The Broadway

At the top of the Broadway near where the millennium monument stands today once stood the Whipping Post, Stocks and a Maypole. The maypole eventually became unsafe and in c.1865 was removed. Like many towns Thatcham had at least one set of stocks and whipping post with the last person to be placed in the stocks recorded, in 1852, as Thomas Blake, alias Berkshire Blake. It is said that this was on a particularly wet day and that one local, Mrs Sarah Barfield, protected him from the rain with her umbrella.

A market was operating in Thatcham by 1135. The market cross though is claimed to date to the 15th century although it may have replaced an earlier structure. The market cross was still there in 1815, although significantly decayed with the stepped base and a small part of the upright shaft remaining.

The land where the Pinnocks coal yard once stood, together with surrounding land and properties was sold in the 1980s. Pinnock’s last day of trading in the Broadway was on 2nd November 1985, the yard soon being developed to become the Kingsland Centre. Pinnock’s moved to new premises in Pipers Lane, which itself was undergoing development at the same time.

This and many more historical facts can be found on the interpretation panels in the Broadway, please do take a look. One is located near the millennium monument/toilet block and the other is at the southern end of the green.