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Frilsham is a small village and parish near the Berkshire Downs, about six miles north-east of Newbury, and 12 miles from Reading. No railway, canal or main road passes through the parish.

Local place names

The only two farms named in the 1851 census were Frilsham Farm and Cocks Farm.


978 acres (396 hectares)


184 in 1851; 315 in 2011



Poor law union


Registration district


Present-day local authority

West Berkshire

Grid reference

SU 54 73

Adjoining parishes in the nineteenth century

BuckleburyStanford DingleyYattendon

Genealogical resources

Baptisms and burials registers 1768-1965 were stolen from church.

Available from BerksFHS Books:
  • Berkshire Marriages 3rd ed CD covers St Frideswide 1607 – 1837
  • Berkshire Burials 12th ed CD covers St Frideswide 1607 – 1835
  • Berkshire War Memorials CD

See also Berkshire Record Office holdings.


village website

Published local history

  • G Timmins Frilsham a village history (Lola Print, 2012)
  • Felicity A Palmer Frilsham and the Floyds 1800-1900 (illus booklet, author, nd)
  • J T Parfitt St Frideswide and the church of St Frideswide, Frilsham, Berks (author, 1929)

Anglican church and parochial organisation

The living is a rectory in the deanery of Newbury, archdeaconry of Berkshire, diocese of Oxford (Salisbury diocese before 1836).

The church is dedicated to St Frideswide, a princess of the late seventh century. According to legend she fled from Oxford to Frilsham to escape the unwanted attentions of a suitor, and hid on the site of a ruined temple used as a pig-sty, which later became the site of the church.

The present-day nave of the church was the complete church of the twelfth century.

Other churches

A Parliamentary calendar of charitable trusts compiled in 1871 found in Frilsham a trust deed for the benefit of Protestant dissenters.


According to Samuel Lewis’ Topographical Dictionary of England in 1831, Frilsham had a school endowed with the interest on £200. This appears to have been funded by a deed drawn up by Robert Hayward, lord of the manor, in 1824.

As shown in the extract above, Parliamentary papers of 1835 found Hayward’s school and another founded at around the same time.


The Pot Kiln is popular today, but no pub or beer house is mentioned in the 1851 census.

Other local history


Frilsham seems to have had few noteworthy residents, but Miss Elizabeth Gregory was given an obituary in the Athenaeum magazine in 1807:

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Berkshire Family History Society works to meet the needs of those researching their ancestry across the UK and overseas – as well as those looking for former relatives in historic Berkshire.  You do not need to be a member to benefit.

The society offers:

  • Research Zone in central Reading that is free to use and open to all

  • Free access at The Centre for Heritage and Family History to online resources like FindMyPast, the 1939 Register, The Genealogist, the British Newspaper Archive and Ancestry (the worldwide edition)

  • Regular free help and advice sessions

  • Meetings in Abingdon, Bracknell, Newbury, Reading, Windsor and Woodley — open to everyone

  • Online discussion list for members  informed answers to research queries and advice from experienced researchers

  • Members’ Area with data and other information not readily accessible elsewhere

  • Indexes and transcriptions of Berkshire’s historic records on CD — parish registers, probate documents, monumental inscriptions, maps, First World War history and more

  • Quarterly magazine, the Berkshire Family Historian, for members

  • a chance to join in project work, recording, transcribing and helping to preserve records

  • Links to the research experience, advice and support of members worldwide

  • Opportunities to volunteer and so help others with their family history