Hungerford is a historic market town and civil parish in Berkshire,
England, 8 miles (13 km) west of Newbury, 9 miles (14 km)
east of Marlborough, 29 miles (47 km) northeast of
67 miles (107 km) west of London. The
Kennet and Avon Canal
Kennet and Avon Canal passes
through the town from the west alongside the River Dun, a major
tributary of the River Kennet. The confluence with the Kennet is to
the north of the centre whence canal and river both continue east.
Amenities include schools, shops, cafés, restaurants, and facilities
for the main national sports. The railway station is a minor stop on
London to Exeter (via Taunton) Line.
1.1 1987 massacre
3.1 Administrative history
3.2 Nearby places
5 Sport and leisure
10 Notable people
11 See also
13 External links
St. Lawrence's parish church
Hungerford is a slight abbreviation and vowel shift from a Saxon name
meaning "Hanging Wood Ford". The town's symbol is the six-pointed star
and crescent moon.
The place does not occur in the
Domesday Book of 1086, but certainly
existed by 1173. By 1241, it called itself a borough. In the late 14th
century, John of Gaunt was medieval lord of the manor and he granted
the people the lucrative fishing rights on the River Kennet.
The noble family of Walter Hungerford, 1st
Baron Hungerford originated
from the town (c. 1450–1450), although after three generations the
title passed to Mary, Baroness
Hungerford who married Sir Edward
(afterwards Lord) Hasting and the family seat moved to Heytesbury,
During the English Civil War, the Earl of Essex and his army spent the
night here in June 1644. In October of the same year, the Earl of
Manchester’s cavalry were also quartered in the town. Then, in the
November, the King’s forces arrived in
Hungerford on their way to
Glorious Revolution of 1688, William of Orange was offered
the Crown of
England while staying at the Bear Inn in Hungerford. The
Hungerford land south of the Kennet was for the centuries, until an
18th-century widespread growth in cultivation the area, in Savernake
St. Lawrence's parish church stands next to the Kennet and Avon Canal.
It was rebuilt in 1814–1816 by
John Pinch the elder in Gothic
Revival style and refurbished again in the 1850s.
In the late 19th century, two policeman were shot by poachers in
Eddington. Their memorial crosses still stand where they fell.
Hungerford massacre occurred on 19 August 1987. A 27-year-old
unemployed local labourer, Michael Robert Ryan, armed with several
weapons including a
Type 56 assault rifle
Type 56 assault rifle and a
Beretta pistol, shot
and killed or fatally wounded 16 people around the town including his
mother, and wounded 15 others, then killed himself in a local school
after being surrounded by armed police. All of his victims were shot
in the town or in nearby Savernake Forest.
A report on this incident was commissioned by
Home Secretary Douglas
Hurd from the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, Colin Smith. It
is one of three highly costly firearms atrocities in terms of lives
since the invention of such rapid fire weapons, the other two being
Dunblane massacre and Cumbria shootings. The massacre led to the
Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988, which banned the ownership of
semi-automatic centre-fire rifles and restricted the use of shotguns
with a magazine capacity of more than two rounds. The Hungerford
Report had demonstrated that Ryan's collection of weapons was legally
Hungerford is a civil parish, covering the town of
Hungerford and a
surrounding rural area, including the small village of Hungerford
Newtown. The parish shares boundaries with the
Berkshire parishes of
Lambourn, East Garston, Great Shefford,
Kintbury and Inkpen, and with
Wiltshire parishes of Shalbourne, Froxfield,
Ramsbury and Chilton
Parish council responsibilities are undertaken by
Council, which consists of fifteen volunteer councillors and committee
members, supported by a full-time clerk. The mayor is elected from
amongst their numbers. The parish forms part of the district
administered by the unitary authority of West Berkshire, and local
government responsibilities are shared between the town council and
Hungerford is part of the Newbury parliamentary constituency. Its MP
is the Conservative Richard Benyon, son of Sir William Benyon of
Englefield House. He has represented the two towns since 2005.
Hungerford participates in town twinning to foster good international
Ligueil, Indre-et-Loire, France.
