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History Month Fact 18: William Northway

William Northway, in his will dated 25th November, 1820, left to the churchwardens and overseers of the parish of Thatcham a large the sum of money. The income from this, he directed this should be divided in two halves and paid out annually; one half was to be distributed equally between the three oldest single poor men of the parish, and the other half was to be spent on providing bread for the poor of the parish.Read more

History Month Fact 17: Population and employment

By 1851 Thatcham had a population of 2,861, and although many of its inhabitants still worked on the land, others were now employed in such industries as wood-turning (carried on by firms like Brown's and Pinnocks in the Broadway) and paper-making (carried on at Colthrop Mills)...Read more

History Month Fact 16: Thomas White

In 1540 a lease on Colthrop Mill was granted to Thomas White and his wife, Agnes. By this time the premises were described as “... a fulling (cloth) mill, lately new built, together with a tenement (house) adjoining”; there was also some land mentioned in the lease. In 1541 the annual rent of the mill, the tenement and the land was stated to be £4.Read more

History Month Fact 15: Water Pumps

Beau Nash in 1754 organises water pumps on the Bath Road to keep the dust down from passing traffic. There are still the remains of or replacements for five of them today, at intervals along the side of the Bath Road (A4) in Thatcham. The pump at the head of the Broadway is, however, believed to be the parish pump.Read more

History Month Fact 14: Church Properties

A written survey lists the properties of Thatcham church which include the vicarage house with two little gardens and an acre of ground, 2 ½ acres in a close, an acre of arable land, tithes from several smaller areas of arable land and pasture for cows.Read more

History Month Fact 13: Thomas Sare

In 1398 Thomas Sare of Thatcham, the miller at Colthrop, is fined six shillings (a large sum in those days) because he and his family, with force and arms, tore up trees and shrubs belonging to John Shilford, lord of the manor of Colthrop.Read more

History Month Fact 12: Chamberhouse

The estate of Chamberhouse seems to have been so called from its owner, Roger de la Chambre, who was living there in the year 1250. Additional evidence of the identity of the locality may be found in the fact that the road leading from it to Thatcham, being one of the boundaries of the estate, is called Chamber Lane in a document dated as 1384. It was not until about the middle of the fifteenth century that a royal grant was made to the then owner of the estate of the rights and privileges attaching to a manor. Before that date it formed part of the manor of Crookham.Read more

History Month Fact 11: Manor of Colthrop

In old documents the name of the Manor of Colthrop is spelt differently, Cold-throp, Col-thorp, Cole-trop, and in Domesday Crochestrope. The suffix 'throp' or 'thorp' means a village, while the affix 'Col' is probably a corruption of the Domesday name of 'Croche'...Read more

History Month Fact 10: Sir William de Montacute

In 1343 Sir William de Montacute, the first Earl of Salisbury, lord of Crookham manor, dies and is succeeded by his son William. Shortly thereafter the lower portion of the tower of the parish church is built in the Decorated style by his widow Katherine, and an arch is formed in the west wall of the nave.Read more

History Month Fact 9: Thatcham Hundred

In c.1276 the old hundred of Thatcham is divided into the hundreds of Faircross and Reading. Mention is made of the house known as Henwick used by Reading Abbey for the supervision of land and collection of rents.Read more