Caversham is a suburb and former village in the unitary authority of Reading, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, within the royal county of Berkshire, 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 part of the administrative county of Oxfordshire until 1911 and for administrative purposes formed an urban district. It was transferred to Berkshire when it became part of the county borough of Reading.
Caversham spreads across from the River Thames floodplain (to the east) and up the foothills of the Chilterns. Besides central Caversham (the shopping area and immediate residential surrounds), there are distinct areas known as Caversham Heights on the higher ground to the west, Lower Caversham to the south east, and Caversham Park Village to the north east on what was the parkland of Caversham Park. Emmer Green, to the north, may also be considered part of Caversham.
Online Historical References
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.