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Historical Timeline

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Newbury Timeline 

No originality is claimed for this list, which is derived from standard histories of Newbury such as “A Popular History of Newbury”, by Walter Money (1905); “The Story of Newbury”, by R.N. Hadcock and C. Millson (1990); “Newbury History and Guide” by Susan Tolman (1994); “The Story of Newbury”, by Tony Higgott (2001); Dr David Peacock’s PhD thesis on the Newbury cloth industry (2003); and “Newbury in the 1950’s”, by T. Higgott (2004).  Also useful are “The Victoria County History for Berkshire” [VCH] (1924); “The Buildings of England: Berkshire”, by Nicholas Pevsner (1975); “The Chartered Freeman”, on the history of Newbury Methodism, by Joan Booker (1990); “The Story of Newbury Racecourse”, by Frank Osgood (1993); the 1900 Ordnance Survey map of Newbury, with a commentary by Tony Higgott; Newbury, “Historic Events 1596-1996”, by Tony Higgott (Newbury Museum); “The Story of Sandleford Priory” (Anon); “History of St John’s Church and Parish, Newbury”, by Robert L. Gibbs (1990); and “The History of Donnington Hospital”, by Cecilia Millson.

I am grateful for additional information supplied by Penelope Lake, Mike James, Gwynneth Bullock, Garry Poulson, Jeremy Holden-Bell, Graham Smith, Dr David Peacock, Duncan Coe, Tony Higgott, Ian Campbell, Brian Burgess, Mary Hepburn, Joyce Paul, Robin Tubb, Adrian Edwards, Gina Houghton, Phil Wood, and Graham Smith

The later dates in the history of buildings and institutions are often listed under their date of construction, rather than subsequently.  The listing of several events under one year does not imply that they are causally connected.  Dates of kings and queens are regnal years.

Events in Newbury

 

National Events

  821

First written reference to Speen (“Spene”) [M. Gelling 1976, The Placenames of Berkshire].

 

519-1066

Anglo-Saxon and Danish kings of Wessex and England.

 

1079

Orderic Vitalis refers to St Mary’s Church at Speen near Newbury, the first known written reference to Newbury.

 

1066

 

Norman conquest.

 

1086

Manor of Ulvritone appears in Domesday Book, worth £24.  Its exact location is not known.  The Church of St Nicolas is founded by the first known landowner of Newbury, Ernulf de Hesding.  Houses from this period occur close to the church, discovered in 1979 excavations.  Property boundaries in Northbrook Street are laid out, discovered in 2008 [D. Coe].  Donnington and Shaw also appear in Domesday Book.

 

1066-87

 

King William I

(The Conqueror).

1087-1100

King William II

(Rufus).

 

1100-35

King Henry I.

 

1135-54

King Stephen.

 

1154-89

King Henry II.

Start of the Plantagenet dynasty.

Start of the English Common Law.

 

1189

First written reference to Newbury burgesses, or members of a borough.

 

1189-99

King Richard I (Coeur de Lion).

1200

Sandleford Priory is built for Augustinian Canons by Geoffrey de Perche.  The Prior is ejected in 1440 for various grave offences.  The Priory closes by 1478, and the attached church is abandoned by 1534.  The Priory then becomes a private house (see 1730).  Its endowed land includes many parts of South Newbury, and after the closure is transferred to the Dean and Chapter of St George’s Chapel, Windsor, who retain ownership until the 19th century [D. Peacock].

 

1199-1216

King John.

 

1204      

The annual income from Newbury is £52 2s 8½d, from rents, fulling mill, corn mill, and market.  The town appoints its own bailiffs [VCH].

 

 

 

1215

King John grants the charter of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, and an adjoining fair (called St Bartholomew’s fair).  The fair continues until the 1930’s.

 

1215

 

Magna Carta.

 

1216-72

 

King Henry III.

1242

 

First recognised

Parliament.

 

1245-1388           

Rebuilding of Westminster Abbey.

 

1275

Newbury sends two MP’s to Parliament.  In 1337 it ceases to do so, probably because of the cost.

 

1272-1307

King Edward I.

1300’s    .

 

Excavations in 2008 suggest an economic downturn.  Land adjoining Northbrook Street is mainly used for agriculture and horticulture.  Economic activity picks up in the 1500’s [D. Coe].

 

1307-27

 

King Edward II.

Deposed and murdered 1327.

 

1327-77

 

King Edward III.

 

1337-1453

 

Hundred Years’ War with France.

 

1348-49

Black Death.

 

1386

 

Donnington Castle is built [D. Peacock].

 

1377-99

 

                               

King Richard II.  Deposed 1399.  Murdered 1400.

 

1393

 

Donnington Priory is founded by Sir Richard Abberbury for Maturine Friars, to support travellers between Newbury and Oxford.  Donnington Hospital is founded by him at the same time; it is refounded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1602 and rebuilt in 1662 after the Civil War [C. Millson].

 

1399-1413

 

King Henry IV.

 

1413-22

King Henry V.

 

1415      

Battle of Agincourt

.

1444

Winchester College Hostelry for travellers exists in Northcroft Lane.  It is demolished in 1934.

 

1422-61                

King Henry VI.

Deposed 1461.

Murdered 1471.

 

1460

Newbury supports the Yorkist cause.  Its leading citizens are hanged and their property is seized by a Lancastrian gang headed by the Earl of Wiltshire.

