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Ufton Nervet, Berkshire

Historical Description

Ufton or Ufton Nervet, a village and a parish in Berks, 3 miles S from Theale station on the G.W.R., and 8 WSW of Reading. Post town, Reading; money order office, Sulhamstead; telegraph office, Theale. Acreage, 2189; population, 304. There is a parish council consisting of five members. The manor, with most of the laud and Ufton Court, belongs to the Benyon family. Ufton Court is an ancient Elizabethan mansion, originally erected in 1534, and very pleasantly situated on the brow of a bill. It was for a long period the property of the Roman Catholic family of Perkins, one member of which was the " Belinda" of Pope's mock-heroic poem the " Rape of the Lock." It contains many interesting architectural details, including concealed passages, secret doors, and a subterranean chamber which appears to have been used as a Roman Catholic chapel in times of persecution. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford; net value, £303 with residence. Patron, Oriel College, Oxford. The church was rebuilt in 1862, and is a building of stone in the Perpendicular style. There were in earlier times two churches here, and the fragment of a wall still marks the place where the church of Ufton Greyshall formerly stood.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Administration

The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyBerkshire 
Ecclesiastical parishUfton St. Peter 
HundredTheale 
Poor Law unionBradfield 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


Church Records

The register dates from the year 1636.


Churches

Church of England

St. Peter (parish church)

The church of St. Peter is a building of flint and stone in a late style of Perpendicular, and consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch and a western tower with wooden spire containing 4 bells: it was entirely re-built in 1862 by the late Richard Benyon esq. (d. 1897): in the church are monuments of the Perkins family, including that of Francis Perkins esq. 1635, and his wife, with their effigies, beneath an arch: here also is buried Arabella (Fermor), wife of Francis Perkins esq. 1736: there are 200 sittings. There were once two churches here: the remains of Ufton Greyshall church, consisting now only of the fragment of a wall, may be seen just below the village, about a mile from the existing church, within an inclosure, formerly a cemetery, and adjoining the Kennet.


Civil Registration

Ufton Nervet was in Bradfield Registration District from 1837 to 1937 and Wokingham Registration District from 1937 to 1974


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Ufton Nervet from the following:


Land and Property

Ufton Court, an old Elizabethan mansion, was built at different times, the present facade being Elizabethan: it belonged to the Roman Catholic family of Parkyns or Perkins, one of whom, Francis Perkins esq. married Arabella Fermor, the "Belinda" of Pope's "Rape of the Lock;" the house stands on the brow of a hill which slopes abruptly from the broad terrace that surrounds two sides of the mansion, and overhangs an old-fashioned garden, sloping down into a deep valley, at the foot of which a stream creeps along and is an extensive and picturesque structure, with projecting wings, curiously grouped chimneys, and a series of seventeen continuous gables overhanging the lower storey, each gable having a casement filled with small, diamond-shaped panes, while in the centre is a large projecting porch, with seats on either side, and over it a chamber lighted by three windows; the heavy leaden spouting bears the initials F. P. and the date 1664; the walls are pierced by concealed shafts, from one of which an exit could be obtained through another passage under the terrace into the garden, and subsequently into the adjoining woods: about 1830 a small chamber was discovered, entered by a trap-door, from which depended a narrow ladder, and in this gloomy refuge were found two guns and a crucifix; a shelving apartment in the roof of the building was used as a chapel, and elsewhere is a depository of triangular shape, believed to have been used for the concealment of vestments and service plate, and closed by a massive wooden door. In the rear of the house may be seen a succession of fish-ponds, seven in number, disposed on the sloping grounds one below the other.

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Berkshire is available to browse.


Maps

Online maps of Ufton Nervet are available from a number of sites:


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Berkshire papers online:


Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Berkshire 1532, 1566, and 1665-6 is available online.

CountyWest Berkshire
RegionSouth East
CountryEngland
Postal districtRG7
Post TownReading