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Barkham

BarkhamDescription : Coordinates: 51°24′07″N 0°52′34″W / 51.402°N 0.876°W / 51.402; -0.876Barkham is a village and civil parish in the borough of Wokingham in Berkshire, England, located around 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of the town of Wokingham.The old part of Barkham is the small settlement by the parish church at grid reference SU781666 and close to Barkham Street. However most of the population lives in the north-east of the parish, around the post office, or in the Arborfield Garrison, which is large... Page:b

For other uses, see Barkham (disambiguation).
Barkham
Barkham, St James Church - geograph.org.uk - 135120.jpg
St James' parish church
Barkham is located in Berkshire
Barkham
Barkham
 Barkham shown within Berkshire
Population3,511 (2001 census)
OS grid referenceSU7867
Civil parishBarkham
Unitary authorityWokingham
Ceremonial countyBerkshire
RegionSouth East
CountryEngland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townWokingham
Postcode districtRG40, RG41
Dialling code0118
PoliceThames Valley
FireRoyal Berkshire
AmbulanceSouth Central
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK ParliamentWokingham
WebsiteBarkham
List of places
UK
England
Berkshire

Coordinates: 51°24′07″N 0°52′34″W / 51.402°N 0.876°W / 51.402; -0.876

Barkham is a village and civil parish in the borough of Wokingham in Berkshire, England, located around 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of the town of Wokingham.

Geography

The old part of Barkham is the small settlement by the parish church at grid reference SU781666 and close to Barkham Street. However most of the population lives in the north-east of the parish, around the post office, or in the Arborfield Garrison, which is largely in Barkham, as is the REME Museum of Technology. It is a rural parish, mostly consisting of dairy farmland and woods, despite being surrounded by the town of Wokingham and the large villages of Winnersh, Arborfield Cross and Finchampstead.

Manor

Barkham Manor house in winter

The toponym "Barkham" is derived from the Old English bercheham meaning "birch home" referring to the birch trees on the edge of Windsor Forest. The name evolved via forms including Berkham' in the 14th century and Barcombe in the 18th century.

In King Edward III's reign the income from Barkham Manor helped to pay for the rebuilding of Windsor Castle and, not long afterwards, timber from Barkham was sent to make the roof of Westminster Abbey.

For many centuries the manor house was a secondary home of the Bullock family. The Bull Inn public house in Barkham is named in reference to their surname. The Bullocks had inherited the manor from the family of William Neville, a 13th-century valet to Saint Thomas Cantilupe, the Bishop of Hereford and Chancellor of England, from whom the manor was originally bought.

The present manor house is a late 18th-century Georgian building of two wings of differing dates. Barkham had two moated farm-houses. One of these survives, having been divided into two cottages.

Parish church

The earliest known record of the Church of England parish church of Saint James dates from 1220. However, the present church building was built in 1860–61 or 1862. It was designed in a 13th-century Gothic Revival style by the architects J.B. Clacy and Son of Reading. The chancel and transepts were added or rebuilt in 1887. The building retains two features from the earlier church: a late 13th-century wooden memorial effigy of a woman, and the late 18th-century baptismal font.

The bell-tower has a ring of four bells cast in 1863 by John Warner and Sons of Cripplegate in the City of London.

Rev. David Davies (1741–1819) was Rector of Barkham from 1782 until his death in 1819. He studied the condition of the labouring poor, recorded statistics of their wages, cost of food, etc. in various districts of England and Scotland. He published his findings in 1785 in the form of a book called Cases of Labourers in Husbandry Stated and Considered.

Rev. Peter Ditchfield, FSA (1854–1930) was Rector of Barkham from 1886 until his death. He was a Freemason, historian and prolific author. With William Page he co-edited three Berkshire volumes of the Victoria County History, which were published in 1907, 1923 and 1924.

Social and economic history

Another prominent farming family, that of Ball, is erroneously said to be that of George Washington's mother, Mary Ball Washington. They lived in the parish from the late 15th to the mid-17th century, but William Ball, the man once thought to have emigrated to Virginia and become Mary's great grandfather, may have actually died in London and his family lived in the East Berkshire area for at least two more generations. This is still disputed by American relatives of Mary Ball.

An open field system of farming prevailed in the parish until early in the 19th century. Parliament passed the Inclosure Act for Barkham in 1813, but it was not implemented until 1821.

Parish Council

Barkham Parish Council meets regularly at Barkham Village Hall. It has 10 councillors that are elected by the parish residents for a term of four years.

Residents Association

Barkham Village Residents’ Association (“BVRA”) was formed in 1987, initially in response to a Planning Application for housing development within the Coombes - a woodland rich in a diversity of wildlife and designated an area of special scientific interest. Planning issues remain an interest of the BVRA.

After the threat to the Coombes subsided, the BVRA continues to contribute to Barkham's community spirit by running social events and the production of a quarterly newsletter and website.

Village hall

Barkham Village Hall is next to St James' parish church and is owned and run by its users.

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