Place:Caversham, Berkshire, England

Watchers
NameCaversham
Alt namesCauressource: Domesday Book (1985) p 35
Caveshamsource: Domesday Book (1985) p 35
TypeSuburb
Coordinates51.467°N 0.967°W
Located inBerkshire, England     (1911 - )
Also located inOxfordshire     ( - 1911)
See alsoReading, Berkshire, Englandoriginal town or borough of Reading of which Caversham became a part in 1911
Reading Borough, Berkshire, Englandunitary authority replacing town of Reading
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Caversham is today a suburb in the unitary authority of Reading, in the royal county of Berkshire, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames on the opposite bank from the rest of Reading. Caversham Bridge, Reading Bridge and Caversham Lock (pedestrian only) provide crossing points, with Sonning Bridge a few miles east of Caversham.

Caversham was an urban district and part of Oxfordshire until 1911, when it was transferred to Berkshire and became part of the county borough of Reading.

Caversham is mostly residential, and extends from the River Thames floodplain up to just south of the Chilterns. There are a number of distinct neighbourhoods: Caversham Heights, Lower Caversham, Caversham Park Village and Emmer Green. With the exception of the centre of Caversham and Emmer Green, which were traditional villages, most of the development occurred during the twentieth century.


History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The first written description of Caversham appeared in the Domesday Book. This entry indicates that a sizable community had developed with a considerable amount of land under cultivation.

Some time before 1106 a Shrine of Our Lady was established in Caversham. Its precise location is unknown, but it may have been near the present St Peter's Church. It became a popular place of pilgrimage, along with the chapel of St. Anne on the bridge and her well, whose waters were believed to have healing properties. By the 15th century the statue was plated in silver; Catherine of Aragon is recorded as visiting on 17 July 1532. The shrine was destroyed on 14 September 1538 under the orders of Henry VIII. Only the well survives, now dry and surrounded by a protective wall, topped with a domed iron grill. A modern shrine to Our Lady has been re-established at the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady and St. Anne.

In the Middle Ages Caversham Manor was one of the demesnes of William Marshal (1146 or 47 – 1219), Earl of Pembroke and regent during King Henry III's minority. It was the place of his death.

The medieval community was clustered on the north side of Caversham Bridge east of St. Peter's Church, which was built in the 12th century. The third Earl of Buckingham donated the land for the church and neighbouring rectory, together with a considerable amount of land around it, to the Augustinian Abbey of Notley near Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, these lands were given to Christchurch College, Oxford.[1] The rectory stood in what is now Caversham Court public park.

In the Civil War there was fierce fighting around Caversham Bridge for a short time in April 1643.[2] Reading had been held by Royalists and was besieged by a Parliamentary force under the Earl of Essex. Royalists marched south from Oxford to try to relieve the town's defenders but were heavily defeated, and the town fell to the Parliamentarians a few days later.

The fortified manor house was replaced by Caversham Park in the 16th century. Several houses have stood on the site, notably the home of William Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan. The present Caversham Park House, built in 1850, is occupied by BBC Monitoring, which is a section of the BBC World Service that analyses news, information and comment gathered from mass media around the world. It is also the premises of the BBC Written Archives Centre and BBC Radio Berkshire.

Research Tips

Maps

  • GENUKI's collection of maps for Berkshire. For basic reference are the two online maps Berkshire Parishes and Berkshire Poor Law Union areas. These locate the individual parishes and indicate the urban and rural districts to which each belonged. There are many other maps listed, some covering specific parts of the county.
  • Wikipedia's outline map of the unitary authorities, shown on many of their Berkshire pages, shows how the new divisions of government relate to the former districts. It has to be remembered that the county was reshaped in 1974 with the urban and rural districts of Abingdon and Faringdon and part of Wantage going to Oxfordshire, and the Borough of Slough (with Eton) coming in from Buckinghamshire. Every attempt is being made to indicate here in WeRelate the civil parishes, towns and villages for which these transfers occurred. Currently there are maps to be found on place pages that deal with civil parishes that transferred from Buckinghamshire into Berkshire. It is planned to provide maps within WeRelate for places that transferred from Berkshire to Oxfordshire.
  • The extensive collection provided by Genmaps is provided free of charge online.

Online Historical References

  • Berkshire Record Office. The Berkshire Record Office [BRO] was established in 1948 to locate and preserve records relating to the county of Berkshire and its people, and anyone who is interested in the county's past. As well as original documents, catalogues and indexes, there is a library at the Record Office.
  • Berkshire Family History Society Research Centre. "The Berks FHS Centre can help you - wherever your ancestors came from. There is a Research Centre Library open to all."
  • West Berkshire Museum, Newbury, housed in a building with an interesting past, but is currently closed for redevelopment. No information on their collections.
  • The GENUKI provision for Berkshire has been updated more recently than that for some of the other counties. A member of the Berkshire Family History Society is credited with this revision.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki on Berkshire explains the jurisdictions relating to civil affairs, parishes and probate (wills and testaments) for each parish in the county and also outlines when these jurisdictions were in existence. Alterations required to cover the post-1974 period have not been carried out for every parish concerned.
  • The Berkshire section of The Victoria History of the Counties of England, in four volumes, is online and provides an extensive history of the county, parish by parish, up to the end of the 19th century. Parishes are arranged in their original "hundreds", a fairly archaic scheme of dividing counties into reasonably sized sections.
  • Local History Online is a compilation of websites from Berkshire local history clubs, societies and associations.

Nineteenth Century Local Administration

English Jurisdictions is a webpage provided by FamilySearch which analyses every ecclesiastical parish in England at the year 1851. It provides, with the aid of outline maps, the date at which parish records and bishops transcripts begin, non-conformist denominations with a chapel within the parish, the names of the jurisdictions in charge: county, civil registration district, probate court, diocese, rural deanery, poor law union, hundred, church province; and links to FamilySearch historical records, FamilySearch Catalog and the FamilySearch Wiki. Two limitations: only England, and at the year 1851.

During the 19th century two bodies, the Poor Law Union and the Sanitary District, had responsibility for governmental functions at a level immediately above that covered by the civil parish. In 1894 these were replace by Rural and Urban Districts. These were elected bodies, responsible for setting local property assessments and taxes as well as for carrying out their specified duties. Thses districts continued in operation until 1974. Urban districts for larger municipalities were called "Municipal Boroughs" and had additional powers and obligations.

Poor Law Unions, established nationally in 1834, combined parishes together for the purpose of providing relief for the needy who had no family support. This led to the building of '"union poorhouses" or "workhouses" funded by all the parishes in the union. The geographical boundaries established for the individual Poor Law Unions were employed again when Registration Districts were formed three years later. In 1875 Sanitary Districts were formed to provide services such as clean water supply, sewage systems, street cleaning, and the clearance of slum housing. These also tended to follow the same geographical boundaries, although there were local alterations caused by changes in population distribution.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Caversham, Berkshire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.