 

1455-71

Wars of the Roses.

1465

King Edward IV grants two fairs per year to Newbury.  These are extended to four fairs per year by the 1596 Charter.  A fifth fair, the Hiring Fair, is added by the Corporation in the 17th century.

 

1461-83

King Edward IV.  Briefly deposed 1470-71.

1480

Litten Chapel is built for St Bartholomew’s Hospital.  Its east end is cut off before 1825 in order to widen Newtown Road.

 

 

1483

 

King Edward V

(The Prince in the Tower). 

Dies in about 1483 aged about 13.

 

1483-85

King Richard III.

Killed at the Battle of Bosworth 1485.

 

1485-1509

King Henry VII.

Start of the Tudor dynasty.  Conventional end to the Middle Ages.

 

1492

Discovery of America by Columbus.

 

1518

 

 

John Winchcombe the elder (father of Jack of Newbury) rents Bartholomew Farm (now Manor).  He produces cloth in Culverhouse Close, off Bartholomew Street.  He dies in 1520.  [D. Peacock].  The first Protestant martyr in Newbury is burnt.

 

1509-47

King Henry VIII.

1520-34

St Nicolas Church is built in Perpendicular style, replacing the Norman Church – major donor John Winchcombe the younger (see below) [D. Peacock].

 

 

 

1500-50

Growth and heyday of the Newbury cloth industry.  The major entrepreneur is John Winchcombe the younger (1489-1557) (Jack of Newbury), one of England’s leading clothiers, who operates on a quasi-industrial scale.  In the late 1540’s Newbury produces about 8900 kersey pieces a year, dyed and finished: 6000 by John Winchcombe, 2500 by Thomas Dolman, 400 by William Bennett.  Winchcombe’s house occupies about 96 feet of Northbrook Street, between Jack Street and Marsh Lane.  [D. Peacock].

 

1534

 

 

Break with Rome.

 

 

1536

John Winchcombe supplies armed men to support Henry VIII against the Northern rebels.

 

 

 

 

1538

Newbury parish registers begin.

 

1536-40

Dissolution of the monasteries.

1541

John Winchcombe leads a petition by 80 clothiers to Henry VIII on cloth industry legislation.

 

 

 

1547

Newbury Grammar School (for boys) is founded at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, from the endowments of a chantry at St Nicolas Church founded by Henry Wormestall in 1467.  It is located at or near the Litten Chapel; in 1848 a new school house is built on the site.

 

1547-53

King Edward VI.

Dies aged 15.

1556

The three Newbury martyrs are burnt near Enborne Road.

1553-58

Queen Mary I (Bloody Mary).

Restoration of Catholicism.

 

1558

Newbury cloth industry starts to decline, because of overproduction, interruptions to the Antwerp market, debasement of the pound, and competition from new designs of cloth by Dutch and Flemish immigrants.

 

1558-1603

Queen Elizabeth I.

Restoration of Protestantism.

1581

Shaw House is built by landowner Thomas Dolman (died 1589), son of Newbury clothier Thomas Dolman (died 1575).  It is occupied by his successors until 1728, and then by other families until 1943.

 

1587        

Execution of Mary Queen of Scots. 

1596      

Royal Charter is granted by Queen Elizabeth I.  The Government of the Borough is assigned to a Mayor, 6 aldermen, and 24 capital burgesses, replaced by cooption.  There are five guilds: tanners, mercers, clothiers, weavers, and braziers.  The Weavers’ Company is granted a charter in 1601.

 

1588                      

 

Defeat of the Spanish Armada.

1598

Newbury Bowling Club is founded in Speenhamland.

 

 

 

1611

The Guildhall is built in the present market place, possibly adapted from an earlier structure; it is demolished in 1828, together with the Market Cross to the South of it.  The “Old Globe” inn is built in Jacobean style; in 1820 it is refronted in stucco with classical detailing, and is demolished in 1868 when what is now Lloyds TSB Bank is built on the site.  Part of the “Old Globe” remains as No. 1 Bridge Street.

 

1603-25

King James I.

Start of the Stuart dynasty. 

1618

St Bartholomew’s Hospital is rebuilt.  The cupola is added in 1698.

 

1620

Pilgrim Fathers land in America.

 

1623

The medieval wooden bridge, including shops standing on it, collapses and is rebuilt in wood.

 

 

 

1626-27

The Cloth Hall is built as a charitable institution to promote the cloth trade, from the bequest of John Kendrick (d. 1625).  It is now the Museum.  Only one wing is left of the “U” shape that was originally constructed.

 

1625-49

King Charles I.

Executed 1649. 

1627

Newbury Borough purchases the Manor of Newbury from the Crown, with all its common rights.  The White Hart Inn is constructed in the Market Place (originally the Hart Inn); it closes in 1951 and is converted to offices.

 

1628

House of Commons’ Petition of Right.

1630

3586 cloth pieces are manufactured in the Newbury.  The cloth industry continues its long decline through the 18th century.

 

 

 

1635

A Royal Mail service is established between Bristol and London, via Newbury.

 

 

 

1643-44

First and Second Battles of Newbury, both decisive in the course of the war.  Newbury houses are destroyed, livestock and cloth are stolen and crops laid waste.  Biggs’ cottage, which is mentioned in accounts of the First Battle, still exists in Enborne Street. 

