Visit Newbury and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Newbury, Berkshire, is an important town whose history stretches back to prehistoric times. The Anglo-Saxons were here, as were the Normans who built a castle, now no more. It was the scene of two battles in the Civil War, in 1643 and 1644. The 19th century Falkland Memorial on the Andover Road commemorates Lord Falkiand, who, despairing of peace, fell in the first of these battles. On Wash Common several mounds very like ancient burial barrows probably contain the graves of those who fell in the Civil War.
Strategically placed on the road to the west, Newbury grew rich from cloth; its most famous son is Jack of Newbury, alias John Smallwood or John Winchcombe. He arrived here with nothing, to become such a successful clothier that he probably had 200 looms. He entertained Henry VIII and later, when asked to raise six men to fight the Scots, he led 100 of his men to fight at Flodden in 1513.
Jack of Newbury started to build the Church of St Nicholas, completed by his son in 1532. Almost entirely in Perpendicular style, it is airy and spacious, with a beautiful pulpit, 1607, and a brass to Jack of Newbury dated 1519.
His home can also still be seen in Northbrook Street, beside the hotel of his name. Although the façade seems later, parts of the old house remain in Marsh Lane. Northbrook Street contains many l8th century houses, others in the town date from much earlier, including the Cloth Hall built in the 17th century as a workshop to give employment to the poor. With its overhang resting on oak pillars it now contains the museum, which displays antiquities and much that concerns the history of the town and district.
Other buildings of interest include Shaw House, an Elizabethan mansion built by a rich clothier and now a school. There are several almshouses, including St Bartholomew's Hospital which dates from the 17th century.
Many places can be reached by footpaths, including Donnington Castle, and Sandleford Priory which is approached over Wash Common. Founded in the 12th century the remains have been incorporated into a school. In the 18th century Mrs Montagu, a friend of Dr Johnson's, built a house here in which she used to hold literary court.
Pretty villages are easily accessible. Boxford, north west in the Lambourn valley, is particularly charming. Enborne, 8 miles west, has a church, much of which is Norman. The chancel is Early English and contains a beautiful 14th century painting of the Annunciation.
Nearby villages: Cold Ash, Bucklebury
Nearby towns: Goring, Hungerford, Reading, Andover, Swindon, Abingdon, Basingstoke, Whitchurch
Have you decided to visit Newbury or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Newbury bed and breakfast (a Newbury B&B or Newbury b and b)
- a Newbury guesthouse
- a Newbury hotel (or motel)
- a Newbury self-catering establishment, or
- other Newbury accommodation