Upton, a civil and, with Aston Upthorpe, an ecclesiastical parish in Berks. It is 6 miles WSW from Wallingford, 8 E from Wantage, and it has a station on the Didcot, Newbury, and Winchester branch of the G.W.R. Post town and money order office, Didcot (R.S.O.); telegraph office, Chilton. Acreage, 1413; population of the civil parish, 245; of the ecclesiastical, 401. Upton Lodge is a modern mansion of brick and stone in the Domestic Gothic style, very pleasantly situated, and commanding good views. The manor belongs to the Humfrey family. The living is a vicarage, united with Aston Up-thorpe, in the diocese of Oxford; joint net value, £228 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Oxford. The church, which was well restored in 1885, is a small but very ancient and interesting building of Early Norman or possibly of Saxon date, erected of rubble faced with flint, and consisting of chancel and nave, with a small bell-turret. There is a Wesleyan chapel.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Poor Law union||Wantage|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The earliest Upton register embraces the period 1588-1721; from 1721 to 1861 the registers are at Blewbury; the modern register of Upton begins with 1861.
Church of England
St. Mary (parish church)
The church of St. Mary, given to the Cluniac Abbey of Bermondsey in 1092, is a small but exceedingly interesting building of rubble faced with flint, of very Early Norman or even Saxon date, consisting only of chancel and nave and an open shingled turret over the western gable containing one bell: the chancel, almost unique in its diminutiveness, is lighted on the north and south sides by small round-headed windows deeply splayed, and also on the south side by a small window of the Early Decorated period, discovered built into the wall during the recent restoration: the chancel arch, which is extremely low, is round-headed with a flat soffit, the imposts bearing a kind of star ornament: the south doorway, also round-headed, is ornamented on its exterior face with zigzag moulding, and one window displays similar treatment; in the north side is a now blocked square-headed doorway, believed to be Saxon; the font, a perfectly plain cylindrical basin of sandstone, probably of the same date as the church, has been carefully repaired and reset on a new circular basin, relieved by dwarf shafts of freestone; its cover appears to be Jacobean: in 1885 the church was thoroughly and beautifully restored, the chancel by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners at a cost of £300, under the superintendence of their architect, the late Mr. Ewan Christian; and the rest of the building by subscription, under the direction of Mr. Slingsby Stallwood F.S.A. architect of Reading, at a cost, including fittings and books, of about £850; the Commissioners, in repairing the chancel, inserted at the east end a triplet of tall and deeply splayed lancets in place of the window previously existing, and fixed an entirely new roof of solid oak: the timber-framed nave roof, previously ceiled in, has been opened and thoroughly renovated with the best oak: the rubble walls, 4 feet in thickness, were partially rebuilt and faced with cut and rough flint: in reconstructing the north wall a large fragment of rubble was found above the north doorway, built 18 inches into the fabric, and rudely carved on one side with several crosses: the nave has been substantially seated with oak benches, and the chancel with stalls, neatly carved: there is a plain oak chest and communion plate dating from 1576: the church affords sittings for 100 persons: the churchyard was consecrated by the late Bishop Wilberforce, May 9th, 1862, and contains memorials to the Humfreys, a family of considerable antiquity in this neighbourhood, to the Rev. Richard Hooper M.A. rector, 1862-95, and some others to labourers accidentally killed during the formation of the branch railway from Didcot to Newbury.
Upton was in Wantage Registration District from 1837 to 1937 and Wallingford Registration District from 1937 to 1974
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Upton from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Upton)
- 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 Upton 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.