Speenhamland, Berkshire

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Speenhamland is an area within modern Newbury, Berkshire. Its name is probably derived from Old English Spen-haema-land, "land of the inhabitants of Speen", with "Speen" perhaps being formed on a Brittonic root deriving from Latin spinis, "thorns".[1]

Speenhamland was a tithing, or administrative subdivision, of the parish of Speen, though even in the early 19th century it was contiguous with the suburbs of Newbury.[2] It lies to the north of the River Kennet, between the centre of Newbury and Speen village to the north-west.[3]

The Speenhamland system of poor relief was devised at a meeting in the area in 1795.


  1. ^ Coates and Breeze (2000) Celtic voices, English places: studies of the Celtic impact on place-names in England, p.41
  2. ^ Lysons & Lysons (eds.) (1813) Magna Britannia, vol I, part II, London: Cadell & Davies, p.372
  3. ^ Page, William; Ditchfield, P.H., eds. (1924). "Speen with Speenhamland, Bagnor and Benham". A History of the County of Berkshire. Victoria County History. 4. pp. 97–110.

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Coordinates: 51°24′25″N 1°19′30″W / 51.407°N 1.325°W / 51.407; -1.325