Things to do in Bucklebury, Berkshire
Situated on the banks of the River Pang, the early village was named after Burghild, an Anglo-Saxon princess. Bucklebury is first recorded in a charter in 956 AD when King Eadwy granted Abingdon Abbey the rights to wood from the forest to rebuild Abingdon Church.
With the arrival of the Normans in 1066 it became part of the royal hunting grounds. In 1086 it was recorded in the Domesday Book as Borchedeberie and after various spellings it became known as Bucklebury in the 18th century.
The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin in parts dates back to the 11th century. The village did not expand beyond a small community as newer properties were built on higher ground at Upper Bucklebury, above the river floodplain.
Henry I granted Bucklebury to his new abbey at Reading in 1153 and the Abbot had a manor house built in the village. Fish ponds which provided his household with fish can still be seen. There were several small watermills along the river which were used for grinding corn.
With the Dissolution of the Monasteries Act in 1536, Abbot Hugh of Reading refused to surrender his abbey to the king. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London and then executed outside his own abbey.
The Manor of Bucklebury was given to John Winchcombe, an influential Member of Parliament from 1544. He replaced the Abbot's house with a fine Elizabethan house where it is said his son entertained Queen Elizabeth I. The lovely avenue of oaks was planted to commemorate her visit.
Unfortunately the house was damaged by fire in 1830 and all but one wing was demolished.
Present Day Bucklebury
Bucklebury is 12 miles west of Reading and has a population of just over 2,000. The larger village of Upper Bucklebury has a general store, village hall, pub, church and a primary school.
The Blade Bone Inn got its name as the copper sign encases the bladebone of a mammoth discovered in the 17th century.
The Manor has been in the hands of the Hartley Russell family since 1540. It is now the site of the Bucklebury Farm Park with farm animals and tractor rides.