Brightwalton | West Berkshire Villagers

The Parish of Brightwalton, in West Berkshire lies to the south of the Berkshire Downs midway between Wantage and Newbury. The 350 houses within the village are scattered into five main clusters over the 2,054 acres that make up the Parish. Brightwalton is one of a number of Downland villages on the Berkshire Downs, stretching from Lambourn to Streatley, all in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The North Wessex Downs AONB now has a Management Partnership, which includes all 11 district authorities.

Brightwalton | West Berkshire Villagers: Amenities and Facilities

There is a large village hall, with two rooms. There is a Facebook page. It is disabled friendly, there is a kitchen and a car park with a Park boasting outstanding views and a children’s play area. It is the venue for all kinds of functions and can seat up to 150. There is preschool and every Tuesday night there is circuit training. The hall is available for hire. There is a telephone box library- bring a book, take a book.

The Downland Gardening Club meets on the third Monday of each month, coffee, biscuits, raffle and chat, social events, with regular guest speakers’ mail:

The Berkshire Young Farmers club meet at Brightwalton Village Hall alternative Wednesdays. Contact is by email

There is also the Brickleton babes(0-4 years) and Pre School (3-5 yrs).

The Village Hall, Common Lane, Brightwalton, Newbury, Berkshire. RG20 7 DH

Brightwalton | West Berkshire Villagers: Food and Drink 

Saddlebacks is a popular farm shop serving Food and Drink and a host of local food.

Brightwalton | West Berkshire Villagers: Schools

Brightwalton C of E Primary SchoolThe school has a Good Ofsted rating. 

Brightwalton | West Berkshire Villagers: Sports

Circuit Training runs every Tuesday night in the village hall from 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm. £2 a session.

Brightwalton has an established cricket team, based at the village hall and enjoying friendly  Sunday afternoon games. The chairman is Nigel Smith at

Brightwalton | West Berkshire Villagers: Communication

There is a village website and the Brickleton news.

Brightwalton | West Berkshire Villagers: Church

All Saint’s Church is part of the Downland Benefice and holds a service at 8am every 2nd Sunday and at every 4th Sunday of the month.

Rector: Rev. Miri Keen 01488 649927

Brightwalton | West Berkshire Villagers: Health

The local doctors are the Downland Practice. There is a local village agent, E mail: The village agent project aims to increase and improve the ways in which people can find and benefit from services in rural areas. For more information contact the coordinator Gill Comely on 01635 581001 or EMail: Is outside the village hall.

Brightwalton | West Berkshire Villagers: Transport

There is a local bus service. The handibus bus operates in Brightwalton and the Downland Volunteer Group. Tel: 01635 578394.

Brightwalton | West Berkshire Villagers: Local History

The parish of Brightwalton is situated on the southern slope of the Downs. It has a population of 366. It comprises of just over 2000 acres, it is a mixed area of arable and mixed farming. There are no streams in the parish, but nearly all the water drains into the winterbourne. In 939 King Althesan granted to Eadulfu 15 hides which were given to Abingdon Abbey. It changed hands several times until, the manor was sold to Rev. Philip Wroughton of Woolley Park in 1800, later Brightwalton Manor was inherited by Sir Philip Wroughton. All Saints church in Brightwalton is mentioned in the Doomsday book, only a few traces remain though.  Building was demolished in 1863, replaced by a gothic revival. It was designed by George Edmund Street. At the time, he was the chief architect to the Diocese of Oxford and during the rebuild he could use some of the original 13th century features, he also designed the school. There is a framed photograph on the South Wall shows what the Saxon Church once looked like. This parish was entitled to have two boys educated at the school at Chaddleworth by the will of William Saunders, the church advowson of the rectory passed down with the Manor House and its Lords, the present patron is Sir Philip Wrougton. The Village Hall, with its original timber frame, is used for many forms of entertainment. In the 1930’s a travelling cinema used to visit, village football teams, cricket teams and ladies’hockey teams all used the Hall.  In the 1940’s the Americans from the Welford base would often come over for dances. More recently it is used for other activities including the nursery school. It was rebuilt 1976 and then extended in 2000. The holt lies on the busy B4494, historically an important stopping place for travellers with a pub, a farm and several cottages. In the 19th century there was grocery store, bakery, a garage and petrol station. The Marquis of Granby Inn stood in the middle of the holt and dated back to the middle 18th century, it ceased trading in the 1980’s and was sold and divided into two houses. In 1887 a dozen skeletons, two of which were headless, were found in the grounds of the inn. Holt Common, known as Cow Common in the 18th century, stretched to either side. Villagers could graze their animals on the common, but by 1870 the majority of the land had been enclosed and claimed by the farms. Dunmore pond is to the west of them centre of the village. It originally supplied water for animals, fields and houses. It is now a conservation area. The war memorial is recognised as Berkshire’s oldest war memorial; it is a much-treasured war memorial in Brightwalton’s history.

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