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Shaw cum Donnington, Berkshire

Historical Description

Shaw-cum-Donnington, a parish in Berks, on the river Lambourn, 1½ mile N by E of Newbury station on the G.W.R. It has a post office, of the name of Donnington, under Newbury; money order and telegraph office, Newbury. Acreage, 1996; population, 694. The manor of Shaw, with Shaw House, belongs to the Eyre family, who are chief landowners. Shaw House dates from the time of Elizabeth; was garrisoned for Charles I. at the time of the second battle of Newbury, and has a hole in an oak wainscot, through which a musket ball passed while the king was dressing at the window. Donnington Castle belonged to the family of the poet Chaucer; was a centre of conflict in the civil wars of Charles I.; was engirt at the time of the wars with entrenchments, still visible; and is now represented by an ivy-clad gateway flanked with tall towers, an entrance porch with ancient ceiling, and by a piece of adjoining wall. Donnington Priory stands at the foot of the castle hill, was built in 1576, and occupies the site of a small Trinitarian priory founded in 1394 by Sir R. Abberbury. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Oxford; net value, £400 with residence. The church was rebuilt in 1840. A chancel was added in 1878. There is an hospital consisting of twelve alms-houses, originally founded in the reign of Richard II.

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 parishShaw cum Donnington St. Mary 
Poor Law unionNewbury 

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

Church Records

The register dates from the year 1650.


Church of England

St. Mary (parish church)

The church of St. Mary, rebuilt in 1840, is an edifice of stone in the Norman and Decorated styles, consisting of chancel, with organ chamber and vestry, added in 1878 at a cost of £2,000, nave, south porch and a western tower, containing 6 bells: in the chancel are memorial windows to H. R. Eyre esq. the Rev. G. F. Everett, a former rector, and others: in the church is an inscribed brass, erected by the county of Berks to the late Lieut. Charles George Eyre, Imperial Yeomanry, who fell at Sterksfontein, South Africa, during the Boer war, 1899-1901: a lych gate was erected by the late W. P. Blackburn-Maze esq. in memory of Evelyn Agnes Marion Blackburn-Maze: in 1878, during the levelling of the ground on the north side of the churchyard, an ancient British cinerary urn, 18 inches high and 16 wide, was discovered, ornamented with zigzag lines, produced by means of some pointed instrument: there are 377 sittings.

Civil Registration

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

Shaw cum Donnington was in Hungerford Registration District from 1837 to 1974

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Shaw cum Donnington from the following:

Land and Property

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


Online maps of Shaw cum Donnington 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