 

1642-48

Civil War.

1646

Donnington Castle is besieged and subsequently destroyed.

 

 

 

1648-72

Newbury issues it own coinage, because of the lack of sufficient coin in circulation.

 

1649-60

 

Commonwealth. 

 

1649-53

 

Rule by the Rump Parliament.

 

1655

Donnington Priory (the present house) is built on the ruins of the original Priory; in 1833 it is purchased by John Hughes, the father of Thomas Hughes (1822-96), the author of “Tom Brown’s Schooldays.”  Clockmaking starts in Newbury, lasting until about 1840; there are up to 100 clock and watch makers in Newbury at one time.  [S. Tolman].

 

1653-58

 

Rule by Oliver Cromwell.

 

1658-59

 

Rule by Richard Cromwell.

 

1660

Monarchy is restored.

 

1663

The present central Camp Hopson building is constructed, as a residence for the Mayor of Newbury.

 

1660-85

King Charles II.

 

1666

Newbury Quarter Session (court) records begin.  The office of Recorder (judge) of Newbury continues until 1971.

 

1665

 

Great Plague.

 

1666

 

Great Fire of London.

 

1676

Upper Raymond’s Almshouses are constructed in Argyle Road.

 

1675-1710

Rebuilding of St Paul’s Cathedral.

1677

Corporation orders the residents of Cheap Street, Northbrook Street, and Bartholomew Street to pave the roads outside their properties.  Newbury streets in general are paved in 1790.

 

1679

Habeas Corpus Act.

1683

Quakers are imprisoned for their religious beliefs.

 

1685-88

King James II.  Deposed in 1688.  Dies in France 1701.

 

1688

William of Orange stays at Shaw House for one night in his progress towards London.

 

1688

                               

William of Orange lands at Torbay,  then travels East to London.

 

1689

Bill of Rights.  Start of Constitutional Government in Britain.

 

1690

Coxedd’s Almshouses, West Mills, are built.

 

1689-1702

 

King William III.

 

1692

House of Toomer ironmongers starts in Northbrook Street, moving to Bartholomew Street in 1984.

 

1689-94

 

Queen Mary II (joint monarchs).

 

1693      

There is an increase in street robberies, burglaries, and night-time disorders.  An improved Watch is kept.

 

1694

Bank of England is founded.

1697

Presbyterian Waterside Chapel is built.  It is demolished in 1960, and the site is now occupied by the Waterside Youth Centre.

 

 

 

1702

A Baptist meeting house is built in Northcroft Lane.  A Quaker meeting house is built in Mayor’s Lane; the Quaker movement dies out in Newbury in the later 18th century, many members joining the Methodists, and a memorial stone now marks the former Quaker burial ground.  A 20th century building in Highfields Avenue is now the Quaker meeting house.

 

1702-14

                                 

Queen Anne.

 

1704

Battle of Blenheim. 

1707

Corporation acquires the first of its surviving maces.  The second is acquired in 1758.

 

1707

Union with Scotland.

1710

Kings Arms Inn (later called Dower House) is built in London Road, demolished in 1996.  A Western extension (still existing) is built in 1759.

 

 

 

1716

Congregationalist Church is constructed in Cromwell Place.  In 1822, it is rebuilt.  The rebuilt church is demolished in 1958 and the present United Reformed Church is constructed on the same site in 1962.

 

1714-27

King George I. 

Start of the Hanoverian dynasty.

1718-23

River Kennet is made navigable to Reading.  Two large basins are excavated for barges and the Wharf is constructed.  Newbury becomes an inland port.  The annual value of the Wharf is £400 [VCH].

 

1720

South Sea Bubble.

1722

Bluecoat School transfers from the Cloth Hall to five cottages on the site of the Temperance Hall in Northcroft Lane.  In 1859, the school transfers to the new National School in Enborne Road and the Temperance Hall is built in the site (see that date).

 

1721-42

Robert Walpole is Britain’s first Prime Minister.

1724

The only type of cloth manufactured in Newbury is shalloons, used solely for the lining of men’s clothes.  [Daniel Defoe].

 

 

 

1725

First recorded use of the Granary as a warehouse.  The timbers date from about 1711 [D.Coe]. 

 

 

 

1726

The wooden bridge with its shops is swept away in a flood and is again rebuilt in wood.  A workhouse is built on the site where the library is built in 1906.

 

 

 

1730      

Sandleford Priory is acquired by Edward Montagu (1691-1775).  In 1742, he marries Elizabeth Robinson (1720-1800), a wit and “bluestocking” who entertains many learned and distinguished friends, at both Sandleford and their house in London.  In 1780-1, Elizabeth has the house remodelled in “Strawberry Hill” gothic style by James Wyatt.  The gardens are laid out by Launcelot Brown.

 

1727-60

King George II. 

1740-42

Mansion House is built, occupying part of the present Mansion House Street.  It is demolished in 1908.

 

 

 

1743      

Turnpiking of the road from London to Bath and Bristol is completed, with Newbury as the half-way stop.  Nine Newbury inns serve travellers along the London Road between Shaw Road and Oxford Road, the most famous being the “George and Pelican”, which could accommodate 300 horses.

 

1745-46

Jacobite rebellion is defeated.

1752

 “Flying Coach” service is started to London, leaving the White Hart in the Market Place and arriving in London in 12 hours.  Market tolls average £200 per year [VCH].

