Local History Society





Much of this Timeline was extracted from the History document compiled by the Women's Institute in 1922.





Celtic burial place established on the site of Arborfield Court, and discovered in 1906. Several urns contained bones and pieces of pottery.


The 'Attrebates' from Gaul and Belgium inhabited settlements in this area.  William Standen - who died in 1639 - claimed to be descended from the Attrebates.

ca. 1042

John Siemonds, a Saxon squire, lived on the south side of Arborfield. He was arraigned for ecclesiastical misdemeanours by the Prior of Sonning on behalf of the Bishop of Ramsbury.


Abbot Elsi, Lord of the Manor, outlawed. Replaced by Osmond Bullock of Edburgfeld.


Arborfield mentioned in Domesday Book as belonging to the lordship of the Bishop of Sonning. Fisheries at Shinfield valued at 550 eels per year, and the Mill Pool at 150 eels.


First mention of the old "Wooden Chapel of Edburgefeld", dedicated after St. Bartholomew, and dependent on the Church of Sonning, from where it received oil and chrism (consecrated oil). The building is described to be in a disgracefully ruinous state, and shamefully desecrated. "The churchyard was over-run with cattle and uprooted by pigs". The Salisbury Diocesan Record adds that the aged priest of Edburgefeld who lived at the Manor House with Richard Bulloc, was so blind that he could not see to read.


Gilbert Bullock held the Lordship.  He was made King's Reeve in 1275 i.e. a Trustee or Bailiff of the Crown Lands, which he had charge of, and had to keep order among the people in the district.


From the Calendar of the Rolls for Henry III: "The like (Exemption) at the instance of Robert Falonis of Gilbert Bulloo of Hereburgefeld: from being made forester, agister, regarder and other baileff of the King against his will".


Church rebuilt of chalk and flint, in the reign of Henry III, with a wooden tower at the West end, carried on 4 wooden posts, and containing 5 of the 6 bells used in the current St. Bartholomew's Church.

ca. 1270

'Bound Oak'  between Arborfield and Swallowfield parishes was a sapling.


Robert Bullock, as King's Reeve, investigated the case for Agnes Neville, daughter and heiress of Sir William Neville, Lord of the Manor of Barkham. She claimed that a traitor to the King, Edward III, Lord John Mantravers of Finchampstead, had stolen some of her lands. Robert Bullock found this was so, and got her back her lands, after which he married her to his son Gilbert, so joining the property, and the lords of the two manors, into one, as they remained from 1340 to 1600. A wooden figure lying in the porch of Barkham Church is supposed to be this lady.


The Parish is mentioned in the Exchequer Rolls: - "Ebourwefel: Thomas Eleyre, John of Newland, Robert the smith, and Adam the fowler, being sworn as to the value of the ninths of sheaves, fleeces and lands of Ebourwefel say upon oath, that the aforesaid ninths are worth at their highest value, five marks, in witness thereof the aforesaid Thomas, John, Robert and Adam have appended their seals to this schedule.


The Parish contained 29 inhabited houses and 2 uninhabited; 42 families, 171 people (the same size of population as in 1800) 


Robert Bullock appointed Commissioner for the Conservancy of the River Thames, his duties being "to survey the Thames, and its tributaries in the counties of Berks, Bucks, and Oxfordshire, and to hear and determine all offenses against the Statute of Magna Carta and other statutes, concerning the erection of weirs, mills, stanks, piles and kiddles."


Thomas Bullock, who returned from France in 1544 having supplied  8 Archers and 13 Billmen with horses for the war with France, died and bequeathed many items to the Church at Arborfield.


Death of Thomas Bullock, who had sold his principal estates, which are described as "the Manors of Arberfield, Barkham, Hurst, Ockingham, Shingfield and Earley" to one Edward Standen of "Chancery" for 4000, with the proviso that Thomas Bullock should remain in occupation at an annual rent of 150.


The name 'Arborfield' first appeared



Jacobean Manor House of Arborfield built by Edward Standen; architect was believed to be John Thorpe, who also built Bramshill House in Hampshire, and Holland House in London.  Edward fell in unrequited love with 'Molly Mogg' of the Rose Inn, immortalised in a poem written jointly by Pope, Gay and Arbuthnot.


Church remodelled - a beam was found with this date inscribed on it. In 1860's, it was placed over the entrance to the Conroy Chapel.


William Standen, husband of Mary Backhouse, died. Tomb is now at the back of the 1863 church.


Henry Lucas left 7000 in his Will to be expended on building and endowing an almshouse or hospital in the county of Berks. Arborfield and Hurst were two of the Parishes included in the list of those whose aged poor could be housed in the Lucas Hospital, as decided by the Drapers' Company


The Bull Inn was mentioned in a Deed from this year., so it predated 1707.

ca. 1730

Edward Standen died; Arborfield Hall sold to Pelsant Reeves of Yorkshire.


On 17th April, 13 Oaks on Bigshot Walk  were felled by licence granted by Charles, Lord Cornwallis, to John Middleton, on condition that the Venison weren't harmed.


Stocks and Whipping Post paid for on Church's Accounts.


