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.
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.
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.
The Memorial Benches of Hungerford:
The material for this article was kindly sent by Dr Jimmy Whittaker between July and November 2020. It represents the culmination of a huge piece of work and much research carried out by Jimmy in recent years, and the details of his findings make very interesting reading. The article cover around 80 benches with fascinating information about those remembered.
Follow this link for The Memorial Benches of Hungerford.
Significant Anniversaries in 2020:
1320 - 700 yrs since Edward II passed through Hungerford en route to Marlborough.
1470 - 550 yrs since the earliest known rent roll of the Duchy of Lancaster properties in Hungerford.
1520 - 500 yrs since the present Tudor manor house of Littlecote was built by Sir George Darrell.
1595 - 425 yrs since Hungerford Park was granted to Queen Elizabeth's favourite, the Earl of Essex.
1770 - 250 yrs since the long established practice of burying people in wool lapsed.
1795 - 225 yrs since the the John o'Gaunt Inn was established in Bridge Street.
1845 - 175 yrs since the Hungerford Gas & Coke Company was registered.
1845 - 175 yrs since the Glass Tax was abolished by Sir Robert Peel's government.
1870 - 150 yrs since the Wesleyan Chapel was built in Charnham Street.
1870 - 150 yrs since the Hungerford Lying-in Charity reported that 35 poor women had been "relieved".
1870 - 150 yrs since St Mary's School-Chapel in Newtown was opened.
1895 - 125 yrs since the last remaining Turnpike Trust collected its final toll.
1895 - 125 yrs since the boundary changes of 1895 brought Charnham Street into Berkshire.
1945 - 75 yrs since the end of Second World War.
1945 - 75 yrs since War-time rationing continues.
1945 - 75 yrs since Chilton Factory was employing 250 people working shifts around the clock.
1970 - 50 yrs since the first Steam Fayre was held on the Common.
1995 - 25 yrs since the publication of Julie Shuttleworth's book on "Elizabethan Hungerford".
1995 - 25 yrs since Hungerford Hospital (the old Union Workhouse) in Park Street was demolished.