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

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Lambourn Woodlands
Dispersed Estates & Old Families 

Lambourn Woodlands is the southern portion of Lambourn parish, so called because of its profusion of copses. The most interesting name is perhaps Danesfield Copse which indicates where the Vikings marched through the county in King Alfred's reign.  Maybe there was some sort of armed clash there.

Adjoining this wood is the 17th century 'Rooksnest' (otherwise called Earl's Court), one of a number of estates and manors in this area. It was owned by the Royalist Garrard family, but was inherited by Cromwell's Berkshire taxman, Charles, one of the ubiquitous Fettiplace family, before going back to another branch of the Garrards. The Garrards originally came from Upper Lambourn, but Kingwood, a bit further west from Rooksnest, became their chief residence. They have several handsome memorials in Lambourn Church. The local manors are Blagrave, Hadley and Inholmes. Blagrave may be the original home of the great Berkshire family of that name. Inholmes was anciently the seat of the Seymour family, distant relatives of Queen Jane and the Dukes of Somerset, though the present house is neo-Georgian of 1905. In the late 18th century, Edward Seymour became a sponsor of the poet laureate, Henry James Pye from Faringdon House. Pye was well-known for the poor quality of his work, but the verse he wrote upon his patron's monument in the parish church does not seem that bad. The area has its own church in the nearby hamlet of Woodlands St. Mary, but this was only erected in 1851.

The old Ermin(e) Way, the Roman road running between Silchester and Cirencester, passes through the Woodlands; and it is there that the B4000 still follows its route for a good distance. Older still is the Iron Age hillfort of Membury, about a quarter of which lies in Berkshire.

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