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In 1860, a most interesting discovery was made at Long Wittenham, of an ancient Cemetery. It was discovered by accident whilst digging the foundations of a cottage. The explorations were carried out under the direction of Mr. Akermann, one of the most learned men of his time; as many as 127 graves were opened, one was especially interesting, as being without doubt the last earthly resting place of some early Christian, because in it was found a most remarkable silver stoup. We know that in A.D. 635, Cynegils was baptised at Dorchester, where a Bishopric was then established by the Italian Missionary, Birinus, from which centre Christianity spread over the surrounding country in all directions, both far and


Another ancient Cemetery (probably Roman) has of late years come to light in Reading. At Stanmore, in 1815, a tumulus was explored. There legends existed of a burial in a gold or silver coffin, but no such relic was found. So great was the superstitious awe with which this mound was regarded, that when the exploration began and there came on storms of hail and thunder, twice stopping the work, the people attributed this to Divine vengeance on the sacrilege and the labourers refused to proceed any further with the exploration.

Many other barrows have been opened and explored at various times, especially during the years 1814-5, 1847-8 and 1860-5.

I am told two skeletons were discovered the other day, in widening the Great Western Railway at Tilehurst. These were only about 18 inches below the surface; some heads and teeth were with them it is said.

The period of the Roman occupation must always be interesting, as the time when a universal civilization of our country was first attempted. Roman Berkshire requires much more practical study than it has hitherto met with. Too much faith has been placed upon the very shadowy Itineraries of Antonine, from which standpoint each antiquary has started off with theories of his own, instead of working out the problem from existing traces of that great nation in the county. First of all, towards solving the knotty point, is the question of Roman roads. These were too solidly constructed to perish utterly, even when disused for centuries.

It is said a Roman town lies buried at Compton. The much disputed Calleva has been variously placed at Wallingford, Streatley, Calcot and Southcote, while at Hampstead Norris and Bucklebury so many remains have been found that it is just possible that one of


these so-called Roman villas might, as in the case of Brading in the Isle of Wight, prove to be a town instead of a country house. On the subject of existing remains I would here wish to refer to the various dykes or banks which cross the county, the two largest of which are known as the Devil's Dyke and Grim or Grimmer's Bank or Dyke. The use of these curious banks have never yet been decided. The most probable theory is that they were lines of demarkation or tribal boundaries. In Wiltshire, where they have been explored, Roman coins and pottery have been brought to light, so perhaps these banks were raised to serve a similar purpose as the great walls of the north of England. The course of these banks clearly extended for many miles. They could only have been raised in times of peace, for the construction was evidently a work of great labour and time. The solid bank of earth was not merely thrown up, but must have been brought and piled upon the ground.

The portion of Grim's Bank least noticed is that which I believe started from the junction of the Thames with the Kennet at Reading; the only remains of it in that neighbourhood being in Southcote Lane, here coins have from time to time been dug up. Across Burghfield and the low ground of the meadows all trace is lost, yet in some fields called Folly Park, it is again marked, we lose it after that, but I am told that here my grandfather levelled it. At Ufton Common it commences and through Ufton Wood, Padworth and Aldermaston it is fairly perfect, but after this point I know nothing of it or its direction. Was there ever any connection

between this bank and those of north-west Berkshire ?

The old names of manors may often be found still used as field names, and from these latter much may also be learnt. Most of our field names are of Saxon derivation, though, in many cases, so corrupted from their original form as to be almost unrecognisable, and the meaning of the old name has perished but its sound is yet preserved. For example, no one now calls Oxen Fearras, or knows the meaning of the fields in Burghfield called Ferres Moor. Nor are the following Saxon words used except as field names ::—Culver, a dove; Fleet, little stream; Hither, further; Picked or Pickett, three cornered; Birstein, birch tree; Ham, a field. Properties might change hands or even be re-christened, but the country people retained by oral tradition the old field names known to their forefathers.

At the Reformation, when immense changes of ownership took place, tenants' names gradually began to replace the older field

names. The Yeomen who, for generations, had held the farms either for lives, under the Lord of the Manor, or by service, then became owners by purchase; and again, rather more than a century later, the Civil War and consequent poverty caused a still further sub-division of lands. But the manorial history of a parish, when carefully investigated through old Deeds and Charters, will generally reveal and account for all the names of this class and fix the dates. Each parish, however small, has a history interesting, perhaps, only to those belonging to the place, yet still worth tracing out and recording; for, after all, a County History is only a collection of such parish records collected together.

I have endeavoured briefly to sketch the main features of our local history, which need special attention. I will, therefore, only add that any information on any of these points, or on kindred subjects, will be gladly received by the Secretary, the Rev. P. H. DITCHFIELD, Barkham Rectory; or by myself, to enable a systematic arrangement to be made, and maps to be marked.

READING MUSEUM.-Twelve extremely fine specimens of various vases have recently been added to the Museum, eleven of them being ancient Greek and the remaining one ancient Peruvian.

HISTORY OF WOKINGHAM.-The lecture on Wokingham by the Secretary was repeated in the Wokingham Town Hall, on March 19th, at a Meeting organised by the members of the Wokingham Institute. There was an exhibition of municipal documents and curios, and the Master of Lucas' Hospital gave a short history of that Institution. He has discovered some interesting MSS. amongst the muniments of the Hospital.

