Place:Crowthorne, Berkshire, England

TypeVillage, Civil parish
Coordinates51.383°N 0.817°W
Located inBerkshire, England
See alsoSandhurst, Berkshire, Englandparish in which Crowhurst was located as a hamlet until 1874
Easthampstead Rural, Berkshire, Englandrural district of which the parish was a part 1894-1974
Bracknell District, Berkshire, Englandadministrative district which the parish joined in 1974
Bracknell Forest, Berkshire, Englandunitary authority which the district became in 1998
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

Crowthorne was part of the Sonning Hundred and the Easthampstead Poor Law Union. The parish was located in the Easthampstead Rural District 1894-1974, and since that date in Bracknell administrative district and Bracknell Forest unitary authority.

the text in this section is a condensation of an article in Wikipedia

Crowthorne is a large village and civil parish in the Bracknell Forest district of south-eastern Berkshire. It has a population of 6,711. Crowthorne is best known for Broadmoor Hospital, one of three high-security psychiatric hospitals in England, which lies in the village.

The village was only a small hamlet until Wellington College was opened to educate sons of British Army officers in 1859, followed by Broadmoor in 1863. Crowthorne railway station, originally known as Wellington College for Crowthorne station, was opened in 1860, and the village grew quickly. In the 1960s, the Transport Research Laboratory opened in Crowthorne, and this is now the main employer for those who do not commute.

The Crowthorne urban area spills over into the neighbouring ecclesiastical parish of Wokingham Without. (The parish of Wokingham Without consists of an area surrounding the town of Wokingham on its south-eastern side, but its name does not mean outside Wokingham. Historically when the parishes were church parishes, there was a detached local area belonging to Wiltshire known as Wokingham Without (i.e. "outside Berkshire"), whereas the Town was ‘within’ Berkshire.) But the majority of Crowthorne is in the Bracknell Forest district. Edgbarrow Woods are between Sandhurst and Crowthorne.

From Kelly's Directory of Berkshire, 1899, transcribed by Robert Monk ©2011.

" CROWTHORNE, formerly a hamlet in the parish of Sandhurst, was constituted a separate ecclesiastical parish July 10th, 1874 and was constituted a civil parish June 23rd, 1894; it is 4 miles south-east from Wokingham, 36 from London and 11 from Reading, the village being 1 mile from Wellington College station [now called Crowthorne station] of the Reading and Reigate branch of the South Eastern railway; in the eastern division of the County, petty sessional division of Wokingham, hundred of Sonning, archdeaconry of Berks and diocese of Oxgord [Oxford]. The church of St John the Baptist, built and consecrated in 1873, is an edifice of red brick in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel, nave, south aisle, and a bell cote; the chancel was added in 1888-9, at a cost of £2000; there are 400 sittings. The regisiter dates from the year 1873. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £187, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Oxford, and held since 1894 by the Rev. George Frederick Coleridge MA of Kebel College, Oxford. The vicarge house was built in 1877. Here is a Wesleyan chapel. The principal landowners are the governors of Wellington College and (for Broadmoor) the directors of Convict Prisons. The population in 1891 was 2,254, including 629 in Broadmoor Asylum.
"OWLSMOOR is a hamlet in this parish, 2 miles south-east, and has an iron church, with 80 sittings. The population in 1891 was 198."

Research Tips


  • GENUKI's collection of maps for Berkshire. For basic reference are the two online maps Berkshire Parishes (highly recommended) 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--a much wider geographical area.
  • The extensive collection provided by Genmaps is provided free of charge online (currently offline, March 2016).
  • The Ordnance Survey has produced an up-to-date map of the boundaries of all the post-1974 districts throughout the country. This also shows the electoral constituency boundaries which are destined to change before 2020.

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, is 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.
  • Brett Langston's list of Registration Districts in Berkshire will lead to specific parishes with dates.
  • Local History Online is a compilation of websites from Berkshire local history clubs, societies and associations.
  • The Berkshire section of The Victoria History of the Counties of England, in four volumes, is provided by British History Online. Volumes 3 and 4 provide an extensive history of the county, parish by parish, up to the end of the 19th century. There are local maps illustrating the text. Manors and their owners are discussed. Parishes are arranged in their original "hundreds"; the hundred for each placename in the Berkshire section of WeRelate will eventually be available.

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 Crowthorne. 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.