Place:Grazeley, Berkshire, England

TypeCivil parish
Coordinates51.396°N 0.996°W
Located inBerkshire, England
See alsoReading Hundred, Berkshire, Englandhundred in the tything was located
Shinfield, Berkshire, Englandcivil parish into which the eastern part was merged
Wokingham Rural, Berkshire, England|rural district in which the eastern part was located 1894-1974
Wokingham District, Berkshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the eastern part since 1974
Sulhampstead Abbots, Berkshire, Englandcivil parish into which the western part was merged
Bradfield Rural, Berkshire, Englandrural district in which the western part was located 1894-1974
Newbury District, Berkshire, Englanddistrict municipality covering the the western part 1974-1998
West Berkshire District, Berkshire, Englanddistrict municipality and unitary authority covering the western part since 1988
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Grazeley is a small village and former civil parish in the English county of Berkshire. It lies about four miles south of the centre of Reading. To the east lies the village of Spencers Wood. To the west lie the villages of Grazeley Green and Wokefield. To the south lies the civil parish of Beech Hill.

Local government

Grazeley was historically divided between the parishes of Sulhampstead Abbots and Shinfield.

  • The part within Shinfield remained in the civil parish of Shinfield and is now in the Borough of Wokingham. This part includes the village of Grazeley.
  • The part within the ancient parish of Sulhampstead Abbots was a detached part and tything of that parish, and became a separate civil parish in 1866. Since 1974 the civil parish of Grazeley (the western part) has been absorbed into the parish of Wokefield, and is now part of the unitary authority of West Berkshire. This part is known as Grazeley Green. (Wokefield was only a village in 1900, inferring that at that time it was in Sulhampstead Abbots parish; now (2016) it is described as a civil parish, but the source for this fact is not online.)

On the outline map of Berkshire parishes, provided online by the Berkshire Family History Society, Grazeley is two of the three unmarked areas below the parish of Reading St. Giles. The triangular one was part of Sulhampstead Abbots and the one directly east was the part in Shinfield. (The third area has not been identified by the writer.)

Both parts of Grazeley were formed into a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1860.

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. A Vision of Britain through Time on Grazeley

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Grazeley. 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.

Preferred Name:


Unit Type:

   Parish-level Unit


   Tything (until 1866)
   Civil Parish (after 1866)

Date created:

Date abolished:

Unit ID:


Alternative names

The following alternative names exist: Name Status Language Start End Authority GRAZELEY Preferred English GRAZELEY OR GRASLEY Alternate English

Unit associations

This unit was associated with the following other units: Nature of association Other unit involved Type of unit was succeeded by GRAZELEY EP Ecclesiastical Parish

Unit history

This unit was part of the following units: Name Type Start End BERKSHIRE Ancient County BRADFIELD PLU/RegD Poor Law Union/Reg. District BRADFIELD RD Local Government District BRADFIELD RSD Sanitary District MORTIMER Registration sub-District READING Hundred Ancient District TILEHURST Registration sub-District SULHAMSTEAD ABBOTS AP/CP Parish-level Unit Boundary changes

We know of no boundary changes affecting this unit. Lower level units

We know of no units which were contained within this unit.