Hamstead Marshall | West Berkshire Villages

Hamstead Marshall is a civil and ecclesiastical parish four miles west of Newbury, in the south-west of Berkshire, on the border with Hampshire.Hamstead’s 1,852 acres (750 hectares) are predominantly farmland, with a good proportion of woodland, most of which has been in existence for centuries. To the north runs the river Kennet, and to the south the river Enborne. Hampstead Park, originally a Norman deer park, takes up about 300 acres.The population of 275 (2011) is scattered around the parish in a series of hamlets: Ash Tree Corner, Chapel Corner, Holtwood, Irish Hill, and the area around Hamstead Mill, the river Kennet and the church.St Mary’s church stands on a hill overlooking the river Kennet. A twelfth-century construction of flint and rubble, it underwent major renovations in 1893 and in 1929. Today the church parish is part of the united benefice of West Woodhay, Enborne, Inkpen and Combe.  A Congregationalist chapel was built in 1844. In 1936 it was converted to a private house. The White Hart Inn has served the village from at least the early nineteenth century, and probably much earlier. A village school was founded in the 1820s, but falling rolls closed it in 1933, and the building has become the village hall, now hosting regular village events such as a monthly market, classes and parties, as well as being available for private hire. More information on Hamstead Marshall can be found on the village website, and the website of Hamstead Marshall parish council.

By kind permission of Penny Stokes

Village Hall

The village hall is in Park Lane: about 200 yards north of Ash Tree Corner, about 400 yards west of the Craven Arms, and about 300 yards east of the White Hart. Turn north at Ash Tree Corner. It is marked X on the map opposite.
The postcode RG20 0HL.
At the village hall there is :- 
Community market (monthly)
Parish council (bi-monthly)
St Mary's parochial church council
Enborne & Hamstead Marshall Garden Society
Young Farmers
Oil painting classes (Monday afternoons)
Dog training classes (various, occasional)
Dancing, pilates, yoga and tai chi classes (occasional)

Food & Drink

The local pub is the White Hart, which offers a full menu, extensive wine list and has accommodation

Health

The local doctors surgery is the Kintbury Surgery

Transport

There is the No 3 bus from  Newbury to Kintbury

School

There is primary school at Enbourne.

Church

The Church is St Mary's. 

Parish Council

There is a parish council.

Hamstead Marshall has three sites of medieval motte-and-bailey castles, all on private land, with one a possible site of Newbury Castle All are registered historic monuments. William Marshall, who became Earl of Pembroke, was a loyal knight to four kings: Henry II, Richard I, King John, and Henry III and this is when the Marshall suffix was added to the village. The manor house continued to be owned and used by kings and queens throughout the centuries, until it was sold in 1613. 

The village was from 1620 until the 1980s the seat of the Earls of Craven. William Craven built a mansion there, originally intended as a residence for Charles I's sister, Elizabeth of Bohemia, although she died before construction began. It burnt down in 1718. The Cravens later expanded a hunting lodge to live in instead, and this still stands, privately occupied, in the centre of Hamstead Park. Until the mid-twentieth century the Craven family owned most of the village, but successive sales by the estate put almost all the houses into private ownership by 1980, most of them now owner-occupied. About 17 houses are owned by Sovereign Housing Association.

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