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.


  • Chairman - Peter Halman
  • Joint Treasurers - Barbara Sears & Helen Perry
  • Secretary - Peter Delaney Tel: 0118 940 3121
  • Programme Secretary - Sarah Houghton
  • Committee members:-
    • Bob Austen
    • Richard Lloyd
    • 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 click here: Enquiry

    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.
     BLHA BALH   

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

    BBC History Pages

    Click this image for information about the wartime crash of a USAAF B-17 Flying Fortress and the Dedication of the Memorial to its crew on 13th Nov 2014

If you no longer wish to receive emails from the Wargrave Local History Society, with information such as this, please email secretary@wargravehistory.org.uk to be removed from the circulation list.

Your contact information etc is held securely, used only for administering Wargrave Local History Society membership, or for sending information concerning local history. It will not be given to any other person or organisation without the explicit permission of the person to whom it relates.

The Society's Books


Read about and order our books here.

A copy of the Booklet describing four Historic Village Walks can also be downloaded free from Dropbox as a PDF file by clicking on the cover image below:

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:

January 2022 February 2022
March 2022 April 2022
May 2022

Reports of previous meetings are held in an Archive

Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month starting at 8pm at the Old Pavilion, Recreation Ground, Wargrave. RG10 8BG

(Click for a map)

The committee have decided that with the relaxation of COVID 19 regulations it is now appropriate to resume our normal meeting arrangements.
However, at this stage, we think it is prudent to limit the numbers attending, so that the chairs can be spaced further apart than we have done in the past.
We would ask that anyone who plans to come to the meetings now to please request a place
(on a first come, first served basis) no later than the preceding Tuesday, by emailing
The Secretary
which will give us time to let you know if there will be sufficient room for all those who wish to attend.
If not, we will not be making the meeting available to non-members.


Family  £18  Individual £12 
Visitors are welcome -  £5  per meeting

The 2022-2023 programme.

April 12 Richard Marks Arrival of the Railways in Reading
Brunel's Great Western Railway from London to Bristol reached Reading in 1840, whilst the London and South Western and the South Eastern railways also served the town. Richard will tell us of their early history, and their impact on the locality.
May 10 Rodney Annetts Wargrave Fire Station The Annetts family came to live in Wargrave in the 1930s, and several were long serving members of the village fire brigade, and Rodney will share some of his memories of village life with us.  

Wargrave Village Festival  Details for both these events will be found in the Village Festival programme, and tickets will be available on Festival ticket sales day, April 2nd.
June 11 Local history exhibition, in the Woodclyffe Hall from 10am - 5pm
June 12 Historic Wargrave Walk, from Mill Green starting at 2.30pm
July 12 Local History Visit Visit to the Kennet and Avon Canal at Hungerford
We will have a peaceful afternoon trip from Hungerford along the canal on the Rose of Hungerford to Wire Lock and back, with a cream tea served on board.
September 13 Rob Wallace

Chalk, Caverns and Commandos
Rob will tell us of 100 million years of Reading's underground history, from the creation of chalk in the area, to the opening of Emmer Green chalk mines in the 18th century, and the later uses of these underground chambers.

October 11 Dr David Lewis

Windsor's Medieval Hospital
Having enlightened us about Old Windsor, David returns to tell us about the oldest known hospital in Berkshire. This little-known institution was a royal foundation, and linked to a medieval hospital that stood at Cemetery Junction in Reading.

November 8 Thomas Macey

Jackson's of Reading
Jackson's Corner was famous as the location of the last family-owned department store in Reading. Former employee and company archivist Thomas will recall its past, with examples from their archive.

December 13 Christmas Party Christmas Party.

January 10 Joy Pibworth Jane Austen's Schooldays in Reading Jane Austen's family had several connections to the parish of Wargrave, whilst she and her sister Cassandra were educated at a school in Reading's Abbey Gateway. Joy returns to tell of this period, and how it influenced Jane's novels.

February 14 Dr Margaret Simons Suffragettes
Having told us about Reading in World War 1, this time Margaret will tell us about the campaigns over half a century to enfranchise women in Britain, culminating in The Representation of the People Act just over 100 years ago, in 1918.

March 14 A G M

The Annual General Meeting