Childrey, a parish in Berks, on the Berks and Wilts Canal, near the Ridge Way, 2¼ miles SW from Challow station on the G.W.R., and 2½ W of Wantage, under which it has a post, money order, and telegraph office. Acreage, 2929; population of the civil parish, 465; of the ecclesiastical, 454. The Old Manor House is the seat of the Dunn family. It was occupied by Charles I. on the night of 10 April, 1644, when on his march from Oxford to Marlborough. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford; net yearly value, £300 with residence. The church shows Norman traces, is good, and contains a canopied brass, eight other brasses, and a figured leaden font. There are Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Childrey St. Mary|
|Poor Law union||Wantage|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register dates from the year 1558.
Church of England
St. Mary (parish church)
The church of St. Mary is an ancient and highly interesting cruciform structure in mixed styles, consisting of chancel, nave, transepts and an embattled western tower of Perpendicular date containing 6 bells and a small sanctus bell called "ting-tang" and a clock: the chancel, nave and north transept were probably built by the Frethornes and the tower and south transept added by the Fetyplaces, whose arms appear over the west window; the chancel has a fine Perpendicular east window, a double piscina, Early English sedilia and a canopied Easter sepulchre; the chancel is as wide as the nave, and without chancel arch; part of the rood-loft remains, and there are hagioscopes for each transept: the north transept, or St. Mary's chapel, belonging to the manor of Frethornes, had a chantry founded in the 14th century; in the east wall is a piscina, and in the north-east angle a curious stone bracket, opposite a priests' door; here also is a door formerly leading to the rood-loft: the south transept, or St. Catherine's chapel, belonged formerly to the Fetyplaces, and here was a chantry, founded in 1526 by William Fettiplace esq. in honour of the Blessed Trinity, Our Lady and St. Kateryn, with provisions for a cantarist or chaplain; it contains a piscina, some fragments of good stained glass and curious corbels; there is a priests' door, and traces of another doorway leading to a curious small stone pulpit projecting from the wall by the side of the transept: the font is cylinrical and consists of a leaden basin 10 inches deep, surrounded on the exterior by 12 small figures of bishops, mitred, and carrying a crosier in one hand and a book in the other, upon a massive stone base; the windows of the church generally retain considersble remains of stained glass, representing "The Salutation," "The Adoration of the Magi," "The Crucifixion," and "The Ascension," with armorial devices: and there are a number of ancient and interesting monuments of the Walrond, Fynderne, Kyngeston, Fettyplace, Englefield, and other families; these include a very fine canopied brass, with effigies in heraldic dresses, to William Fynderne esq. 1444, and his wife Elizabeth (Chilrey), widow of John Lord Kyngeston, with a curious inscription round the edge, of 20 Latin verses; near this is the brass of a priest, c. 1480; a brass with effigies and partial inscription to William Walrond, gent. and his wife Elizabeth, c. 1480; a priest, c. 1490, with chalice; a curious brass to Joan (Walrond), wife of Robert Strongbow, 1507, in a shroud, with seven English verses; and brasses to John Kyngeston esq. 1514, and Susan his wife; Thomas Walrond, gent. 1480, and his wife Alice (Englefield), 1477: Bryan Roos LL.D. (rector), 1529, in academic dress; Agnes, wife of John Fynderne, 1441; William Feteplace and his wife Elizabeth, 1516, founders of the chantry, with shields; and a matrix of a civilian and his wife, c. 1380; in the south transept is a marble canopy, with brass effigies of a man and his wife rising from their graves, and a mutilated shield of Fetiplace: in the north transept is a fine tomb, with the effigy of a cross-legged knight, under a richly ornamented ogee arch, supposed to commemorate Sir Edmund de Chelrey, 1372: the organ was provided in 1902 as a memorial to Her late Majesty Queen Victoria, and new choir stalls have been presented by Mrs. Cornish: the chancel and nave, both of which retain some fine specimens of floor tiles, were thoroughly restored in 1875-6, at a cost of £1,700; the north transept was restored by the late Sir John Gibbons bart. M.A. (d. 1893) and the south transept by Queen's College, Oxford: on the first Sunday in Lent the Fettyplace sermon is preached, for which a sum of 6s. 8d. is allowed to the preacher by Queen's College, Oxford: the curfew is still rung here at 8 p.m, from October to February: there are 250 sittings.
Primitive Methodist Chapel
There is a Primitive Methodist chapel.
There is a Wesleyan chapel.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Childrey was in Wantage Registration District from 1837 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Childrey from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Childrey (St. Mary))
- 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 Childrey 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.