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Aldermaston, Berkshire

Historical Description

Aldermaston or Admiston, a village and a parish in Berks. The village stands at the influx of the Emborne to the Kennet, 8 miles E of Newbury; and it has a station 1½ mile distant on the G.W.R., and a post and money order office under Reading; telegraph office at the railway station. It was formerly a market-town, and it had fairs in May, July, and October. Brewing and malting are carried on, and there is also some trade in coals, timber, and wooden hoops. The Earl of Essex occupied it in 1644. The parish comprises 3691 acres of land and 515 of water; population, 655. Much of the surface is heath. The park of Aldermaston Court includes 1000 acres, and is one of the wildest and most diversified in the south of England. The mansion on it is a Tudor edifice, built in 1851, and contains many interesting relics of a remarkable structure which preceded it, the seat of the Forsters and Congreves; but the old lodges, with spired tower and roof, are still standing. An ancient camp occurs near Aldermaston Soak. The living is an endowed vicarage in the diocese of Oxford; gross yearly income, £150. The church is an ancient building of flint and rubble, with fine Norman doorway and interesting monuments.

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 parishAldermaston St. Mary 
HundredTheale 
Poor Law unionBradfield 

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


Church Records

The register dates from the year 1558.


Churches

Church of England

St. Mary (parish church)

The church of St. Mary, anciently belonging to the Benedictine priory of SS. Mary and John the Baptist, at West Sherborne, Hants, is an ancient structure of flint and rubble, standing in the park of Aldermaston Court, and consists of chancel, nave, south chapel and a western tower, with spire, containing 8 bells and a clock; the east window of the chancel is Early English, consisting of three lancets under one arch; most of the other windows are Decorated, and several new stained windows have been added; in the south chapel is a Decorated piscina, a brass to William Forster esq. high sheriff of Berks, died in 1574, also several mural paintings, discovered in 1896; in the windows on the north side of the chancel are two panels of glass of the 13th century, representing the Annunciation; the tower is of the Decorative period, with a Norman doorway built in at the west end; the pulpit is of finely carved oak; under the arch of the south transept is an altar tomb of alabaster, with recumbent effigies, to Sir George Forster K.B. sheriff of Berks, who died 7th December, 1533, and his wife Elizabeth, grand-daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas De la Mere kt. who died in 1526; around the sides, under canopies, were eleven small male figures in armour and eight females in angular head dresses, but one of each has disappeared; at the west end of the tomb are the kneeling figures of his son and heir, afterwards Sir Humphrey Forster bart. and his wife, a daughter of Lord Sandys, of The Vine, lord high treasurer to King Henry VIII.; there are also monuments to Ralph Congreve esq. and a helmet; in 1896 the church was thoroughly restored, new roofed, and reseated at the sole expense of C. E. Keyser esq.; there are 250 sittings.


Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

Aldermaston 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 Aldermaston from the following:


Land and Property

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


Maps

Online maps of Aldermaston 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