Thatcham lies three miles east of Newbury. The Great Bath Road (now the A4), the Great Western railway line, the river Kennet and the Kennet and Avon Canal all cross the parish from east to west. Thatcham railway station lies to the south of the town. The river Lambourn joins the Kennet in the west of the parish near Ham Mill. The river Enborne forms part of the southern border of the parish.
Thatcham area mapped between the wars
The village and parish formerly contained several tithings and hamlets which have now been split out into self-contained ecclesiastical and civil parishes:
- Greenham, formerly a chapelry of Thatcham, separated into an ecclesiastical parish in 1857. For civil purposes part of it was detached and transferred to Newbury borough in 1878. The remaining portion now has its own civil parish council (and its own entry in this article series)
- Crookham lies in the south of Thatcham, spreading out across Crookham Common. It comprised two manors: Crookham and Chamberhouse. Part (if not all) of it was taken into Newbury, along with part of Greenham, in 1878, and the rest was incorporated into Greenham civil parish.
- Midgham was part of Thatcham parish until 1857 when, like Greenham, it became its own ecclesiastical parish. It is now also a civil parish in its own right. The parish website is www.midgham.com.
- The ecclesiastical parish of Ashmore Green transferred to Cold Ash in 1865. In 1894 it became a separate civil parish.
- Cold Ash, orginally consisting of Cold Ash village, Ashmore Green and parts of Manor Park and Manor fields, separated from Thatcham to become a civil parish in 1894. It has its own entry in this series.
The following concerns Thatcham only, as the settlements listed above are treated under their own headings.
in 1851: Thatcham, which then still included Greenham, Midgham, Cold Ash 7,866 acres (3,183 hectares)
after the separation of those settlements: Thatcham 5,936 acres (2,402 hectares)
- in 1851: Thatcham and Cold Ash 2,860; Midgham 250
- in 2001: Thatcham 22,824; Cold Ash 3,263; Midgham 282
Reading (Greenham was in Faircross)
Poor law union
Present-day local authority
West Berkshire (unitary)
Speen, Shaw-cum-Donnington, Chieveley, Hampstead Norreys, Bucklebury, Midgham, Greenham, and in Hampshire: Brimpton, Ecchinswell, Sydmonton, Burghclere, Kingsclere
West Berkshire Library has 1841-91 census returns for Thatcham on microfilm/fiche, and an index to the 1851 census.
Berkshire Record Office has the following parish registers for : Thatcham St Mary
- baptisms 1561 - 1992
- marriages 1561 - 1992
- burials 1561 - 1970
- banns 1654-58, 1765-86, 1873 - 1976
- marriage licences 1773 - 1805
Berkshire Burial Index covers Thatcham St Mary 1561-87, 1588 - 1639, 1640 - 1766, 1767 only (BTs) and 1768 - 1914
Berkshire Marriage Index covers Thatcham St Mary 1561 - 1837
Berkshire Record Office has the following registers for Thatcham Congregational Church
- baptisms 1807-36, 1849-80, 1945-73
- marriages 1860-80
- deaths 1819-21, 1852, 1857, 1864, 1871
- burials 1851-71, 1944
- membership 1886, 1889, 1900-72 (incomplete)
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