Old Post Office occupied by a clockmaker called Crutchfield. One of his watches was in the possession of Mrs. Bentley in 1922. (The Bentleys had connections with the village since at least 1762).

ca. 1790

Elmira Reeves married George Dawson of Osgodley Hall, Yorkshire. The Dawsons were descended from Edward III through his son Lionel, Duke of Clarence. Arborfield Hall was destroyed by fire during his tenure.


Memorial in York Cathedral (Minster?): "To the memory of Pelsant Reeves of Arborfield in the County of Berks. Esq., Captain in the 1st (or Royal) Regement. He fell in the Battle of Toulon. 30th Nobr. 1793 in the 29th year of his age. His brother George Dawson inscribes this.


Henry Hodgkinson took over as Rector. Reputedly, one of his duties as private chaplain to Lord Braybrooke was to "see Lord Braybrooke's guests under the table", and  "as a reward for such a steady head" he was given the living of Arborfield


George Pelsant Dawson born. Later J.P. for Berkshire and for East & West Ridings of Yorkshire and Deputy Lieutenant of Yorkshire.


Caleb Edward Yeacocke was paid one Guinea to be Constable. He was a Newland Overseer of the Poor, though living in Arborfield. His son, also Caleb Edward Jeacock, was Bailiff to the Newlands Estate from age 19 to his death at 95, becoming Overseer after his father.


'Bear Wood' - part of the Windsor Forest - sold to John Walter, founder of the 'Times' newspaper.

ca. 1837

George Pelsant Dawson rebuilt Arborfield Hall, but sold it before completion to Sir John Conroy., Controller to the household of the Duchess of Kent, Mother of Queen Victoria. Victoria ascended to the Throne that year, and dispensed with the services of Sir John, who came to live in Arborfield. He - and George Dawson before him - lived in the Farmhouse while the Hall was being built. The Farmhouse came to be known as Arborfield Grange.


Sir John Warren Hayes, Baronet, became Rector, building a new Rectory. Retired in 1879. (Note: Richard Hayes was Rector from 1755 to his death in 1796).


Edward Conroy wished to divert the Drive to Arborfield Hall, which was also the public road to the Church, going from near the entrance to Arborfield Grange, which was then only a farm house, in a direct line to the Church, diagonally across a piece of the Park called Church Close.  Also another road called the Cross Road, which went from the Newland Road into the Causeway (the road going from Arborfield Cross to the bridge over the river) leaving the Lake now in the Grange grounds on the right.


Queen Victoria passed through village on way to Stratfield Saye on 20th January and returning on 23rd; she changed horses at the Bull Inn, where a Triumphal Arch had been erected for the occasion.


Arborfield Hall sold to Mr. and Mrs, Thomas Hargreaves. Mrs. Hargreaves, from Philadelphia,  found she was related to the Dawsons through an American branch of the family. The Paper Mill was later used to generate electricity for the electric light in the Hall., presumably after it had been gutted by fire.


The Old Church had fallen into such bad repair, that it was thought advisable to build a new one. Mr Hargreaves' grandfather, Sir William Brown, generously offered to build it. The foundation stone was laid in August 1862: Sir J. W. Hayes, Rector. Richard Wells, Henry Englefield, Churchwardens. Alexander Buchanan, Curate.  James Taylor later recollected that he had helped to pull down the Church Tower; the men put a rope round the wooden steeple and first pulled it over, it was so rotten.  The rubble from the Church was used to make up the road across the big field from Arborfield Hall Farm to "Cocklebury mansions", the 2 old Tudor Cottages, standing by the land and the big field, pulled down Oct. 1926.


Dedication of new Church on June 19th by Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford.


Ellen, daughter of Rev. Sir John Warren Hayes, married John Simonds. 


On 23rd February, the " Vane on the top of the Dove-Cot swung from the year 1631 on the Steeple of the Old Church at Arborfield to the year 1869, when the Deserted Church having become ruinous was taken down, and the Vane became the property of Sir Edward Conroy Baronet. It was put upon this Dove-Cot at Arborfield Grange in recollection of the old and picturesque Church of Arborfield".


The Farmhouse, having been enlarged by Sir Edward and Lady Alicia Conroy, and renamed Arborfield Grange, was sold by son Sir John Conroy to Capt. and Mrs. Stuart Rickman.


Parish Council of Newland first met.  At this time, Arborfield Parish used to have Annual Meetings.


Curate Joshua Anderson of Blackheath became Rector of Arborfield, remaining in post till retiring in 1945.


Army Remount Depot opened; initially rented from Mr A F Walter of Bearwood, then purchased.


Rev. Llewellyn Bullock came as 'locum tenens' in September - and compiled his family's history at around this time.


Arborfield Grange sold on Capt. Rickman's death to Colonel and Mrs. Churcher.


In March, the Celtic Cross was placed on the Green at the Crossroads as a War Memorial.


The Village Hall was opened, built on ground given by Mr John Simonds of Newlands and his son, Mr J. H. Simonds. Mr Simonds also started the fund for the building four years before


The Standen Tomb and Edward Standen's mural monument moved from the Old Church to the new building, along with the wooden font.


The Tudor Altar Rails moved from Old Church to the Rectory for safe keeping; then placed in 1946 into the new building.

late 1990's

Roman Pottery discovered when building the Badger's Mount estate on the site of the old Arborfield Brick and Tile Works. 



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