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Burghfield, Berkshire

Historical Description

Burghfield or Burfield, a parish in Berks, on the river Kennet, 2½ miles SE of Theale station on the G.W.R., and 5 SW of Reading, under which it has a post and telegraph office; money order office, Burghfield Common. Acreage, 4309; population, 1327. Part of the land is common. A bed of sand and cockle shells, a foot thick, under soft stone was found at Hose Hill. Culverlands and Highwoods are country seats here. Burghfield Common, Burghfield Hatch, Sheffield Bottom, and Pingewood are hamlets in this parish. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford; net yearly value, £814 with residence, in the gift of the Earl of Shrewsbury. The church, rebuilt in 1843, is a large Romanesque cruciform structure with apse; a chancel was added in 1892. There are also Primitive Methodist and Wesleyan chapels, three almshouses, and some small charities.

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


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

Ancient CountyBerkshire 
Ecclesiastical parishBurghfield St. Mary 
Poor Law unionBradfield 

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

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1563.


Church of England

The Virgin Mary (parish church)

The church of the Virgin Mary, rebuilt at a cost of £2,500, and re-constructed in June, 1843, is an edifice of brick and stone in the Romanesque style, consisting of chancel, rebuilt in 1892, at a cost of £2,000, entirely defrayed by the late Richard Benyon esq. of Englefield (d. 1897), Miss Sophia C. Thursby, of Brighton, and Arthur Harvey Thursby esq. D.L., J.P. late of Culverlands, nave, transepts and an octagonal western tower with a small dome and containing 6 bells: the tower was restored in 1901 at the sole cost of Ernest Chance esq.: at the west end is a stained window, presented by the Rev. Henry Curtis Cherry M.A. rector from 1827; the Rev. F. B. Boyd, a former rector, presented the church with five stained windows; a stained window was also erected by the Rev. Benjamin Bradney Beckett M.A. vicar of Epsom (1839-83), in memory of his brother and two sisters; and another has been placed in the south transept by Arthur Harvey Thursby esq. D.L., J.P. late of Culverlands, in memory of his father and mother; the east window, placed in 1892 by Miss Sophia Charlotte Thursby, of Brighton, is a memorial to the Rev. William Ford Thursby B.C.L. rector of Bergh-Apton, Norfolk (d. 1893), and Eleanor Mary, his wife; in the tower there are two stone effigies and one of oak, all of early date; a floor stone inscribed to the Rev. Garnans Daunser M.A., 1676, has been found under the old chancel: there are 608 sittings. A new burial ground, adjoining the old churchyard, was consecrated in 1886.


Primitive Methodist Chapel

There is a Primitive Methodist chapel.

Wesleyan Chapel

There is a Wesleyan chapel.

Civil Registration

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

Burghfield 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 Burghfield from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Burghfield 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
Postal districtRG30
Post TownReading