White Hart Crest of the Royal County of Berkshire David Nash Ford's Royal Berkshire History

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Grazeley
& Mitford's Musings

Grazeley Green, Berkshire -  Nash Ford Publishing

Though there was a modern parish of Grazeley, now swallowed up by Wokefield, Grazeley Village itself has always historically been part of Shinfield. The newer parish was once a detached part of Sulhamstead Abbots. It only covered the area around Grazeley Green and the eastern half of the Royal Ordnance Factory (generally thought of as being in Burghfield).

The name was previously Greyshulle which derives from the Saxon for 'Badgers' wallowing-place'. The little parish church was only built in 1850 and is already redundant. It has a crucifixion window designed by Pugin. Perhaps the finest and most historic building in the area has long been demolished. Mary Russell Mitford's father, a manic gambler, bought Grazeley Court for himself and his family with the winnings from an Irish Lottery ticket. He totally rebuilt the house, renaming it Bertram House. Sadly his betting continued and Mary had to turn to writing to support the family. She wrote:
Miscellaneous Verses (1810)
Christine (1811)
& Blanche (1813)

at Bertram, but eventually they were forced to sell up. The family fortunes had a slight up turn only with the weekly publication of her most famous work, Our Village after 1824.

The manor of Diddenham is at Grazeley. It was first established as a small Saxon settlement: 'Dydda's Water Meadow'. Dydda was the name of the father of St. Frideswide, who was a minor king in the Oxfordshire/Berkshire area in the 7th century, but whether this was the same man is unknown. It was held by the De Diddenham family in the 13th century, and later passed to the Woodcocks who also held Moor Place near Three Mile Cross.

 

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