The parish of Chaddleworth lies six miles south of Wantage, and nine miles north-west of Newbury. It consists of two tithings, Chaddleworth and Woolley. The village of Chaddleworth lies round the church, upon the top of a hill, while Woolley, the site of a now-deserted medieval village, consists only of Woolley Park and Farm and a few cottages. Poughley, in the south of the parish, is the site of a former Augustinian priory, destroyed during the Dissolution.
Local place names include border Nine Acre Wood, Spray Wood, Down Copse, Rooksnest Copse, Bassdown Copse and Buckham Hill.
3,400 acres (1,377 hectares)
513 in 1851; 499 in 2011
Poor law union
Present-day local authority
SU 41 77
See Berks FHS Books for coverage of this parish in the society’s range of CDs.
See also Berkshire Record Office holdings.
Published local history
J Douglas Lord Some notes on the church history of Chaddleworth-cum-Woolley and its vicars (Blacket Turner, 1925)
Anglican church and parochial organisation
Chaddleworth lies within the deanery of Newbury and the archdeaconry of Berkshire, which transferred from Salisbury diocese to that of Oxford in 1836. The twelfth-century parish church is dedicated to St Andrew, and the living is a vicarage.
A Primitive Methodist society was formed in 1830, despite vigorous opposition from the Anglican incumbent and a local JP.
A source of 1840 refers to a free chapel formerly at Woolley Park.
A school was founded as a result of an endowment in 1719 by William Saunders, funding the education of two Chaddleworth boys, alongside two from each of several nearby parishes, the vicar of Chaddleworth having the option of the post of schoolmaster. This option was taken up, and augmented by another endowment from his sister Susannah Wynne. In the early twentieth century the charity consisted of a school and master’s house upon a site conveyed by deed in 1823, and endowed with 50 acres in Lambourn known as Foxbury Farm, and with 35 acres in Brightwalton, producing with the rent of the master’s house about £95 a year. Berkshire Record Office holds some records for this school from 1761.
A directory of 1868 recorded this charity school and two National schools.
Chaddleworth now has a primary school.
Farms (1851 census)
Bottom Farm 700a; Poughley Farm; Woolley Park Farm 660a; Oak Ash Farm 600a; Woolley Farm 700a;
Other local history
Woolley Park, which consists of 700 acres with a late seventeenth-century house, has been in the Wrougton family since the late eighteenth century to present day.
Oak Ash is a sixteenth-century house and estate of significance, although never a manor house.
Chaddleworth, like Enborne, is credited with the arcane practice of requiring unchaste widows to redeem their husbands’ copyholds by riding into the manorial court, facing backwards on a black ram, and reciting a ribald rhyme.