Hamstead Marshall

Hamstead Marshall is a village and civil parish in the English county of Berkshire. The village is located within the North Wessex Downs.[1] The spelling of the village's name that is used on road signs and that is accepted by most of the village's organisations is Hamstead Marshall; an alternative, Hampstead Marshall, was preferred from time to time, but is not used by the local authority today, although it is the official name of the civil parish. The population of this civil parish at the 2011 census was 275.[2]

Hamstead Marshall

St Mary's Church
Hamstead Marshall
Location within Berkshire
Population275 (2011 census)
Civil parish
  • Hampstead Marshall
Unitary authority
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
EU ParliamentSouth East England

Location and amenities

In the west of West Berkshire (a unitary authority area), south-west of Newbury, on the Berkshire-Hampshire border, the parish covers 7.78 square kilometres (3.00 sq mi), having lost territory in a boundary change of 1991. The village contains scattered settlements such as Ash Tree Corner, Chapel Corner, Holtwood and Irish Hill. There is a 12th-century church (St Mary's), a village hall, a Dogs Trust canine rescue kennels and the Organic Research Centre at Elm Farm. The White Hart, Hamstead Marshall's pub for several centuries, closed in 2014. The owner has had two planning applications (to turn it into four dwellings) turned down. Following the second refusal, the owner appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, but this appeal was refused in June 2018. The pub reopened in 2019 but closed after eight months and is reopening again, part time.[3][4]


Hamstead Marshall has three sites of medieval motte-and-bailey castles, all on private land, with one a possible site of Newbury Castle. All are registered historic monuments.

William Marshall who became Earl of Pembroke, was a loyal knight to four kings: Henry II, Richard I, King John, and Henry III of England and this is when the Marshall suffix was added to the village. The manor continued to be owned and used by kings and queens throughout the centuries, until it was sold in 1613.

The village was from 1620 until the 1980s the seat of the Earls of Craven. William Craven, 1st Earl of Craven (1608-1697) built a mansion there, originally intended as a residence for Charles I's sister, Elizabeth of Bohemia, although she died before construction began. It burnt down in 1718. The Cravens later expanded a hunting lodge to live in instead, and this still stands, privately occupied, in the centre of Hamstead Park. Until the mid-twentieth century the Craven family owned most of the village, but successive sales by the estate have made owner-occupancy slightly greater than the proportion of rented property.


The village landscape comprises farmland, woodland and parkland. No A or B roads dissect this but Hamstead Marshall has bus services. The river Kennet and the Kennet and Avon Canal pass through the northern edge of the village, and the river Enborne marks the southern boundary. About half the property pre-dates 1900, and 32 buildings or structures such as walls are listed under the national planning law and conservation legislation.

The village has four areas designated sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), these are Hamstead Marshall Pit, Irish Hill Copse, Redhill Wood and the River Kennet.[5]


2011 Published Statistics: Population, home ownership and extracts from Physical Environment, surveyed in 2005[6]
Output areaHomes owned outrightOwned with a loanSocially rentedPrivately rentedOtherkm² roadskm² waterkm² domestic gardensUsual residentskm²
Civil parish45311715100.0830.1850.1762757.78


  1. "The civil parish comprises 1,900 acres/769 hectares" (PDF). Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  2. "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  3. Masters, Charlie (15 October 2019). "White Hart Inn to close months after reopening". Newbury Today. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  4. "Noticeboard – Hamstead Marshall". Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  5. "HAMSTEAD HORNET Issue 72" (PDF). Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  6. Key Statistics: Dwellings; Quick Statistics: Population Density; Physical Environment: Land Use Survey 2005
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