The small village of East Garston is located alongside the River Lambourn and set amidst the stunning countryside of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The village has a local pub, while Great Shefford has a local shop.
Nearby Lambourn has several everyday amenities, including village stores, a post office, a doctors’ surgery and a pharmacy.
The historic market town of Newbury, with its excellent choice of shops, restaurants, pubs and leisure facilities is 10 miles away.
The area is well connected for transport, with the M4 less than four miles away, while Hungerford mainline station offers services to London Paddington (1 hour).
Noted independent schools in the area include Thorngrove, Horris Hill, St. Gabriel’s, Downe House, Cheam, Brockhurst and Marlston House, Elstree and Marlborough College.
There are many opportunities for walking around East Garston, a pub and a church- plus the Garstonbury Festival.
EAST GARSTON | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES | AMENITIES AND FACILITIES
There is a village hall that is available for hire and hosts Toddler Groups, Film Clubs, Games Nights, Theatre, Bowls, Bazaars, Community Lunches and Dances. A Morris Dancing Group – the Garston Gallopers. At the village Hall on a Monday, it has – Pilates, Garston Gallopers (Morris Dancing), billiards club and a cribbage club. Tuesdays, on the first Tuesday of the month, it has a film club. Wednesday as a pool club, Thursday Pilates and Table tennis club. It has a toddler group, quiz night, dances, games nights, theatre, bowls, bazaars and community lunches. Email: email@example.com. The mobile library calls every third Thursday at East Garston Village Hall at 3.00- 3.20 pm. (Route R). There is an allotment society and local history society, over 60’s coffee club.
EAST GARSTON | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES | FOOD & DRINK
The Queens Arms has a large friendly bar serving local ales, a wide selection of spirits and an extensive wine list. Extensive dining areas serving delicious menus with an emphasis on local and seasonal produce. Large relaxing patio and south facing enclosed garden – children and dogs welcome!
It also has accommodation where all rooms are individually styled and beautifully decorated. Seriously comfortable beds, crisp linen, soft towels and complementary REN toiletries. Flat screen TV’s and superfast broadband available in all rooms.
The Queens Lodge is a traditional oak beamed lodge with large south facing private garden. Ideal for all bespoke events, parties, weddings, anniversaries. Perfect private location for conferences, executive board meetings or office team events.
The Daily Telegraph has voted it as one of the top pubs in the England in 2018.
There is also Priscilla’s Kitchen for bespoke catering.
EAST GARSTON | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES | COMMUNICATION
There is an excellent village website and there is a Facebook page.
There are notice boards, East Garston News is an irregular email newsletter, a website and Village Views is a monthly magazine.
EAST GARSTON | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES |CHURCH
The Church is All Saints Church.
All Saints Church part of the Lamborn Valley Benefice. There are regular Holy Communion Services at 09.00, on the second and fourth Sunday of the month.
The Quakers is at The Friends Meeting house, East Garston, every Sunday at 11.00am. Contact Phoebe Fennell on 01488 208407.
The church is in a peaceful area on the edge of the village and is approached through the grounds of the adjacent Manor Farm. It is a Late Norman (1190AD) cruciform building of flint, with a later south aisle and porch and a north chancel chapel. The church was rescued from a state of poor repair by the Victorians and little of the original building remains visible apart from the Norman door inside the south porch. The Victorian stained glass installed in all the windows is noteworthy, being painted by Nathanial Westlake, as are the wall painting of the Tree of Jesse in the nave, and the painting of the Nativity on the reredos in the chapel. The tower contains a ring of six bells which are rung regularly for normal Sunday services as well as for Weddings and sometimes Funerals and Baptisms. The church is mentioned in the updated Pevsner Guide to the Buildings of Berkshire, published in 2010.
In addition to the regular services of Holy Communion at 9.00am on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, there are festival and group services as well as family services for Christingle, Nativity, Mothering Sunday, and Harvest Festival with children taking an active part.
The church is there for everyone, a place of celebration and happiness as well as a refuge for worship, tranquillity, peace and prayer. Many parishioners, of varying levels of commitment volunteer to help in a myriad of ways and are happy to be associated with the church. We welcome all people not just regular churchgoers and would love to be thought of as lively, vibrant and forward looking, not bound by the past, but respectful of tradition.
EAST GARSTON | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES |ENVIRONMENT
Although the Parish is predominantly a residential area, there are a number of small businesses, an agricultural machinery business and a number of farms and racehorse training stables. Racing is the primary industry in the valley which has developed due to the ideal training conditions on the surrounding chalk downs. There is a thriving diverse wildlife and nature reserves throughout the Lambourn Valley and there are regular litter picking days.
EAST GARSTON | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES |HEALTH
The Lambourn Surgery is the main surgery in the area.
EAST GARSTON | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES | TRANSPORT
The main bus route is from Lambourn to Newbury. Lambourn Valley Volunteer Group covers this area. There offices are open Monday and Thursday 10.00-12.00.Tel no : 01488 75136.
EAST GARSTON | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES |PARISH COUNCIL
The Parish Council owns and administers the East Garston village website for the benefit of the community. It contains all of the official documents for the Parish Council but also aims to enable you to learn more about our community.
EAST GARSTON | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES |RACING
There are three stables in East Garston – Jo Davis at Parson’s Close Stables, Jose Santos at Mabberleys Stables and Natalie Lloyd -Beavis at Parson’s Stables.
EAST GARSTON | WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES | HISTORY
The name East Garston is of Saxon origin, originally Agar’s Tun. A tun was Saxon for a village or farmstead. As was Saxon for God and gar meant spear, thus the spear of God. Asgar is also recorded as Ansgar or Esgar, and was said to be the “hero of Hastings”, where he was badly wounded defending the English Standard on 14th October 1066. Asgar was a procurer of horses for the king, and owned land in several counties. He witnessed many of Edward the Confessor’s charters, and also the queen mother’s will. He appears to have held all the cultivated land of the Lambourn Hundred, which encompassed East Garston. East Garston or Esgareston was held by Eva de Tracey in a number of documents dating from the 1200s, including the “Testa de Neville”. It was known locally as Argason.
The Victoria County History of West Berkshire records that the village was called Esegarestun in the 12th century, Hesegerton in the 13th century, Esgarton in the 14th century and Argarston or Estgarston in the 16th century. The introduction of the “T” was an early corruption.