Teashop View

The historic town of Newbury is situated on the River Kennet and Kennet and Avon Canal. Wikipedia gives a brief history:

Newbury was founded late in the 11th century following the Norman invasion as a new borough, hence its name. Although there are references to the borough that predate theDomesday Survey it is not mentioned by name in the survey. However, its existence within the manor of Ulvritone is evident from the massive rise in value of that manor at a time when most manors were worth less than in Saxon times. In 1086 the Domesday Book assesses the borough as having land for 12 ploughs, 2 mills, woodland for 25 pigs, 11 villeins (resident farmhands, unfree peasant who owed his lord labour services), 11 bordars (unfree peasants with less land than villans/villeins), and 51 enclosures (private parks) rendering 70s 7d.

Doubt has been cast over the existence of ‘Newbury Castle‘, but the town did have Royal connections and was visited a number of times by King John and Henry III while hunting in the area.[4]

Historically, the town’s economic foundation was the cloth trade. This is reflected in the person of the 16th century cloth magnate, Jack of Newbury, the proprietor of what may well have been the first factory in England, and the later tale of the Newbury Coat. The latter was the outcome of a bet as to whether a gentleman’s suit could be produced by the end of the day from wool taken from a sheep’s back at the beginning.

Newbury was the site of two Civil War battles, the First Battle of Newbury (at Wash Common) in 1643 and the Second Battle of Newbury (at Speen) in 1644. The nearby Donnington Castle was reduced to a ruin in the aftermath of the second battle.

Newbury Town Hall

Town Hall Clock

Most people will be more familiar with the nearby Greenham Common, which until the end of the cold war was an important (and notorious) RAF base:

A large Royal Air Force station was established during the Second World War at Greenham Common on the edge of the town. In the 1950s, it became home to US Air Force bombers andtankers, for which it was equipped with the longest military runway in the United Kingdom. In the 1980s, it became one of only two USAF bases in the UK equipped with ground-launchednuclear-armed cruise missiles, causing it to become the site of protests by up to 40,000 protesters and the establishment of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. With the end of the Cold War, the base was closed, the runway was broken up for use as fill material in building the Newbury bypass, and much of the area was restored to heathland.

Kennet & Avon Canal

A more detailed history of the town can be found on the following link:

10 Comments CherryPie on Oct 13th 2014

10 Responses to “Newbury”

  1. lisl says:

    When you go to places like this, it reminds me that they are within striking distance, and it is time I had a look myself, Cherie. So thank you for sharing

  2. james higham says:

    Oversexed and over here. :)

  3. ....peter:) says:

    i like your bright pictures of Newbury Cherie… the last two are my favorites… there was no reason to use the link for the history… you did a good job of that for us….peter:)

  4. Anne says:

    Hi CherryPie ..thanks for this post .. I have been to Newbury once , but ovemarrie a wedding reception and it is literally down the road from me. Some friends love it and some don’t. I tend to go the other way to Oxford. So now I think I should venture the other way :-) I ha e asked friends what is there but they don’t seem to know more than the shops. They are not bloggers or even on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos and history. As for Greenham common , I do remember but had to stay clear of protests , married to man in forces …!!

    • CherryPie says:

      It is only a small town, but I found it appealing. I am glad you enjoyed the post. The tea shop where I was sitting when I took the picture of the swans is nice :-)

      I have some photos of the church too, but I have saved them for a separate post tomorrow :-)

  5. J_on_tour says:

    I often wondered what happened to Greenham Common. There may or may not be much at Newbury for all I know but your photos depict it nicely for me.

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