

Mortimer Common, generally referred to as Mortimer, is a village in the civil parish of Stratfield Mortimer in Berkshire. Mortimer is in the local government district of West Berkshire and is seven miles south-west of Reading.

History and Name[edit]

Historian David Nash Ford believes the name Mortimer stems from the Lords of the Manor, the Mortimer family, a powerful magnate family and the Earls of March from Wigmore, Herefordshire. The family were given the manor, along with Wigmore Castle by William I shortly after the Norman Conquest and held it throughout the Middle Ages, as recorded in the Domesday Book. Roger de Mortimer, 1st Earl of March was for three years de facto ruler of England after leading a successful rebellion against Edward II, before being overthrown and executed in 1330 by Edward III, with his lands (including Mortimer) seized by the crown. The Mortimers came close, during the reign of Richard II, to the English throne again, but the claims of the family were ignored and the throne was vested in Henry IV instead.

During the Tudor period Mortimer was one of the lands granted to each of the wives of Henry VIII.

There are several Bronze Age burial mounds in the area. Excavations at one have shown that it was later used for burials when the Anglo-Saxons moved into the area.

In 1976 Princess Anne visited Mortimer as part of a horse display at Mortimer Fairground.


Mortimer Common Barrows. Holden's Firs Barrows, Barrow Cemetery

Mortimer stands at the top of Mortimer Hill, at the bottom of which is Stratfield Mortimer. To the north lies Burghfield Common and Wokefield. To the West lies Mortimer West End and Padworth Common. The Lockram Brook flows through the middle of the parish and joins into Burghfield Brook further to the Northeast, this in turn feeds into Foudry Brook, a tributary of the Kennet and Avon Canal. There is much woodland in the area, including Starvale Woods, Wokefield Common and Holden Firs.

The three main roads in Mortimer are The Street, West End Road and Victoria Road.


Bus travel from Reading is provided by Reading Buses services 2 and 2a.[2] Mortimer railway station, on the Reading to Basingstoke Line, is down The Street from the main village, and frequent services are operated by Great Western Railway.

Sport and leisure[edit]

Mortimer Village Partnership (MVP) is an independent not for profit organisation that was set up by volunteers in 2009. The purpose of MVP is to involve people and groups in the life of the village, to improve communications, to connect people together and facilitate activities and events in order to enhance the lives of those who live and work in Mortimer and nearby. Several events are organised annually. including a regular lunch club, theatre trips, travelling theatres, events for children and the famous annual Mortimer Fun Day in July which attracts thousands of visitors from all around. In 2014 the group was awarded The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service and it continues to recognise the hundreds of volunteers annually by presenting them with a certificate and the addition of their name into a book of honour.

Mortimer Garth Club (now known as Mortimer Football Club) team photograph, 1935-36 season, including (back row, far right) the founder and patroness of the Club, Miss Bertha G. P. Capron of Garth House and Little Garth, Mortimer

Mortimer has several senior football teams including Mortimer FC as well as two youth football teams; Mortimer Stingers and Mortimer Hornets. Mortimer Football Club was founded as the Mortimer Garth Club by Miss Bertha G. P. Capron of Garth House (and later of Little Garth), Mortimer. Miss Capron also paid for the construction of a hall for the Garth Club,[3] known as the Garth Hall, in 1915.[4] Miss Capron (1863-1954) was the eldest daughter of the Rev. George Halliley Capron of Southwick Hall and Stoke Doyle, Northamptonshire, and settled in Mortimer with her unmarried sisters after her brother inherited the Southwick estates in 1909.[5]

Mortimer FC is currently in the Reading Football League Senior Division, in tier 11 of the football pyramid. Mortimer has won the League four times; in 1993-4, 1994–5, 1996–7 and 2001–02.

Mortimer has amateur cricket and tennis clubs, cubs, scouts, girl guides and brownies clubs as well as the Mortimer Dramatic Society. A community centre was completed in the autumn of 2009, which is used as a cricket pavilion. The fairground is also used for travelling funfares.

On taking over from Sewards Supermarket, Budgens also took over the tradition of arranging the annual 'fun run', a 10 kilometre race around the village, which generally takes place on the last Sunday of September.

Notable people[edit]

  • Lt. Col. Herbert St Maur Carter D.S.O., M.D.- a surgeon who retired to Mortimer after service in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Decorated by the British and Serbian governments.[6]
  • Robert Newman (former England bowls champion)[7]
  • David Tuttle (former professional footballer and manager)
  • Rt Hon Sir John Mowbray, 1st Bt, PC, MP, JP, DL, DCL (1815-1899), MP for Oxford University 1868-99 and Father of the House of Commons 1898-99, lived at Warennes Wood,[8] Mortimer.[9]
  • Sir Robert Mowbray, 2nd Bt, MP, JP, DL (1850-1916), MP for Prestwich and Lambeth, lived at Warennes Wood,[8] Mortimer.[9]
  • Professor Kenneth Mason MC (1887-1976), Professor of Geography, Oxford University 1932-53, lived at Sylvanway, West End Road, Mortimer.[9]
  • Julia Foot (nee Neville) RGN, RMN, DN, BSc (Hons) - District Nurse and Community Matron and Non Medical Prescriber 1965 to present day born in Briar Lea Road and lived in West End Road and Summerlug (off St Marys Road). Worked at Basingstoke District Hospital, Battle Hospital Reading and Chase Farm in Enfield. Community Nursing in Enfield and Stevenage.*


  1. ^ "Local statistics". Office for National Statistics.
  2. ^ "Reading Bus Timetables" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  3. ^ "About Garth Hall". West Berkshire Council website. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Community Right to Bid" (PDF). Stratford Mortimer Parish Council Newsletter (October 2013): 11. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Capron of Southwick Hall". Burke's Landed Gentry vol I. (1965). pp. 119–120.
  6. ^ "Lieutenant-Colonel H. St. Maur Carter". The British Medical Journal. 1 (5018): 591. 9 March 1957. JSTOR 20361081.
  7. ^ "Bowls Triples gives Newman the full set". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 April 2002.
  8. ^ a b "Houses" (PDF). Mortimer Village. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  9. ^ a b c Who's Who. A&C Black.

External links[edit]