Cold Ash was originally part of Thatcham parish. It became its own ecclesiastical parish in 1865, followed by civil recognition in 1894. It is not clear how old the name is, but it may relate to a shelter from the cold for wayfarers along the Roman Ermin(e) Way from Thatcham to Speen.
Red Shot Hill and Red Lane are supposedly named after the blood with which they were a-wash during the Civil War. There may have been skirmishes in the area. Manchesterís troops were stationed not far away (see Newbury) and Waller skirted the village on his march to outflank the Royalists in the Second Battle of Newbury (1644).
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