Berkshire and south Oxfordshire churches

Discover some of the many historical, unusual and sometimes hidden churches and churchyards in and around Berkshire and south Oxfordshire and some of the people associated with them. 

Catherine will talk about the unusually discreet marriage of the widowed Anne Seymour, Countess of Warwick, to Sir Edward Unton at the tiny church of Hatford St George and the scandalous death of her former sister-in-law, Amy Robsart, at Cumnor. Find out where you can visit a private library within a church, see rare surviving examples of the macabre funerary art which swept Europe after the Black Death in the 1340s, explore a Georgian church set in Capability Brown- designed parkland, and find graffiti recalling the incarceration of Levellers in 1649. Lots of stories and social history and an introduction to some of our most historic small churches.  

Non-members are invited to contribute £3 towards costs.


13 May 2020


Doors open at 19.10.
19:30 - 21:30


Newbury Branch


Newbury Branch
St Mary's Church Hall, Church Lane, Shaw, Berkshire, RG14 2DR


  • Catherine Sampson MSc
    Catherine Sampson MSc

    Catherine is a veteran family historian. Her own family history research is mainly concentrated in East Anglia and the North-East.

    Catherine read Prehistory and Archaeology at the University of Sheffield in the 1980s, and more recently gained a distinction in a Masters in English Local History at Oxford University. She is a keen social historian, specialising in the Early Modern period and chairs Berkshire Family History Society and also Project Purley, Purley’s local history society. She has published several histories of her own family and in 2010 edited “Purley in Old Images”.

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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