The village of Kintbury is a quiet, pretty area in West Berkshire between the towns of Newbury and Hungerford.Kintbury, on the River Kennet, is one of the largest parishes in West Berkshire.
Kintbury is thought to date back to the 10th century and possibly as far back as the seventh century.
Now, it provides a quiet place to live with a direct train line into London with the Kennet and Avon Canal running through the centre of the village.
The village boasts three pubs- The Dundas Arms, The Prince of Wales and The Blue Ball.
Kintbury has a population of 2,534 making it one of the largest parishes in West Berkshire. The villagers feel the main benefits to living in Kintbury are it’s geographic location, the waterways, the open spaces and footpaths, the attractive surroundings.
KINTBURY-WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES: AMENITIES
There is Kintbury Coronation Hall. The hall plays an active role in village life, hosting theatre shows, movies, fetes, classes, clubs, Parish Council meetings and so, much more … There is also Preston Hall which runs the preschool and The Jubilee Centre, which hosts Sports Rugby Tots, Gymnastics Club, Junior Badminton, Little Pumas and Table Tennis. There is also a Youth Club. The Kennet & Avon Canal run through Kintbury.
KINTBURY-WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES: FOOD & DRINK
The Dundas Arms is a canal side / riverside pub and restaurant, which is dog friendly.
There is also Blandy’s Bistro. In a beautiful setting, they offer a modern menu with twist. The Blue Ball has recently reopened which a pizza oven in the garden.
KINTBURY-WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES: SCHOOLS
There is Kintbury St. Mary’s Church of England Primary School.
KINTBURY-WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES: BUSES
There is the No 3 Service
KINTBURY-WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES: HEALTH
There is Kintbury & Woolton Hill Surgery.
KINTBURY-WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES: SPORT
There is Kintbury Joggers, a social running group, tennis, badminton, bowls, football and various smaller clubs and organisations.
KINTBURY-WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES: CHURCH
The Church is St Mary’s Church. Attached to the church is St Mary’s Room, which serves a number of purposes, including coffee mornings, computer café, church affiliated and community meetings and a “Brunch” following the All-Age Worship.
KINTBURY-WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES: TRANSPORT
There is a train station in Kintbury with a direct line to London. There is also the No 3 Bus going to Hungerford and Newbury.
KINTBURY-WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES: PARISH COUNCIL
There is a parish council with a website.
KINTBURY-WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES: ENVIRONMENT
There are the Kintbury Newt Ponds-Home to a breeding colony of the nationally-rare and protected great crested newt, the reserves provides ideal nesting conditions for a range of summer migratory birds. A precious local resource and the Canal and waterways.
KINTBURY-WEST BERKSHIRE VILLAGES: HISTORY
The name Kintbury refers to it’s place on the River Kennet.The name comes from Saxon Kennet-Byrig meaning ‘Fort on the River Kennet’. Kennet is, however, of Celtic origin, Cuno-etio, the same as the Roman settlement at Mildenhall (Wilts): possibly ‘Dog River’ though the reasoning is quite obscure. The lost fort may be represented by the modern ‘Forbury’. Many years ago a number of skeletons were dug up near the churchyard and more recent excavations have revealed a number of late Saxon pits, postholes and gullies in the same area. One pit contained an unusual deposit of two disarticulated skulls, long bones and a pelvis! There were also some nice domestic finds, such as a Saxon bone comb. All this may indicate the whereabouts of the Holy Place (probably a monastery) mentioned in the will of Thegn Wulfgar in AD 931. He owned the village of Inkpen which he left to “the servants of God at Kentbury and the Holy Place there”. The church was certainly a Saxon Minster, and the village may have been a Royal Estate.
After the conquest, Kintbury became one of Berkshire’s proto-towns and, in 1267, was granted the right to hold a weekly market and two three-day fairs on the feast days of the Virgin Mary and SS. Simon & Jude each year. Unfortunately, the village was eclipsed by nearby Hungerford in later centuries. The parish church, which is also dedicated to the Virgin Mary, dates from shortly after the Norman Conquest, and the bulk of the building (nave and chancel) dates from this time. The tower is slightly later (circa 1195) but also has a fine 15th century chequered addition to its upper levels. Legend says the previous belfry was blown down in a storm. The ‘Kintbury Great Bellinto the river and was prevented from being restored by the local witch! Inside the church are a number of imposing 18th century monuments to the Jemmett and Raymond families, featuring busts of the deceased. Phillip Jemmett, a London brewer, purchased the mansion of Barton Court in 1665 and his descendants, the Raymond and Dundas families, including Lord Amesbury, lived there until 1832.
Barton Court was one of the nine manors into which the parish is divided. Seven of them are mentioned in the Domesday Survey. Barton is more properly known as Kintbury-Amesbury because, in the middle ages, it was owned by nuns of Amesbury Abbey in Wiltshire. The land had been given to them by the wicked Queen Aelfthrith in recompense for the murder of her step-son, King Edward the Martyr. It covers the land north of the River Kennet. South of the river is Kintbury-Eaton, similarly, owned by nuns of Nuneaton Priory in Warwickshire, where, in Saxon times, the Sheriff of Berkshire kept his horses. Of the five lesser manors, Denford (Danes’ Ford) is said to have been where the Danes crossed the Kennet on their way to fight King Alfred at the Battle of Edington, although this was probably in Wiltshire rather than nearby Hungerford. Denford House was built for William Hallett in about 1810. It was later sold to the Cherry family, whose most famous son was Captain Scott’s companion, Apsley Cherry-Garrard. Along with Inglewood, it is recorded by name in the Domesday Survey. The ‘English Wood’ is now represented by Inglewood Park, one time home of the Blandys and the Dunns. Three sub-manors were carved out of Inglewood. Balsdon (alias Belletston or Inglewood Bellet) is sometimes referred to as a castle. The building has long gone, but a fine triple moat remains. It was a secondary manor of the Darell family from Littlecote Park. Though the infamous ‘Wild Will Darell’ lost his interest there during his lifetime and it was probably at Barton Court that he died after being obliged to give up Littlecote in order to pay for his crimes. He has a painted memorial in Kintbury parish church where he was buried in 1588. Anville’s Manor (alias Godingwood) also has an irregular moat, in Hightree Copse south of the present farm. Templeton (alias Temple Inglewood) was granted to the soldier-monks known as the Knights Templar by the Count of Meulan around 1088. Their main Berkshire residence was at Bisham Abbey. Titcombe Manor is interesting for it was held from the King in return for keeping one of his hawks. The manor of Wallingtons, like the hamlet of Wawcott, indicates a very ancient site inhabited by the Romano-British or ‘Welsh’ as the Saxons called them. The present house, south-west of the village, is early 17th century but was greatly altered by the Victorians.