THE SOCIETY'S PRIZES.-The Society's prizes to the Students of the University Extension Lectures have been awarded to Miss Ella Deverell and Miss Mary Beale. The drawing of Mr. Arthur Smith, which gained him the society's prize last year for the best architectural drawing, has been reproduced in the Building News. It is a very careful and accurate representation of the iron gates at Mapledurham.

WALLINGFORD.-In the April number of the Antiquary Mr. W. R. Davies describes some curious leaden discs which were found under an old floor in the Town Hall of Wallingford. Some of them bear the date 1699 and 1724, and he supposes them to be tallies used by the cloth sellers of the period.

Notes and Queries



Communications are invited upon all subjects of Antiquarian or Architectural interest relating to the County. All Literary Communications should be sent to the EDITOR, Barkham Rectory, near Wokingham, written on one side only of the Paper.

It is requested that all MSS intended for printing should be written on foolscap paper, in an orderly manner, with REPLIES, QUERIES, and NOTES on SEPARATE SHEETS, and the name or initials of the writer appended to each communicatian.


IT is intended in the course of the summer to publish the Registers of St. Mary's, Reading (1538-1754). Terms of subscription will be sent on application to Rev. G. P. Crawfurd, 38, Baker Street, Reading.

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AN OLD PORTRAIT.-Mr. T. Lewis recently discovered in a cupboard in his house at the corner of Bridge Street, Caversham, a portion of a painting in panel which before it was mutilated must have been a very fine example of the portraiture of the period of (Circa) 1580-1620. The fragment shows on the left of the spectator the head of a man, evidently a "person of quality” with a moustache and pointed beard and wearing a ruff and coif. On the right is the top of a child's head and over it the inscription "John Deane Ætatis Suæ 9." Above this is another inscription, the only word of which can be read is "tyme.' There can be no doubt as to the antiquity of this relic, as the characteristics correspond exactly with the description of many of the portraits exhibited at the Tudor and Stuart exhibitions. The Richard Deane of the Commonwealth period who was in turn both Colonel and Admiral had an uncle Sir Richard Deane who was Lord Mayor of London in 1628-9, and the portrait may have been an early likeness of this worthy and his son or of other members of the same family. How such a picture came to Caversham and its ultimate fate of being cut up to form shelves can only be conjectured. The most probable theory is that it once adorned the walls of the Mansion in Caversham Park, and after one of the several changes of ownership of that splendid demesne was sold as old lumber to a person with no knowledge of artistic merit.-W. WING.


SPARSHOLT CHURCH.—I am venturing to write to you to ask you if you can tell me whether there are in existence any pictures of Sparsholt Church (interior) shewing a screen which once existed between the chancel and nave.-HENRY A. REDPATH.

Where are these three places in Radinges Hundred from Domesday Survey. Sewelle, Praxmere and Offelle? Lysons gives the first two as Sulhamstead and Peasemore, but hazards no opinion as to the last. What authority had he for this, as Peasemore is in Faircross Hundred ?-EMMA E. THOYTS.


HEDGES.-I. Certainly there were enclosed fields with hedges before the Enclosure Acts of 1760. In the Manor Rolls of Clent, 1520, the breaking of fences was at Clent, as elsewhere, a common offence, for which a fine of fourpence was commonly inflicted. Seebohm's reference to Fraser's "Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry" also shows this, for he speaks of open, or “champion” field farming as a system already out of date in his time, and as rapidly giving way to the more economical system of enclosed fields. Also in the "Costomary of Tettenhall Regis," a copy of which (from a much earlier document) was made in 1604, mention is made of house-bote, hay-bote, or hedgebote, which were the common rights of copyhold tenants to take necessary timber to repair houses, and "stuff to make and amend hedges" from land leased to them. The Roll of the Court Leet of the Manor of Bromfield, Shropshire, 1607, speaks of one Margerie Davies making an exchange of her tenement, and having a 66 way for her appointed and-set down, which is now the way the hedge goeth." In the memorials of Ashe, hedge-bote is mentioned for the first time in the Patent Roll of 16 Henry VIII., i.e., 1525. Queries 2 and 3 belong more to the practical agriculturalist than to the archeologist, but we would venture to say that the nature of the soil will account for the difference; that when the nature of the crops-hops, fruits, &c.-requires shelter, tall hedgerows are the rule, whereas in the fen-country, where the wind and air are needed to counteract the natural moisture of the land, low hedges are found. In Essex it is obligatory that hedges bordering on the high road should be cut to a certain level.-EDITOR.

FINCHAMPSTEAD PARISH.-The history of this parish seems to have had little attention. There were several manors in it: East Court, West Court and Eversley, probably others besides. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle mentions: An. M.XCVIII. In this year in the summer at Finchamstead, in Berkshire, a pool welled out blood so as many trustworthy men said who should have seen it Neither Lysons nor Parker says anything about a brass of 1635 to "Elizabeth, daur. and heiress of John Taylor, of Finchamstead, gent., and wife of John Blighe, 1635," and daughter Jane, then 5 years old. The lady wears the large hood or calash which covered the head and shoulders and fell down behind the back nearly to the ground. This brass was in existence in 1863.-E. E. THOYTS.

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