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Hampstead Marshall, Berkshire

Historical Description

Hampstead Marshall, a parish in Berks, on the Kennet and Avon Canal, near the boundary with Hants, 4 miles WSW from Newbury, and 3 NW from Kintbury station on the G.W.R. It has a post office under Newbury; money order and telegraph office, Newbury. Acreage, 1824 of land and 28 of water; population, 219. Nearly the whole of the property belongs to the Earl of Craven, belonged formerly to the Earls Marshal of England, took thence the second part of its present name, became first associated with the earl-marshalship in the time of Henry I., when the manor was given to Gilbert de Clare, earl of Pembroke, and father of Strongbow, king of Leinster, passed from his family to successively the Bigods, the Montacutes, the Hankesfords, and the Parrys, and was purchased in 1620 by the Cravens. A stately mansion on it after the model of Heidelburg Castle in Germany, and designed by Sir Balthazer Gerbier, was built in 1626-65, but was burned in 1718, and was succeeded by the present mansion, Hampstead House, which was erected in 1720 by the Earl of Craven. It has since been greatly enlarged, and it is surrounded by a deer park of over 400 acres. The living is a rectory, united to that of En-borne in the diocese of Oxford; joint gross yearly value, £478 with residence. Patron, the Earl of Craven. The church is ancient but good, and has the tomb of Sir B. Gerbier. There is a small Congregational chapel.

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 parishHampstead-Marshall St. Mary 
Poor Law unionNewbury 

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

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1675.


Church of England

St. Mary (parish church)

The church of St. Mary is a plain structure of brick and stone, re-erected in the time of James I. and consisting of chancel, nave, north aisle, north porch and a tower of brick containing 2 bells: the chancel is ancient and is built of flint: in the church is an inscribed slab laid over the tomb of Sir Balthazar Gerbier kt. painter and architect, who died while on a visit here in 1667: there are 150 sittings.


Congregational Chapel

There is a small Congregational chapel, erected in 1809, and seating 100 persons.

Civil Registration

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

Hampstead Marshall was in Hungerford Registration District from 1837 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Hampstead Marshall from the following:

Land and Property

The manor, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, belonged to the Parrys, and Sir Thomas Parry, treasurer to the household of that queen, built a house here: about 1620 this manor passed by purchase to the Cravens and became one of the chief seats of that family, In 1626 (12th March) Sir William Craven kt., son of Sir W. Craven kt. Lord Mayor of London 1610 and 1618, was created Baron Craven of Hampstead-Marshall and in 1664-5 Earl of Craven, for services which he had rendered to his exiled master during the protectorate of Cromwell and the losses which he had sustained by confiscation. The earldom expired on the death of the earl, 9th April, 1697, but was revived (18th June, 1801) in the person of William, seventh Baron Craven. The house built by Sir T. Parry having been pulled down, Sir Balthazar Gerbier kt. began a stately pile of building after the model of the castle of Heidelberg, which was finished in 1665, but this house was almost wholly destroyed by fire in 1718. The present mansion, erected by the Earl of Craven about 1720, has been from time to time enlarged: the deer park extends over more than 400 acres, with a series of small lakes across it.

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


Online maps of Hampstead Marshall 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