Wargrave is a village and civil parish in Berkshire, England. The village is primarily on the River Thames but also along the confluence of the River Loddon. The village is larger than the county average, having a railway station on its short branch line, off the Great Western Railway to/from London Paddington; the village is quickly accessible to nearby parts of the M4 corridor, particularly Berkshire and London Heathrow Airport and local major centres of employment include Reading and Bracknell, with smaller businesses and additional commercial facilities in nearby Henley on Thames and Wokingham. The town has many old listed buildings, two marinas with chandlery services for boats, a rowing club and rises steeply to the northwest in the direction of Bowsey Hill, with higher parts of the town generally known as Upper Wargrave. In Upper Wargrave is a Recreation Ground with a cricket club, bowls club and tennis club.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Wargrave.
Wargrave was part of the Wargrave Hundred and the Wokingham Poor Law Union. The parish was located in the Wokingham Rural District 1894-1974, and since that date in the Wokingham District (1974-1998) and the Wokingham unitary authority (since 1998).
Online Historical References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.