Wargrave Local History Society

(Founded 1981)

The Object of the Society is to provide a common meeting ground for the study and discussion of, and research into, history in general, and of the local area in particular.


  • President - The Lord Remnant
  • Chairman - Peter Halman
  • Vice Chairman - (Vacant)
  • Treasurer/Membership Secretary -
  • Secretary - Tel: 0118 940 3121
  • Programme Secretary - Helen Perry
  • Committee members:-
    • David Ball
    • Sarah Houghton
    • Mary Owen
    • Wendy Smith
We are happy to try and respond (in our own good time!) to requests for information about people and places in the history of Wargrave parish. Please email us at:

Please send any queries regarding this website to Email :

The Society supports the work of the Wargrave Heritage Trust
The Society is affiliated to the Berkshire Local History Association. and is a member of the British Association for Local History.

For more British History background, explore the BBC's Web Pages by clicking here:

BBC History Pages

Click this image for information about the Dedication of the B-17 Flying Fortress Memorial on 13th Nov 2014


The Society's third book was published on Saturday 25th June 2011
Read about and order our books here.

The Harriette Cooke Smith Photo Albums
In 2009, we acquired three albums of photographs which feature (inter alia) scenes of Wargrave from the 1870s belonging to Harriette Cooke Smith - see some images here

We are always interested in adding to our collection of pictures, documents, books, maps etc relating to Wargrave, so if you have anything that you think may be of interest, please contact us.

Reports of Recent Meetings:

Meetings take place at 8 p.m. in
The Pavilion on the Recreation Ground
(Click for a map)

Subscriptions: Individual £9  ; Family  £12 ; Concessions  £8 ;      Visitors are welcome £3  per meeting

The 2016-2017 programme.

April 12 Ann Smith

100 Years of Reading Shopping
Ann is one of the librarians at Reading Central Library, and has made a study of shops and shopping over the past century, and told us of their history, the changes in shopping habits.

May 10 Valerie Alasia Henley Workhouse - the Story of Townlands
Valerie, a Henley local historian, told us about the history of, and life in, Henley's Workhouse. 

June 14 David Williams The Work of the Finds Liaison Officer
Thousands of archaeological objects are discovered by metal-detector users and members of the public every year. These finds can tell us about the past - how and where people used to live and the types of objects they made and used. The Portable Antiquities Scheme ensures these are recorded, which is the work of the Finds Liaison Officer, and David is the person responsible for East Berkshire (and Surrey), and told us of his work, and some of the items discovered.
July 12 Local History Visit Chawton
This year we visited Chawton, once home of Jane Austen (Jane's aunt and uncle had lived in Wargrave and another relation was vicar of Wargrave). In the morning, we have a guided visit to Chawton House, an interesting house, housing the Chawton House Library, and then after a break for lunch, we visited the Jane Austen House Museum in the afternoon.
September 13 Peter Delaney

Wargravians and World War 1
The village war memorial records the names of those who died during the war, but they were not the only villagers involved in 1914-18. We heard about some of those who died and some of those who survived the conflict.

October 11 Sue Hourigan

The Preservation of Archive Records
Sue is the conservationist at the Berkshire Record Office, and told us about the ways in which the archives are preserved for the future.

November 8 Barbara Ratings

My Experiences as a Vicar's Wife from Germany
Barbara shared some of her recollections of life at the vicarage - from her perspective of one who was not familiar with the vicarage, let alone English village life. What were the expectations in 1971? Cucumber sandwiches on the vicarage lawn? How did she learn what to do with "church hankies"? Whatever was she expected to reply when asked by a parishioner "Is Father in?" Are Anglicans Protestants or Catholics? Why could nobody she asked in Germany tell her what the Church of England was about?

December 13 Christmas Party Christmas Party

January 10 Daniel Wood Boats of the River Thames
Dan - who grew up in Wargrave, and worked on the river - recounted some of his experiences of times on the river.

February 14 Graham Jones The Lambourn Valley Railway
The railway branch through this part of Berkshire was not promoted by one of the 'big companies'. It had a special kind of traffic from the start - and a different special kind of traffic at the end of its life. Graham told us about the life of railway and some of the people associated with it.

March 14 A G M

The Annual General Meeting