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Pingewood is a hamlet in the civil parish of Burghfield, to the south of Reading, in the English county of Berkshire. It lies to the Southwest of Burghfield Bridge The name Pingewood derives from the old Celtic word 'pen' meaning head, peak, tip or end. The 'ge' is a contraction of the Celtic word for wood, 'coed'. When the Saxons moved into the area in the 5th century, they did not understand the meaning and added their own descriptive word 'wood' on the end.
Until 1938, Pingewood was a peaceful little hamlet with country lanes and high hedges. In the centre of the hamlet was Kirton's Farm, 13 cottages, a Church school, a large village green with a Coronation seat, and Moore's Farm - a smallholding. There was also a large pond, dug out when the railway bridge was built. Around the copse were more cottages, all being pulled down under a system known as 'quit-rent'. In one of these lived a woman reputed to be a witch. A little further out was Cottage Lane, farm buildings, and cottages.
By 1938 excavation had begun in the gravel pits. Because of the high water table, these pits then filled naturally with water to form Pingewood Lake which covers about 50 acres (200,000 m²). The footpaths vanished, with trees and cowslips, as more land was taken. The school closed in 1958, the farms disappeared - replaced by sailing, water skiing and other water-sports.
Streams and brooks
Streams and brooks criss cross the hamlet. To the South, and running West to East, flows The Teg, which joins the Foudry Brook to the East of the Hamlet, which itself continues North towards the River Kennet South of Reading
Searle's Farm is an ancient Tudor building now in the middle of the gravel pits. Legend has it that, sometime in the 19th century, an unmarried serving girl found that she was pregnant and committed suicide by throwing herself from one of the windows. It is said that a soft white light is seen coming from under the door to that room. Several visitors claim to have the same dream while sleeping in the room. A young girl in a flowing white dress is seen at the window, staring out over the surrounding countryside. She is illuminated in a soft white light.
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