Welcome to the Virtual Museum for Hungerford
The website for all of Hungerford's fascinating history.
Read the stories behind the People, Places and Events of the area. Use the Timeline to follow events from the Roman period to the present day. Try one of the Themed articles, look at the Artefacts, our Archive of 22,000 photographs and maps, over 1,900 documents, or Search all 1,600+ pages for a topic of your choice.
Whatever you do, enjoy your visit!
Recent additions to enjoy:
Tony Bartlett's Photo Archives:
This wonderful collection of more than 5,500 photos creates a unique and comprehensive record of Hungerford's life for well over a decade between 2006 and 2019.
They include many of the special events that make Hungerford a wonderful place to live in and include dozens of HADCAF Arts Festival events.
Enjoy them! They are an amazing collection!
Follow this link for Tony Bartlett's Photo Archive.
Stewart Hofgartner's Collections:
Stewart Hofgartner (of "Below Stairs of Hungerford" Antiques at 103 High Street) has a very extensive local heritage collection including photographs, old documents, crested ware, glass bottles, medical and pharmaceutical items, stoneware flagons, and other trade and non-trade related items.
He has been kind enough to share much of his large collection with the Virtual Museum.
Follow this link for Stewart Hofgartner's Collections.
Hungerford's Market in the Middle Ages:
This is not new, but if you want to read a well-researched paper on what our market was like in the 13th-16th centuries, then you will love reading Norman Hidden's excellent paper, originally published back in 1998.
Follow this link for Hungerford's Market in the Middle Ages.
PC Ron Hoyes and the garden at Hungerford Police Station, AUg 1992:
PC Ron Hoyes and his colleagues became famous for the wonderful display they created decorating the Hungerfrod Police Station. This is a video clip [5mins] from Gardeners' World in August 1992 which tells the story.
There are many other great videos of Hungerford to watch too!
Follow this link for PC Ron Hoyes and the garden at Hungerford Police Station.
An Album of Teachers in Hungerford 1867-94:
Just added to the Virtual Museum is a large photo album presented to Rev Anstice on his retirement. The remarkable album includes 96 photographs of teachers who had worked at the Sunday and Day Schools between 1867 and 1894. The album was nearly destroyed in 1990, but thankfully was saved for posterity. The article includes some wonderful notes made by Mrs Barbara Hope in 1990 when she was aged 90 years.
Follow this link for Teachers in Hungerford 1867-94.
Burglary at James Woodham's watchmakers, 1831:
The Woodham family ran their clock and watchmaking business from the lovely timber-framed property that is now 1 High Street for over 150 years, from 1737-1892. The business had been started by Edward Woodham, but in 1777 it was taken over by his eldest son James Woodham who had apprenticed in London and was well renowned. In turn his own son, another James Woodham took it over in 1809.
The business was well established and very successful. However, this success brought with it the real threat of burglary. One such burglary took place on Friday 14 Oct 1831. The main article includes a summary of the story as well as transcripts of the Reading Mercury reports. There are some interesting twists! Enjoy.
Read all about it at Burglary at James Woodham's watchmakers, 1831.
Significant Anniversaries in 2021:
1421 – 600 yrs since The Priory of St John had dwindled to secular use.
1546 – 475 yrs since The Priory of St John was finally dissolved.
1571 – 450 yrs since the introduction of “Statute” bricks – 9" x 4½" x 2¼"
1721 – 300 yrs since the brutal murder of William and Ann Cheyney in their home in High Street.
1746 – 275 yrs since the road through Froxfield and Savernake to Marlborough was upgraded to a turnpike.
1771 – 250 yrs since a new key had to be made for the Blindhouse (prison cell).
1796 – 225 yrs since John Willes bought Hungerford Park.
1821 – 200 yrs since a famous bare knuckle fight took place on The Common.
1821 – 200 yrs since the death of John Blackwell, canal engineer, who lived in The Croft.
1846 – 175 yrs since the Hungerford Gas & Coke Company was set up.
1846 – 175 yrs since the Manor Brewery was offered for sale.
1846 – 175 yrs since the earliest mention of the Royal Berkshire Yeomanry was first mentioned.
1846 – 175 yrs since horse races were held on the racecourse on The Common.
1846 – 175 yrs since the Union Workhouse was opened in Park Street.
1871 – 150 yrs since a new railway station was built replacing both 'up' and 'down' buildings
1871 – 150 yrs since the new Town Hall and Corn Exchange was opened.
1896 – 125 yrs since the High Street railway bridge was replaced.
1921 – 100 yrs since the War Memorial in Bridge Street was dedicated.
1921 – 100 yrs since Caleb Camburn retired from the All-Age Council School.
1946 – 75 yrs since the Croft Nursery School re-opened in 1946.
1946 – 75 yrs since the last service at Holy Trinity Church, Denford.
1971 – 50 yrs since the opening of the M4 motorway.
1971 – 50 yrs since the huge railway accident at Hungerford station.
1996 – 25 yrs since Littlecote House was converted to a hotel.
1996 – 25 yrs since The Tuesday Club was established.
1996 – 25 yrs since Morley Lunches were set up.
1996 – 25 yrs since the Ambulance Station closed in Hungerford.