Avington, a parish in Berks, on the Kennet river, the Kennet and Avon Canal, and the Newbury branch of the G.W.R., 2 miles W by N from Kintbury station, and 2½ E of Hungerford, which is the post town; money order and telegraph offices, Kintbury and Hungerford. Acreage, 1185; population, 129. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford; net value, £230. The church is an interesting specimen of Norman architecture, with two Early English windows, and a small Early English spire-bell turret. The chancel is separated from the nave by an arch, richly ornamented with zigzag moulding and a great variety of grotesque heads which has so settled as to look almost like two arches, and springs from enriching piers leaning outwards. Radley and Bowling Green are hamlets in this parish.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Poor Law union
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The register dates from the year 1725: the earlier records, then kept in the Manor house, were destroyed by fire in that year.
Church of England
SS. Mark and Luke (parish church)
The church is a good example of the Saxon style and is believed to have been dedicated to SS. Mark and Luke, from symbols of these saints in the sanctuary; it dates from the 9th century. and consists of chancel, nave, north transept and a south porch: there was anciently a bell turret at the west end containing one bell, but a small cross was substituted some years ago, and the bell removed to a place within the roof: the whole structure forms an elongated parallelogram, on a scant foundation, the four walls inclosing an area 75ft. long by 15ft. broad, or five widths in length, and of these five square spaces one forms the sanctuary, one the choir and three the nave: the sanctuary is divided from the choir by pilasters, intended to sustain a semi-circular arch, which seems never to have been constructed: the chancel is separated from the nave by an arch of 15ft. span, richly ornamented with roses and dog-tooth and zigzag mouldings and grotesque heads: the centre of the arch has undergone a singular depression, probably owing to the lateral pressure of the arch itself and the absence of any internal pier or external buttress, as well as to the incomplete state of the originally projected stone vaulting of the chancel roof, the ribbed groins of which are ornamented with beak-heads and flowers: the south door of the nave is a good example of a shafted Saxon arch, with bead and dog-tooth ornaments, but was much mutilated in the 16th century by the erection of a porch by Richard Choke, then lord of the manor, about 1514: the font, a remarkable specimen of Saxon work, is cylindrical, and has a cable moulding round its upper edge; the lower portion is arcaded, and has in the arcading thirteen rudely sculptured figures, most of them in ecclesiastical vestments: two are bishops in palls - one seated and one in attitude of benediction; two are bishops in copes - one with crozier and one with pastoral staff; two are priests in albs - one with hands crossed in prayer and one in the embrace of the fiend; two are priests giving each other the kiss of peace; two are ecclesiastical lawyers in copes - one with brief in hand and one with a Lord Chancellor's wig; the foul fiend, with horns and cloven feet, is twice repeated; and the 13th is indescribable, except as probably representing Boethius, or some other decollated saint, with his head in his own hands; behind the font stands an ancient slab, with a striking but rudely incised Calvary cross upon its upper half; the only monuments of importance in the church are three slabs on the chancel floor and an escutcheon suspended in the porch, all memorials of the Berkshire family of James, now represented by Lord Northbourne, of Betteshanger, Kent: the walls of the church are of great thickness, and the windows are deeply splayed, and four are filled with stained glass: the chancel retains a square aumbry, a piscina and a beautiful sedile: in the churchyard is a fine tomb to Simon Rawlins esq. of Bridgcomb, Uffington, 1762, and Anne, his wife, 1764: there are 80 sittings.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Avington was in Hungerford Registration District from 1837 to 1934
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Avington from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Avington)
- Kelly's Directory of Berkshire, 1915
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Berkshire is available to browse.
Online maps of Avington are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Berkshire papers online:
The Visitations of Berkshire 1532, 1566, and 1665-6 is available online.