 

1750’s

Major highways have been turnpiked. 

1754

“Jack of Newbury” inn, later hotel, is established in Northbrook Street.  It is demolished in 1934 and Marks & Spencers is now on the site.

 

1757

Sankey Brook Navigation (the first canal) is built.

1759

Population of Newbury is 3732 [VCH].  The Berkshire Militia is raised.  The Borough charters are translated and transcribed.  The auction firm which is now Dreweatt 1759 is founded by Thomas Davis.

 

1757-59

Conquest of Quebec and Bengal from the French, founding the British Empire.

 

1760

Donnington Grove is built in “Strawberry Hill” gothic by John Chute.  It is now a Country Club.

 

1760-1820

King George III.

1761

Newbury has 41 licenced premises [A. Edwards].

 

 

 

 

1766

There are riots caused by the high price of bread.

 

 

 

1768

The Bear Inn (now 24 & 26 Broadway) closes as a inn, in consequence of a supposed murder on the premises.  [W. Money].

 

1769-70

Captain James Cook’s journey to Australia and New Zealand.

 

1769-72

The present bridge is built in stone and brick, with three arches.  Architect James Clarke of Newbury.

 

1772

Somersett’s Case (Slavery declared illegal in England).

 

1775      

Benham Park is built for the sixth Lord Craven (1738-1791) – architect Lancelot Brown.  It is now Benham Valence.  After Lord Craven’s death his widow (Lady Elizabeth Berkeley, 1750-1828) marries the last Margrave of Anspach, a small German state, and (as the Margravine) becomes a Newbury celebrity.  After the Margrave’s death in 1806, she leaves Benham Park to live in Naples.  Speen Church contains a memorial to the Margrave by Canova, erected by the Margravine.

 

1775-83

 

American war of Independence.

 

1778-1840

 

George ‘Beau’ Brummell.  His father owned Donnington Grove.

 

1780

Speen (excepting Bagnor) is enclosed.

 

1779

 

Crompton invents the spinning mule.

 

1784

Mail coach services begin.  42 coaches run through Newbury each day.  [W. Money.]

 

1782

Boulton and Watt patent their steam engine.

 

1790

William Plenty establishes his iron foundry and engineering business.  In 1806 it moves to Cheap Street, staying there until 1965 when the Kennet Centre is built, when it transfers to Hambridge Road.  In 1816, Plenty produces an innovative design of lifeboat.

 

1787

 

 

United State Constitution.

 

1789

French Revolution.

1795

Berkshire Magistrates meet at the George and Pelican to agree new levels of poor relief (called the Speenhamland System after the location).  Almshouses are built in Cheap Street, beside where the Post Office is now, from the bequest of John Kimber (d.1790); in 1939, they are moved to Kennet Road.  Local landowners raise a force of volunteer cavalry and infantry against the threat of a French invasion; this is confirmed through a Militia Act in 1808.  By 1827, these forces had been disbanded.

 

1793-1802

 

 

 

Wars with Revolutionary France.

1796

Lower Raymond’s Almshouses are built in Newtown Road.  They had been founded in Argyle Road in 1670 [P. Wood].

 

 

 

1802

Newbury Theatre is built to entertain coach travellers, off Oxford Road.  It is ceases to show plays in 1845 and is demolished in 1976.

 

1803-15

 

 

Wars with Napoleon.

 

1805

Battle of Trafalgar.

 

1810

Kennet and Avon Canal from Newbury to Bristol is completed, having been started in 1794.

 

1807

Abolition of the slave trade.

 

1811

The Newbury Coat is made in a single day from wool off two sheep, by John Coxeter, the sole remaining clothier after decline of the cloth trade.  Sir John Throckmorton wins his £1000 wager and keeps the coat.  Coxeter’s mill at Greenham closes in 1817.

 

1810

Prince of Wales (later George IV) becomes Regent.

1815      

A 105-piece tea service of Canton china is presented to the Corporation by Captain Charles Barnard.  It is lost in the sale of the Corporation’s movable assets (see 1836).

 

1815

 

Battle of Waterloo.

 

1819

Peterloo Massacre.

 

1825

Newbury and Speenhamland Improvement Act is passed, authorising the Borough to carry out road improvements.  Andover Road (then Wash Lane) is extended northwards, bypassing Argyle Road and Hampton Road down which the route originally passed.  The present northern part of Newtown Road is built, bypassing Old Newtown Road.  The Litten Chapel is shortened (see 1480).  Gas lighting appears in Newbury.  Again under the Act, the Guildhall is demolished in 1828 (see 1611).

 

1820-30

               

King George IV.

 

1825

Stockton-Darlington Railway opens for public service.

 

1827

Beynon department store opens in the market place, closing in 1990.

 

1828                      

 

Act for emancipation of Nonconformists.

 

1828

The Speenhamland Lamp, paid for by public subscription, is built in the Broadway as one of Newbury’s earliest gas lights.  In 1887, it is moved as the Speen Obelisk to the junction of Speen Lane and (Old) Bath Road (see that year).

 

1829

Catholic Emancipation Act.  Metropolitan Police Act.

 

1830

There are riots against the introduction of threshing machines.

 

1830-37

 

King William IV.

 

1831

St Mary’s Church (Anglican), London Road, is built.  It is demolished in 1976.  In 1835 St Mary’s National (elementary) School is attached to it.  Its vicarage, late Georgian with a Gothic front, survives as St Mary’s House. 

