Moulsford

Location

Moulsford map old OS

Moulsford is a Thames-side village and parish north of Streatley, formerly the site of a river crossing by ford and ferry to South Stoke on the opposite bank.

Moulsford old ferry

Old Moulsford ferry in 1885, photographed by Henry Taunt

There is now a bridge.

Originally within Berkshire, Moulsford transferred to Oxfordshire in the 1974 boundary changes.

The GWR mainline from London to the West Country arrived in the village 1838-39, forming the northern boundary of the parish. Later, Moulsford Station was renamed Wallingford Road, reverting to Moulsford Station again in the 1870s. In 1892 Moulsford Station closed, and was replaced by a new station in Cholsey.

Local place names Halfpenny Lane, Mead Corner, Underhill, Glebe Close, Meadow Close and Honey Lane

Size

1,441 acres (583 hectares)

Population

601 in 2011; 168 (?unclear on CD) in 1851

Hundred

Moreton

Poor law union

Wallingford

Registration district

Wallingford

Present-day local authority

South Oxfordshire

Grid reference

SU 585 385

Adjoining parishes in 1851

Aldworth, Aston Tirrold, Cholsey, Streatley, Goring (Oxon), South Stoke (Oxon)

Genealogical sources

available from BerksFHS Books:
  • Berkshire Marriages 3rd ed CD covers St John 1616 - 1808
  • Berkshire Burials 12th ed CD covers St Joh  1617 - 1992

See Berkshire Record Office holdings for parish registers.

Oxfordshire parish register transcripts: Wallingford registration district Vol 2 covers Moulsford, and is in several Oxfordshire branch libraries.

Anglican church and parochial organisation

Moulsford was originally a chapelry of Cholsey, first mentioned between 1220 and 1227.

The present-day church of St John the Baptist, designed by Gilbert Scott, was built on the foundations of the medieval chapel in 1846, retaining the west wall of the original church.

The living is a rectory in the archdeaconry of Berkshire and the diocese of Oxford.

Schools

A village school founded in 1828 closed in 1970, when pupil numbers fell, and the building is now Clock House, shown below.

 Moulsford Clock House the former school house

© Copyright Steve Daniels, Creative Commons licence

There are two private schools: Cranford House School <http://cranfordhouse.net> was founded in 1931 by Miss W E Laurence in her own home, Cranford House. To accommodate growing numbers the school acquired and moved into Moulsford House (illustrated below), across the road, about 20 years later. Today it has 390 pupils.

Moulsford Cranford House

Wikipedia Commons image

Moulsford Preparatory Schoolwas founded in 1961. It is a private school for boys up to 13 years.

Pubs

The Beetle and Wedge on the River Thames marks the site of the old ferry crossing. The name comes from woodwork, a beetle being a heavy mallet. The pub was enumerated under that name in 1851, and was immortalised in both Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows and Jerome K Jerome's Three Men in a Boat.

Other local history

The Moulsford Asylum , as it was known from 1867-97 (later the Berkshire Lunatic Asylum, 1897-c1915, Berkshire Mental Hospital, c1915-48; Fair Mile Hospital, Cholsey, 1948 – 2003) opened in 1870 to care for people with mental health problems. The site was bought in 1866 for £8,317, and the asylum built for £68,000. The architect was Charles Henry Howells, to a corridor-plan design. The hospital closed in 2003, and the site has been redeveloped. The archives are held by Berkshire Record Office under the reference DH10.

A gold torc, a heavy crescent-shaped necklace made from four twisted gold bars and dating from around 1200BC, was found in a local fields in 1960. Forty years later a second torc was found close to the same site. Both are in Reading Museum.

Moulsford has been used in the filming of Midsomer Murders.

A post office opened in the village in 1854, and closed in the 1960s.

Additional information