Warfield is now a village and civil parish in the English county of Berkshire and the Borough of Bracknell Forest. The parish is mostly rural and made up of a number of small settlements. Warfield Village consists of the few houses around the parish church in the centre of the parish, but the West End, Newell Green, Warfield Street and Hayley Green area just to the south is generally referred to as 'Warfield'. To the north are the hamlets of Hawthorn Hill, Jealott's Hill, Moss End and Nuptown. In the south of the old parish, Wick Hill and Priestwood were amongst the earliest suburbs of the new town of Bracknell, in which parish they now lie. The High Street area of Bracknell itself was originally in Warfield parish. Warfield Park is an area of residential park homes. New housing developments in Warfield have taken place since the 1980s and include Whitegrove, Quelm Park and Lawrence Hill.
Warfield was originally an Anglo-Saxon settlement and is recorded in the Domesday Book as Warwelt [sic]. The name is believed to have originated from the Old English wær + feld, meaning 'Open land by a weir'. The medieval church is one of the finest in Berkshire, particularly noted for its Decorated Period chancel with beautiful carvings and 'Green Men'. There are several memorials to the Stavertons who lived at the old manor house in the moat at Hayley Green. This was replaced, in the Georgian period, by Warfield House alias Warfield Grove, the home of Admiral Sir George Bowyer and, later, the political writer, Sir John Hippisley. Another fine old country house was Warfield Park. In the 18th century, it was the home of John Walsh, the Secretary to Lord Clive and an amateur scientist, and later to his descendants the Lords Ormathwaite. It was pulled down in 1955. Warfield Hall, built in the 1840s, is the former home of Field Marshal Sir Charles Brownlow.
There was formerly much brickworking in the south of the parish, most notably under the Lawrence family. The Thomas Lawrence & Sons Brickworks was founded in 1857, and by the late 19th century was producing over 12 million bricks a year. The brown clay to be found in this area was ideal for making rich warm red-fired bricks, and Lawrence's bricks were used in the building of the Albert Hall, Westminster Cathedral and in restoration work at 10 Downing Street and Hampton Court Palace. The brickworks closed in 1985, and the last of the buildings were pulled down in the 1990s to make way for the housing development, Lawrence Hill. A memorial to the brickworks was put in place near the original site.
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.