 

1832

First Reform Act extends the vote to prosperous businessmen and professionals.

 

1834

Literary and Scientific Institution is built in Northbrook Street.  In 1905 it becomes a secondary school for girls.  It is demolished in 1966 and W.H. Smith is now on the site.

 

1833

 

 

. 

 

Act forbids the employment of children under 9 in textile mills.  Slavery in the British Empire is abolished.

 

1835

Newbury Union for poor relief, incorporating neighbouring parishes, is set up under the 1834 Act.  The Union workhouse is built in Newtown Road; it becomes Sandleford Hospital in 1948, and is demolished in 2005 for redevelopment.

 

1834

Tolpuddle Martyrs.  Poor Law Amendment Act sets up Poor Law Unions.   

 

1836

Newbury Corporation is reformed under the Act of 1835.  The first public elections to Newbury Borough Council take place.  Closed guilds are abolished.  Debts in the Municipal Charities force the sale of all the Corporation’s movable assets.  Newbury Borough Police Force is formed, merged into Thames Valley Constabulary in 1875 (from 1974 Thames Valley Police).

 

1835      

Municipal Corporations Act sets up elected Borough Councils.

1838

Newbury Methodist Church is built in Northbrook Street.  It is refurbished in 1898 and 1988.  In 1852 an elementary school is attached to it, continuing until 1908.

 

1837-

1901                      

 

Queen Victoria.

1841

London to Bristol Railway is built via Didcot, bypassing Newbury.  The last stage coach from Bristol to London runs in 1843.  The Phoenix Brewery starts operation at 50 Bartholomew Street, ceasing in 1923.  Including the Phoenix Brewery, there are nine breweries in Newbury.

 

1840

 

Penny Post.

 

1840-67

Rebuilding of Houses of Parliament.

 

1842

Newbury’s corn market, worth £181,518, is larger than Reading’s, which is worth £153,652 [S. Tolman].

 

 

 

1843

“George and Pelican” inn closes as an inn.

 

1844

Companies Act.

1846

Last stage coach runs from Oxford via Newbury to Southampton.  It is bypassed by the new railway from Oxford to Southampton which runs through Reading.

 

1845-6

Irish potato famine.

1847

Branch Railway line is built from Hungerford and Newbury to Reading; in 1862 it is extended to Devizes, in 1900 to Westbury and in 1906 to Taunton, connecting to the already constructed line from Bristol to Penzance.  Newtown Road cemetery is opened by a private company; it is transferred to Newbury Town Council in 1998.

 

 

 

1849

East and West Fields are enclosed and subsequently laid out for development.  The City Recreation Ground is laid out.  West Street is laid out, completed in 1853.

 

 

 

1850

The first Masonic Lodge is founded in Newbury.

 

1850

Public Libraries Act.

1850’s

Dolton’s grain merchants is founded in the Wharf, expanding into milling in 1912 first at Shaw Mills and then Town Mills (demolished in 1981).  In 1972 it moves to Hermitage and is now Banks Dolton.  The Stone Building is built at the Wharf as a grain store and later a maintenance workshop.

 

1851

Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace.

1854

Camp Hopson (as it now is) is founded in Northbrook Street.  It starts in its present premises in 1921.  St Nicolas parish is transferred by the Crown (which has held it since the Reformation) to the diocese of Oxford.  Further burials are prohibited in the churchyards of St Nicolas and the Methodist Church.

 

1853-56

 

Crimean War.

 

1855

Limited Liabilities Act.

1858

Wash Common is enclosed.

 

1857-58

Indian Mutiny.

1859

Newbury National (elementary) School is built in Enborne Road – architect William Butterfield; it closes in 1990 (see that date) and the building is now a private language school.  St John’s parish is formed.  The Temperance Hall is built in Northcroft Lane (see 1722).  A Baptist Church is built in Northbrook Street, replacing the 1702 meeting house in Northcroft Lane; it is demolished in 1940, and the site is now occupied by Edinburgh Woollen Mill and The Orange Shop.

 

1859

“Origin of Species” is published.

1860

St John’s Church is consecrated – architect William Butterfield, in his “structural polychromy” style (see 1943).  St Mary’s Church at Speen is rebuilt.  Midwinter’s corn merchants is founded in Cheap Street, finally closing in 1992.

 

 

 

 1862

Corn Exchange is built in the Market Place – architect J.S. Dodd.  It ceases to be used as a corn and agricultural market in the 1980’s, when the last grain and seed merchants (Dolton’s and Mortimer’s) leave Newbury.  In 1993, the Corn Exchange is reopened after refurbishment as an arts and entertainment centre.

 

1861

 

Unification of Italy.

 

1861-65

 

American Civil War.

 

1864

St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church is built in London Road; in 1928, a new church is built alongside it.  St Mary’s Almshouses are built in Cheap Street; they are demolished in 1971.

 

 

 

1867

Newbury Weekly News is first published.

 

1867

Second Reform Act extends the vote to skilled workers.

 

1870

Elliott’s of Newbury (as it becomes known), moulding, joinery, and furniture company, is founded; it closes in 1974, and Bayer’s UK headquarters are now on the site.  Newbury District Field Club is founded.

 

1870

Education Act  provides for free and universal elementary education.

