Burghfield (St. Mary)
BURGHFIELD (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bradfield, hundred of Theale, county of Berks, 5 miles (S. W.) from Reading; containing 1115 inhabitants. It is bounded on the north by the navigable river Kennet, and comprises 3478a. 1r. 20p.: there are about 300 acres of common or waste land. Coal was supposed to form part of the substratum, and in an unsuccessful attempt some years since to explore it, a bed of cockle-shells, firmly concreted with sand, was discovered about 12 feet beneath the surface. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £14. 19. 2.; net income, £810; patron, the Earl of Shrewsbury. The church, a very ancient structure, was rebuilt in 1843, at a cost of £2500, and is now a handsome edifice of cruciform design, in the Anglo-Norman style; the interior is embellished with a finely-painted window in the chancel representing the Virgin Mary, and contains a pulpit and reading-desk of stone, each of appropriate character. There are places of worship for Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists.