Lambourn

Location

Lambourn, spelt with or without the u and with or without an e on the end, lies in the valley of the river Lambourn, a summer bourn in the Berkshire Downs. It is 13 miles (21 km) north-west of Newbury and seven miles (11 km) north of Hungerford. When the Vale of the White Horse was transferred from Berkshire to Oxfordshire in 1974 Lambourn became the most north-easterly parish in Berkshire, bordering Wiltshire to the south and west and Oxfordshire to the north and west.

The village itself, also known in the past as Chipping Lambourn, as it was an important market centre, lies in the centre of the parish. Former tithings within the parish are

  • Upper Lambourn (also known as Uplambourn)
  • Eastbury which since 1867 has been a civil parish
  • Lambourn Woodlands (called Hadley with Blagrave until 1837, and in some Berkshire listings just called "Woodlands") to the south

together with the hamlets of Mile End, Sheepdrove, Kingswood and Bockhampton (formerly Lower Lambourn, a village which disappeared in the sixteenth century).

Lambourn is of ancient foundation, having been mentioned in the will of King Alfred the Great. Despite two ancient roads running through the parish − the Ridgeway and Ermine Street − the parish suffered from poor communications until the late nineteenth century.

The parish includes and adjoins the Berkshire Downs, chalk upland which contains many prehistoric sites, including Seven Barrows (which numbers many more than seven) and the White Horse of Uffington, Berkshire’s county emblem, which now lies in Oxfordshire.

(Lambourn in Berkshire should not be confused with Lambourn in Essex.)

Size

14,873 acres (6,024 hectares)

Population

 2,577 in 1851; 4,103 in 2011

Hundred

Lambourn

Poor Law union

Hungerford

Registration district

Hungerford

Present-day local authority

West Berkshire

Grid reference

SU 32 78

Adjoining parishes in 1851

Ashbury, Baydon (Wilts), Childrey, Chilton Foliat (Wilts), Compton Beauchamp, East Garston, Kingston Lisle, Letcombe Bassett, Ramsbury (Wilts), Woolstone.

In 1851 all these parishes except Baydon and Ramsbury were in Berkshire. Since 1974 the only Berkshire parish adjacent to Lambourn is East Garston.

Genealogical resources

Available from Berks FHS Books:
  • Berkshire Marriages 3rd ed CD covers St Michael's 1571 - 1837
  • Berkshire Burials 12th ed CD covers St Michael's 1560- 1976, and Lambourn Woodlands St Mary 1842 - 2005

West Berkshire Newbury Library has

  • 1841-91 census returns for Lambourn on microfilm/fiche
  • an index to the 1851 census.

Berkshire Record Office has registers for Lambourn St Michael, Lambourn Woodlands St Mary, and Eastbury St James. Search here.

The Eureka Partnership has published Lambourn's Wesleyan Methodist registers as part of the Hungerford Circuit.

Published local history

  • Robin Oakley. Valley of the racehorse: a year in the life of Lambourn (2000)
  • Jennifer Davies. Tales of the old horsemen (2006)
  • M R C Price. Lambourn Valley Railway (Locomotion Papers, 1964)
  • Kevin Robertson et al. Illustrated history of the Lambourn Branch (1984)
  • Alan Lee. Lambourn: a village of racing (Arthur Barker, 1952)
  • A short guide to the parish church of St Michael and All Angels, Lambourn (Abbey Press, 1971)
  • John Footman. History of the parish church of St Michael and All Angels (Elliott Stock, 1894)

Links

village website

Additional information