 

1871

According to the census, the population of Newbury Borough is 6,161.  In 1901, it is 11,061, and in 1991 it is 31,488.

 

1871

Unification of Germany.

1873

Cattle market is opened in Market Street by Lord Carnavon; it is closed in 1969 and is now the bus station.  Crookham Golf Club is founded, becoming the Newbury and Crookham Golf Club in 1946.

 

1872

Ballot Act provides for secret ballots in elections.

1875      

Mains water is supplied to Newbury.

Newbury and Lambourn Tramway (horse-drawn) is built as far as Donnington Square; in 1877 the company is closed and the tramway is dug up.

St John’s infants school is opened in Old Newtown Road; it is rebuilt on a new site in 1986.

Greenham Lodge is built for Lloyd H. Baxendale by Norman Shaw; it is now Mary Hare Primary School for the deaf.

 

1875

Act forbids use of boys as chimney sweeps.

1875-78

St Mary’s Church, Greenham, is built and decorated – architect H. Woodyer.  38% of the cost is borne by Lloyd Baxendale.

 

 

 

1876-81

Newbury Town Hall is built – architect James Money.

In 1910 it is extended after demolition of the Mansion House.

 

 

 

1877

Primitive Methodist Church is built in Bartholomew Street, opposite Market Street.  In 1962, it is found to be unsafe and demolished.  The site is now Clive Willis, estate agents, and Melville Burbage, insurance brokers.

 

 

 

1878

Parts of Speen, Speenhamland, and Greenham, previously separate parishes, are incorporated in Newbury Borough; most of the rest of these parishes are incorporated in 1934.  Falkland Memorial, celebrating Viscount Falkland who fell in the First Battle of Newbury, is unveiled by the Earl of Carnavon.  Newbury Volunteer Fire Brigade is founded, based in the Wharf.

 

1878

Act consolidates previous legislation controlling factory and workshop conditions.

1879

Newbury Symphony Orchestra (as it is now called) is founded.  Almshouses (Church and Child’s) are built in Newtown Road.

 

 

 

1882-85

Didcot to Newbury and Winchester Railway is built, extended to Southampton in 1891.  It is closed in 1964.

 

 

 

1883

Borough acquires the Mayor’s chain.  Trees are planted and footpaths are laid down in The Marsh (see 1901).  The Queen’s Hotel in the Market Place is rebuilt from two earlier inns [A. Edwards].

 

 

 

1885

Under the 1884 Act, Newbury becomes a Constituency and elects its first MP since the Middle Ages – William George Mount.  St Barthomew’s School (Newbury Grammar School) moves to the present Wormestall premises in Buckingham Road.  Newbury Hospital is built in Andover Road – replaced by flats in 2007.

 

1884

Third Reform Act  extends the vote to 60% of adult males. 

1887

Cast iron Clock Tower is built in the Broadway to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.  In 1928, it is replaced with the present Clock House, which has carvings representing the Clock Tower and the previous Speenhamland Lamp (see 1828). 

 

 

 

1888

Berkshire County Council is set up.

 

1888

Local Government Act sets up elected County Councils. 

 

1894

Work starts on a new drainage system for Newbury.

 

 

 

1896

Newbury Post Office is built.

 

1895

National Trust is founded.

 

1898      

Newbury to Lambourn Railway is built; it is closed in 1973.  The Earl of Carnavon is fined £5 for exceeding the speed limit of 12 m.p.h. in his motor car down Wash Hill (Andover Road).

 

1897

Workmen’s Compensation Act.

1901

Soldiers from the Boer War are welcomed back to Newbury.  The Marsh is renamed Victoria Park.

 

1899-1902

Boer War.

1903

Queen Victoria’s statue is unveiled in the Market Place, paid for by George Sanger and manufactured by Royal Doulton.  In 1933 it is moved to Greenham Park, and to Victoria Park when the present A339 bypass is built in 1965.  It is missing two of the four lions and its original plinth.

 

1901-10

 

King Edward VII. 

 

1902

 

Education Act makes counties responsible for secondary education.

 

1903

 

Motor Cars Act.

1904

Newbury Museum opens in the Cloth Hall; it is extended into the Granary in 1985. 

Electricity supply comes to Newbury.

 

 

 

1905

Newbury Racecourse is built, at the instigation of John Porter of Kingsclere.  It is refurbished in 1992 and 2000.

 

 

 

1906

Public Library is opened in Cheap Street, with a grant from the Carnegie Trust, on the site of the former workhouse built in 1726.  It is closed in 1998 and is now a restaurant.

 

1906

 

Trade Disputes Act.

 

1907

 

First cinema in Britain.

 

1909

First Newbury Show is held.  The County Girls’ Grammar School is founded in Buckingham Road – first headmistress Jane Luker.  The Council Elementary Schools for boys and girls are established in Station Road, extended to provide the Council Modern (Secondary) boys’ and girls’ schools in 1934 (see 1943).

 

1908

Old Age Pensions Act.

1910

Newbury Railway Station is rebuilt.  The first Newbury cinema opens, at the Southern end of Cheap Street.

 

1910-36

 

King George V.

 

1911

 

National Insurance Act.

 

1914-

18

Newbury Racecourse is used to house mounted troops and prisoners of war, and for tank testing and munitions inspection.

 

1914-18

 

First World War.

 

 

1917

 

House of Windsor.

Russian Revolution.

