Speen and Stockcross

Location

The parish of Speen, formerly comprising Church Speen, Woodspeen and Speenhamland, lies mainly on the ridge dividing the valleys of the rivers Kennet and Lambourn, to the north-west of Newbury. The road from London to Bath traverses the whole length of the parish from east to west.

The parish consists of several townships or tithings:

  • Bagnor the only part of Speen north of the river Lambourn, and best known these days as the home of the Watermill Theatre;
  • Benham or Marsh Benham which, unlike the rest of Speen, lies in the hundred of Kintbury Eagle, and contains Benham Park/Valence;
  • Speenhamland which links Speen village and the town of Newbury, to which it now belongs
  • Woodspeen (formerly Speen Basset, and extending much further east than it does today), a long, narrow strip of land adjoining the River Lambourn;
  • Stockcross, a village whose growth was largely due to the Sutton estate, and which was partly in the tithing of Church Speen.

Other place names of the parish are Furze Hill and Nalderhill.

In 1878 the Newbury Borough Extension Act took Speenhamland and certain portions of Church Speen and Woodspeen into the borough of Newbury.

(Do not confuse Speen, Berks, with Speen in Bucks.)

Speen-map-1st-1in-OS

Genealogical resources

Available from BerksFHS Books

  • Berkshire Baptisms 2nd ed CD covers Speenhamland St Mary 1831 - 1971
  • Berkshire Marriages 3rd ed CD covers Speen St Mary 1617 - 1918 and Speenhamland St Mary  1847 - 1972
  • Berkshire Burials 12th ed CD covers Speen St Mary 1614 - 1959;  Speenhamland St Mary 1831-81, 1953-71; Stockross St John 1839-63;
  • Speenhamland parish registers.

See also Berkshire Record Office holdings.

West Berkshire Library has:

  • 1841-91 census returns for Speen on microfilm/fiche and an index to the 1851 census;
  • a typed transcripts of Speen St Mary and Speenhamland St Mary parish registers (see online catalogue for dates).

 Published local history

  • Walter Money Collections for the history of the parish of Speen (W J Blacket, 1892)
  • Roy Tubb Speen... road by road (Henwick Worthy Books, 2002) 

Additional information