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East Shefford, Berkshire

Historical Description

Shefford, East or Little, a parish in Berks, on the north-eastern bank of the river Lambourn, 5 miles N of Kintbury station on the G.W.R., and 5½ NE of Hungerford. Post town and money order office, Great Shefford, under Lambourn; telegraph office, Lambourn. Acreage, 1096; population, 91. The manor belonged to the Basils, and passed by marriage to the Fettyplaces. The manor house, which formerly stood here, was very ancient and moated, showing interesting features of timber-work, windows, and gables. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford; gross value, £273 with residence. The church, erected in 1868-70, is a building of flint in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, W porch, and a western bell turret. The old church, which is now only used as a mortuary chapel, is a small building in the Late Perpendicular style, and was erected in the reign of Henry VIII. It contains a, fine monument of Sir Thomas Fettyplace and his wife, with alabaster effigies, and a tomb in grey marble, with brass effigies, of John Fettyplace (1524) and his wife and children.

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 
Poor Law unionHungerford 

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

Church Records

The register of baptisms and marriages dates from the year 1603; burials, from 1614.


Church of England

The Holy Innocents (parish church)

The church of the Holy Innocents, built in 1868-70, at a cost of £1,700, chiefly at the cost of a former rector, is a structure of flint with Bath stone dressings, in the Early English style, and consists of large chancel, nave, west porch and a western turret containing one bell: there are five stained windows: the pulpit, lectern and other fittings were presented by various donors: there are 100 sittings.

The Holy Innocents (old) (parish church)

The old church, situated on the north-east side of the river Lambourn and now only used as a mortuary chapel, is a perfect specimen of the Late Perpendicular style, having been rebuilt in the reign of Henry VIII. and was originally the private chapel of the Manor House of the Fettiplace family: it consists of chancel, nave and south porch and, in 1887, was repaired and reseated and the monuments cleaned: during the construction of a drain round the church an interesting stone coffin lid was found, and is supposed to have covered the remains of Prior Lawrence, of the monastery of Barnwell, Cambridge, who, in 1223, bought the advowson of Little Shefford: it now lies in the nave; the stone staircase leading to the rood loft, lighted by a Norman window, was discovered at the same time: within the building is an alabaster monument, with the figures of a man in armour and a lady, believed to represent Sir Thomas Fettiplace, of Childrey, and Beatrice, his wife, widow of Sir Gilbert Talbot, 5th Baron Talbot of Blakemere K.G.: on the north side of the chancel is a very fine Purbeck marble tomb with brass effigies to John Fettiplace esq. ob. Oct. 11, 1524, and Dorathye his wife; in the chancel, and secured by a locked chain, is a helmet, or "bascinet a baviere," supposed to have belonged to one of the Fettiplaces: the stone font is Norman and has a round stem, perforated to act as a drain; the remains of hinges and a staple for fastening the cover as required by the constitutions of Edmund, Archbishop of Canterbury (A.D. 1236), still remain; a consecration cross is incised in the stone work of the north pier of the chancel arch.

Civil Registration

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

East Shefford was in Hungerford Registration District from 1837 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for East Shefford from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of East Shefford 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