 

1919

Dr Essex Wynter buys the Argyle Road almshouses (dated 1670).  Over the period to 1937, he remodels them and adds others for use by retired Middlesex Hospital nurses.

 

1918

Act extends the vote to all adult males and women over 30.

 

1920

First council houses are built, in St George’s Avenue.

 

1919

Act requires Councils to build council houses.

 

1925      

First long-distance motor coach service is established between Bristol and London, via Newbury.

 

1922      

Irish Free State (in 1949, the Irish Republic).

 

1927

Regal Cinema is built in Bartholomew Street.  It is demolished in 1969.  The Pearl Assurance development (Iceland and its neighbours) is now on the site.

 

1926

 

General Strike. 

 

1927

 

BBC Charter.

 

1928

Newbury Rugby Club is founded; it moves to Monks Lane in 1996.  Woolworths opens in Northbrook Street; it closes in 2008.

 

1928

Act extends the vote to women on the same terms as men.

1930

Brewing ceases in Newbury, with the closure of the Newbury Brewing Company at 27 Northbrook Street (now the site of Phones 4 U) [A. Edwards].

 

1931

Statute of Westminster.

 

1932

Newbury has its first woman mayor, Elsie Kimber.

The Wharf basins are bought by the Borough and filled in; the Wharf car park in now on the site.

 

1932-33

Great Depression. 

3 million are out of work.

1933

St George’s Church is commenced in Andover Road; it becomes a separate parish in 1963, and the church is completed in 1965.  Newbury’s first traffic lights are installed, at what is now St John’s roundabout.

 

 

 

1930’s

The present leisure facilities and pavilion are installed in Victoria Park.  It is officially reopened in 1935.

 

1936

 

King Edward VIII.  Abdicates 1936.  Dies 1972.

 

1936-39

Spanish Civil War.

1937

Outdoor swimming pool is opened at Northcroft.  Park Way, previously called “Marsh Lane”, is built as a road.

 

1936-52

King George VI. 

1939

Greenham Common is taken over as a US military airbase, visited by General Eisenhower before D-Day in 1944.  The Law Society is evacuated from London to 142 Newtown Road, Newbury [I. Campbell].

 

1939-45

Second World War.

1940

Opperman Gears (now Opperman Mastergears) arrives at Hambridge Road.  Vickers Armstrong arrives in Newbury and makes Spitfire fuselages on the present Quantel site; it closes in 1963.  What is now the Park Way Bridge is built, then rebuilt in 2001.  The present Baptist Church is constructed in Cheap Street.

 

 

 

1941

Newbury Volunteer Fire Brigade is taken over by the National Fire Service, later the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

 

 

 

1942-

47

Newbury Racecourse becomes a marshalling yard for the US Army and a prisoner of war camp.  It reopens for racing in 1949. 

 

 

 

1943

German bombs destroy the Council Schools, St John’s Church, and part of Lower Raymonds’ Almshouses, killing 15 people.  The girls’ school is relocated to Shaw House, where it remains until 1985.  Didcot to Southampton Railway is widened to take D-Day traffic [M. James].

 

1944

Education Act  provides for free and compulsory secondary education.

 

1946

AERE opens at Harwell; many of its employees reside in Newbury.  Park House School opens, replacing the boys’ Council School bombed in 1943; it becomes comprehensive in 1975.  More Council houses are built.

 

1946

National Health Service Act.  National Insurance Act.

1948

Present Borough coat of arms is adopted.  St Gabriel’s School, located at Ormonde House, Oxford Road, since about 1944, acquires Sandleford Priory from its last private owner.  Newbury College starts at Ormonde House; in 2002 it moves to new premises in Monks Lane, and the Ormonde House site is redeveloped.

 

1947

Indian and Pakistani independence.

1950

A339 is diverted to the Swan Inn at Newtown; formerly, it went down Greenham Road and crossed Greenham Common.  The Kennet and Avon Canal closes after collapse of a lock; it is restored after a campaign involving John Gould MBE, and reopened in 1990 by HM The Queen.  AWRE opens at Aldermaston; many of its employees reside in Newbury.

 

1949

NATO set up.  Cold War with the Soviet Union lasts until 1990. 

1951

Greenham Common becomes a B47 and B52 bomber base for the US Air Force.

 

1951

First commercial computer.

1950’s

 

Industrial activity starts in the Hambridge Road area.

 

1952

 

 

 

Accession of HM Queen Elizabeth II.  Crowned in 1953.

 

1953

DNA is discovered.

 

1955

John Rankin Primary School is opened.

1953-58

Korean War.

 

1957

 

 

 

               

St John’s Church is rebuilt – architect S.E. Dykes-Bower.  The style is different from the original Butterfield.

The last of the eight grain mills which operated in the 19th century closes.

 

1958

 

 

                               

 

Development of the electronic circuit, making modern computers possible.

 

1958

St John’s roundabout is built [R. Tubb].  Part of the space that it occupies was previously occupied by the earlier St John’s Church, destroyed in 1943, and by the Old London Apprentice pub, whose name is taken over by the present pub of that name [B. Burgess].

 

1959

First motorway opens in the UK.

1961

Western Avenue (A4) is built, bypassing London Road and Broadway.  The present Fire and Ambulance Station is built adjoining the present Robin Hood Roundabout.  The present Masonic Centre is built in London Road.

