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History Month Fact 31: Order of Silence

1913 A religious order known as the Order of Silence has a House of Silence built for them along Hermitage Road in Cold Ash. It closes by 1921 and the building later becomes the nucleus of Downe House School.Read more

History Month Fact 30: Hill House

1890 Hill House home for girls on the Ridge in Cold Ash is bought for the Church of England Children's Society and renamed St Mary's. In the 1930s the home changes over to caring for babies and young children...Read more

History Month Fact 29: St Barnabus

Crookham C of E School, St Barnabus's School, is opened on Crookham Common in 1867, about 1/2 mile south of what is now Crookham Court. It has been built at the expense of Richard and Henry Tull of Crookham House. By 1992 it is a private dwelling...Read more

History Month Fact 28: Samuel Barfield

Around 1858, Samuel Barfield, son of John Barfield pays £60 for diverting Church Lane near the parish church and supplies iron railings and gravel. In 1860 the parish churchyard wall is built at his expense.Read more

History Month Fact 27: Borough Crafts

Some of the names of residents of the borough give an excellent guide to the crafts practiced in the town. These include; John the Taylor (1286AD), Richard de la Hammulle (Ham Mill) (1300AD), Humfray le Mol (Miller)(1300AD), Ralph Scriptor (Writer)(1300AD), Walter le Wodeward (Gamekeeper) (1323AD) and John Weaver (1425AD).Read more

History Month Fact 26: Open Fields

Around 1820 the last of Thatcham's open fields are enclosed under the Enclosure Award of 1817. The Award is made mainly on the basis that it will lead to better farming practice. However, the enclosures become one of the main causes of rural unemployment and depopulation...Read more

History Month Fact 25: Bluecoat Boys

In 1819 Forty boys in the Bluecoat School are clothed and educated under the terms of the Lady Frances Winchcombe trust. A further 40 to 50 boys are educated on payment of a small subscription. All are taught reading writing and arithmetic.Read more

History Month Fact 24: Local Industry

A rather specialised local industry was that of making sacks, rope and twine. This was carried out in a small factory of Carter and Son at Newtown along the Bath Road to the west of the village near St Johns Road. Here Albert Carter employed a total of ten (three men, two boys, three women and two girls).Read more

History Month Fact 23: Local Government

Local government in the 1880's was a rare source of employment, so much that the only full time representative was W M Draper who lived in The Broadway. He was Registrar for Births, Deaths and Marriages. He was also Relieving Officer, which meant that he was personally involved in distributing charity to those in need, as well as being Vaccination Officer and School Attendance Officer...Read more

History Month Fact 22: Charles Wheeler

During the 1880’s there were about half a dozen smithies in the parish, probably the largest was that of Charles Wheeler near the King's Head in the Broadway (or Broad Street as it was then known). He employed three men who were probably members of his family, Charles, George and William...Read more