Pangbourne (signifying " the end of the Pang"), a village and a parish in Berks. The village is situated on the Pang, at its influx to the Thames, about 5½ miles above Reading, is on the G.W.R., on which it has a station, is considered one of the prettiest spots on the Thames, and is much frequented by artists, anglers, &c. It has a post, money order,. and telegraph office, and two chief inns. The parish comprises 1940 acres; population, 776. There is a parish council consisting of seven members. The manor was founded by Henry I., and by him given in 1126 to the abbey of Reading, whence it passed in 1550 to John Dudley, Earl of Warwick (afterwards Duke of Northumberland), and later to Sir Francis Englefield; thence it was granted in 1563 by Queen Elizabeth to Thomas Weldon (officer of H.M.'s household) and his son. The latter in 1613 sold it to Sir John Davis, by whose son it was again sold in 1671 to John Breedon, in whose family its possession remained until 1894, when the estate was sold in several lots. Bere Court is the name of the manor house. Other chief residences are West End Grove, Shooter's Hill House, and Courtlands. It is recorded that in making excavations for the G.W.R., which was led through Pangbourne in 1840, there were discovered in a deep cutting through Shooter's Hill a bronze ornament, a spear-head in iron, a small brass coin of Constantine, and a variety of Tims, coins, and spear-heads, with many skeletons. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford; net value, £370 with residence. The church was rebuilt in 1866 (with the exception of the brick tower, which was built in 1718) at a cost of £3200, in the Early Decorated style, and comprises nave with N aisle, chancel, organ chamber, and S porch. The tower contains a peal of six very good bells. There is a Congregational chapel.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Pangbourn St. James|
|Poor Law union||Bradfield|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The register dates from the year 1556.
Church of England
St. James the Less (parish church)
The church of St. James the Less is an edifice of flint and stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch and an embattled western tower containing a clock and 6 bells: in the church is a curious monument with effigy to Sir John Davis, ob. 1625, who was knighted at the taking of Cales, in Spain: the pulpit is a beautiful specimen of carved oak in the Arabesque style; there are 300 sittings.
There is a Congregational chapel.
There is a Primitive Methodist chapel.
Society of Friends
There is a Friends' Meeting House.
Pangbourne 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 Pangbourne from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Pangbourn (St. James))
- 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 Pangbourne 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.