Caversham, Berkshire

Caversham is a suburb in the unitary authority of Reading, England, although, historically, Caversham was part of Oxfordshire. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, within the county of Berkshire, on the opposite bank from the rest of Reading. Caversham Bridge, Reading Bridge and Caversham Lock (pedestrian only) provide crossing points, with Sonning Bridge a few miles east of Caversham.

Caversham was an urban district of the administrative county of Oxfordshire until 1911, when it became part of the county borough of Reading, and the ceremonial county of Berkshire. [Berkshire Record Office. " [ Charter 750 — A County Borough] ". Retrieved October 6, 2005.] [A Vision of Britain Through Time (2004). " [ Caversham UD Oxfordshire through time] ". Retrieved October 6, 2005.]

Caversham spreads across from the River Thames floodplain (to the east) and up the foothills of the Chilterns. There are distinct areas known as Caversham Heights (residential) on the hill, Caversham (the shopping area and immediate residential surrounds), Lower Caversham (residential and light industrial) to the south east and Caversham Park (residential) to the north east. Caversham Park (sometimes referred to as Caversham Park Village) is an area that was developed in the 1960s on what was parkland.


The first written description of Caversham appeared in the Domesday Book. This entry indicates that a sizable community had developed with a considerable amount of land under cultivation. [ Caversham Court HLF Application] . Retrieved February 7 2008.]

Some time before 1106 a Shrine of Our Lady was established in Caversham. Its precise location is unknown, but it may have been near the present St. Peter's church [ Royal Berkshire History: Caversham in Oxfordshire] ] . It became a popular place of pilgrimage, along with the chapel of St. Anne on the bridge and her well, whose waters were believed to have healing properties. By the fifteenth century the statue was plated in silver; Catherine of Aragon is recorded as visiting on 17 July 1532. The shrine was destroyed on 14 September 1538 under the orders of Henry VIII. Only the well now survives. It is now dry and surrounded by a protective wall, topped with a domed iron grill. A modern shrine to Our Lady has been re-established at the RC Church of Our Lady and St. Anne. [ [ RC Parish of Our Lady & St. Anne, Caversham: The Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham] ]

In the Middle Ages, Caversham Manor was one of the demesnes of William Marshal (1146 or 47 – 1219), Earl of Pembroke and Regent of England. It was the place of his death.

The medieval community was clustered on the north side of Caversham Bridge to the east of St. Peter's Church, which was built in the 12th century. The third Earl of Buckingham donated the land for the church and neighbouring rectory, together with a considerable amount of land around it, to the Augustinian Abbey of Notley near Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the these lands were given to Christchurch College, Oxford. The rectory stood in the public park now known as Caversham Court.

During the Civil War there was fierce fighting around Caversham Bridge for a shortperiod in April 1643. Reading had been held by the Royalists, but was under siege by Parliamentary forces under the Earl of Essex. Royalist forces marched south from Oxford in an attempt to relieve the town's defenders, but were heavily defeated, and the town fell to Parliament a few days later.

The fortified manor house was replaced by Caversham Park in the 16th century. Several houses have stood on the site, notably the home of William Cadogan, 1st Earl Cadogan. BBC Monitoring, is housed in the present Caversham Park House, built in 1850. It is the section of the BBC World Service that supplies news, information and comment gathered from the mass media around the world. It is also home to the BBC Written Archives Centre and BBC Radio Berkshire.

Caversham AFC

Caversham has one of the biggest youth football clubs in the South Chiltern minor league with many of these youth teams competing in the top divisions of South Chiltern minor league.The under 17s consist of Caversham AFC Colts and Caversham AFC Cobras.The main rivals are Rotherfield of Sonning Common because of the distance between the clubs they have became a "local derby".Caversham AFCs main ground is Clayfield Copse or commonly referd to as "swans layer" because the mascot for the the team is a swan.

See also

* Caversham Lakes
* Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake

External links

* [ Caversham website]
* [ BBC Monitoring website]
* [ BBC Written Archives Centre]
* [ Carving the Caversham Village Sign]
* [ Royal Berkshire History: Caversham]
* [ RC Parish of Our Lady & St. Anne]
* [ 9 Platoon Caversham ACF]
* [ The Red Cow PH, Star Road in Caversham]
* [ Caversham Life, Living and Community]
* [ Lecture on "Old Caversham", W. Wing, 1894. Full-text transcription.]


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