 

 

 

1962

Kennet and Avon Canal Trust is founded, after a campaign started in 1949.  It is located in the Stone Building (see 1850’s) [G. Smith].

 

 

 

1963

Black Bear Inn at the corner of Bear Lane and Market Place is demolished and Bear Lane is widened.

 

 

 

1964

Waterside Youth Centre is opened, on the Kennet and Avon Canal.

 

 

 

1965

Newbury Police Station and Court are built in Mill Lane.

 

 

 

1966-67

The present A339 bypass is built, by-passing the Town centre.  The existing Robin Hood pub is demolished to make way for it, and a private house (The Myrtles) takes over its name and function.  The Greyhound pub at the end of Smith’s Crescent is also demolished.  The first Robin Hood roundabout is built [B. Burgess].

 

 

 

1967

Fairclose Day Centre is opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, on the site of the almshouses destroyed in 1943.  Watermill Theatre opens.

 

 

 

1970

Kennet Centre is built, involving the demolition of many buildings between Bartholomew Street, Cheap Street, and Market Street.  St Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church is built in Warren Road, Wash Common.

 

1970

Voting age is reduced to 18.

1971      

M4 is built, by-passing the A4.  UK Solenoid is established in London Road.

 

 

 

1972

Crown Courts replace Quarter Sessions.  Newbury Crown Court meets in the Mill Lane site until 1985.  Snelsmore Common becomes a Country Park.

 

 

 

1973

The Newbury Society is founded.  Quantel is founded in Newbury by Sir Peter Michael, moving to its present headquarters in Turnpike Road in 1982.

 

1973

Britain joins the European  Community.

1974

Newbury Borough is abolished and what is now West Berkshire Council is set up.  Its present headquarters are built in 1980.

 

 

 

1975

St Bartholomew’s School is formed by the merger of St Bartholomew’s Grammar School (for boys) and Newbury County Girls’ Grammar School.

 

 

 

1977

The A339 is extended north to the M4 and the Robin Hood roundabout is altered.  In 1979, the A339 is extended to the south (the Sandleford link).

 

 

 

1978

First Newbury Arts Festival is held.

 

1979

First cellular telephone.

 

1980

Northcroft Leisure Centre is opened by Reg Stubberfield, Chairman of Newbury District Council.  The firm which is now Dreweatt 1759 moves to Donnington Priory.

 

 

 

1981

Greenham Common becomes a US Air Force Cruise Missile base.  Cruise Missiles arrive in 1983, leaving in 1991.  The women’s Peace Camp is set up close to the entrance, lasting until the missiles depart.

 

1981

IBM personal computer, founding modern personal computer technology.

 

1983      

Bayer opens its UK headquarter offices in Newbury.  Racal-Vodafone sets up at 2/4 London Road, having been granted a cellular licence; in 1991, it is floated as an independent company under the name Vodafone.

 

1982

Falklands War.

1984

Tourist Information Centre is established in the Wharf.

[Note: delete reference to Elmore Abbey, 1987, and align boxes as below.]

1985

Ernie Wise makes the first UK mobile telephone call on the Vodafone network.

 

1988

Methodist worship is concentrated in the Northbrook Street Methodist Church.  Other Methodist chapels are closed.

 

1986

City of London is deregulated (“Big Bang”).

1990

Newbury County Court (civil) is established in Kings Road.  St Nicolas Church of England Primary School opens in Link Road, replacing the primary school in Enborne Road (see 1859).

 

 

 

1991

Tesco sets up in Pinchington Lane.

 

1991

Soviet Union collapses.  Warsaw Pact is dissolved.

 

1994

Sainsbury’s moves east of the A339.

 

 

 

1996

HM The Queen visits Newbury to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Royal Charter.

 

 

 

1997

Newbury Retail Park opens.  Greenham Common Trust is formed and buys Greenham Common; in 2000, it is opened for unrestricted public access and New Greenham Park is established.

 

 

 

1997-

98

Newbury Town Council is created.  Berkshire County Council is abolished, and West Berkshire Council becomes a unitary authority.

 

 

 

1998

The present A34 bypass is built, after national controversy.  Northbrook Street is pedestrianised.

 

1998

Good Friday agreement in Belfast.

 

1999

Trinity School is opened, replacing Shaw House School.

 

1999

Scottish and Welsh devolution.

 

2000

The new library is opened at the Wharf.  Kick FM radio station opens.  Bartholomew Street is pedestrianised.  The Corn Exchange becomes a charitable trust.

 

2001

 

 

 

Twin Towers are destroyed in New York.  British troops go to Afghanistan.

 

2002

Vodafone moves to its present international and UK headquarters on the A339 north of Newbury.

 

2003

Iraq War.

2004

West Berkshire Community Hospital opens.

 

 

2005

Shaw House is refurbished by West Berkshire Council, financed by Berkshire County Council, the National Heritage Lottery Fund, and Vodafone; the work is completed and the building is opened to the public in 2008.

 

 

 

2008

A Government grant is obtained for a new St Barts building, opened in 2010; the two historic buildings are sold and converted to flats in 2011.   The Park Way development of shops and flats is started; it opens in 2011.

 

2011

Libyan action under U.N. Resolution 1973.

 

 Author: Anthony Pick      (anthony.pick@newburyweb.net)

© The Newbury Society


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Newbury Society,
14 Nov 2011 14:20
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