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 over 14,500 photographs and maps, over 1,900 documents, or Search all 1,650+ pages for a topic of your choice.
Whatever you do, enjoy your visit!
There is no museum building in the town, but the Hungerford Historical Association is committed to providing information on Hungerford's history by means of this virtual museum. If you can help, maybe by allowing us to include artefacts in your possession, or if you have any other comment, contribution or correction to make, please
Recent additions and updates to enjoy:
What's going on in St. Lawrence's Church?
Building works are underway and there will be great changes to the west end of the church!
New glazed entrance doors have been installed, but lots of work is now starting, including:
- Partitioning off the area under the balcony to provide flexible space for parish lunches, children’s church, ABC and other meetings.
- Moving the vestry up into the balcony and glazing between the church and the balcony behind the existing balcony rail,
- Building a new kitchen and two toilets.
Follow this for more on the Church re-ordering of 2023-24.
What's going on at the Littlecote Roman Villa?
Since March 2019 members of the HHA have been helping to restore Hungerford's great local Roman villa - at Littlecote House. The volunteers have held working parties to clear the walls of the villa from the moss, grass and weeds that had started to cover and obscure them. After all, it is 30 years since they were restored!
Artist’s impression of the riverside building c.AD 360-365
New interpretation panels are to be installed on site in the spring of 2023.
You can read lots more about villa and the work we are doing to help restore in the Littlecote Roman Villa section of this website.
If you are interested in helping the project, please
Historic Video Archive:
The Virtual Museum has a great collection of around 20 historic videos. Many of these relate to past Hocktide festivities, but there are many others to enjoy.
Follow this for the Video Archive.
The Postal Service in Hungerford:
This article outlines the long and interesting history of the postal service in Hungerford.
Hungerford lies, of course, on the important London to Bristol road, and Royal Posts passed through the town in Elizabethan times. We know of over 20 Postmasters in Hungerford from 1690, and at least ten Post Offices.
There are tales of bankruptcy, of financial success and several crimes. The article includes information about mail coaches, of postage stamps, of Victorian letter boxes, and of the telephone system.
The Post Office team c.1905
Read all about it under Postal Service.
The ‘The Iddy-Umpty Pierrots’ Concert Group, Egypt 1916-1917:
A fascinating insight into the Berkshire Yeomanry in Egypt in 1916-17 can be seen in an article kindly sent to the Virtual Museum by Bob Richardson in February 2022.
Follow this to read more about The Iddy-Umpty Pierrots Concert Group.
Memories of life in Hungerford 1900-1920:
In the archives were three ragged press cuttings from 1963 when a man who signed himself "Jimmy" wrote of his adventures growing up as a child in Hungerford in the early 1900s.
They provide a wonderful insight into the characters, activities and life in Hungerford in the first two decades of the 20th century. They are not long!
Follow this for Life in Hungerford 1900-1920.
Ron Scott's Photo Gallery of old farming ways:
Ron Scott gathered a large collection of copies of old photographs on a variety of subjects. Most were local views of Hungerford.
This is his collection of 96 copies of photographs showing old farming ways. Many of them were taken on local farms including Radley, Littlecote and Oakhill. Most are undated. For some there are interesting notes of the animals, people or machinery involved. A great insight into lost country ways.
Follow this link for Ron Scott's Photo Gallery of old farming ways.
The Red Telephone Kiosk:
The iconic K6 kiosk, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott is now the only one remaining in Hungerford. Read all about it and learn where there used to be other kiosks in Hungerford.
Follow this link for Red Telephone Kiosk.
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.
The story behind Combe Gibbet - fact or fiction?
We all know the story behind the gruesome and oh-so-prominent landmark on the highest point in southern England. Or do we? Is it fact or fiction?
Recent research has cast major doubt on the veracity of the well-known story.
Read all about it under Combe Gibbet - myth and background.