Narrowboat on the Kennet and Avon Canal
Hungerford is on the River Dun. It is the westernmost town in
Berkshire, on the border with Wiltshire. It is in the North Wessex
Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The highest point in the
South East England
South East England region is the 297 m (974 ft)
summit of Walbury Hill, centred 4 miles (7 km) from the town
Kennet and Avon Canal
Kennet and Avon Canal separates
Hungerford from what might
be described as the town's only suburb, the hamlet of Eddington.
The town has as its western border a county divide which also marks
the border of South East and South West
England regions; it is 68
miles (109 km) west of central
London and 55 miles (88 km)
Bristol on the A4 road. It is almost equidistant from the
towns of Newbury and Marlborough, and lies 2.5 miles (4 km) south
of junction 14 of the M4 motorway.
Hungerford has a site of
Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on the
western edge of the town, called Freeman's Marsh.
The parish was divided into four tithings:
Hungerford or Town, Sanden
Fee, Eddington with Hidden and Newtown and Charnham Street. North and
South Standen and Charnham Street were officially detached parts of
Wiltshire until transferred to
Berkshire in 1895. Leverton and Calcot
were transferred to
Hungerford parish from
Chilton Foliat in Wiltshire
Towns: Newbury, Marlborough, Lambourn, Wantage, Swindon, Reading.
Villages: Chilton Foliat, Great Shefford, Kintbury, Little Bedwyn,
Froxfield, Ramsbury, Shalbourne, Stockcross, Ham, Inkpen, Aldbourne,
Places of interest: Crofton Pumping Station, Wilton Windmill,
Littlecote House, Freeman's Marsh, Walbury Hill.
Hungerford railway station
Hungerford is situated on several transport routes, of both historic
and current importance, including the
M4 motorway (junction 14), the
Old Bath Road (A4), and the
Kennet and Avon Canal
Kennet and Avon Canal (opened 1811). It
also has a railway station on the Reading to Taunton line; a
reasonable rail service to Newbury, Reading and
London means that the
Hungerford has developed into something of a dormitory town which has
been slowly expanding since the 1980s. Many residents commute to
nearby towns such as Newbury, Swindon, Marlborough,
Sport and leisure
Hungerford has a cricket team that played against the full English
professional team in 1852, 1853 and 1854, a football team,
Hungerford Town F.C., that plays at the Bulpit Lane ground, a rugby
Hungerford RFC. and a Netball Club.
Hungerford Archers, a
longbow archery club, uses the sports field of the John O'Gaunt School
as its shooting ground.
Hungerford Hares running club was
established in 2007.
Main article: Hocktide
John of Gaunt
Hungerford is the only place in the country to have continuously
Hocktide or Tutti Day (the second Tuesday after Easter).
Today it marks the end of the town council's financial and
administrative year, but in the past it was a more general celebration
associated with the town's great patron, John of Gaunt (see below).
Its origins are thought lie in celebrations following King Alfred's
expulsion of the Danes.
The "Bellman" (or Town Crier) summons the Commoners of the town to the
Hocktide Court held at the town hall, while two florally decorated
"Tutti Men" and the "Orange Man" visit every house with commoners'
rights (almost a hundred properties), accompanied by around six Tutti
Girls, drawn from the local school. Originally they collected "head
pennies" to ensure fishing and grazing rights. Today, they largely
collect kisses from each lady of the house. In the court, the town's
officers are elected for the coming year and the accounts examined.
The court manages the town hall, the John of Gaunt Inn, the Common,
Freemen's Marsh, and fishing rites in the Rivers Kennet and Dun.
There is an old legend that "Hingwar the Dane" (i.e. Ivarr the
Boneless) was drowned accidentally while crossing the Kennet here, and
that the town was named after him. This stems from the probably
mistaken belief that the
Battle of Ethandun
Battle of Ethandun took place at Eddington in
Berkshire rather than Edington,
Wiltshire or Edington, Somerset.
Hungerford is one of two places which arguably meet the criteria for
Kennetbridge in Thomas Hardy's novel Jude the Obscure, being "a
thriving town not more than a dozen miles south of Marygreen"
(Fawley) and is between Melchester (Salisbury) and Christminster
(Oxford). The main road (A338) from
through Hungerford. The other contender is larger Newbury.
2011 Published Statistics: Population, home ownership and extracts
from Physical Environment, surveyed in 2005
Homes owned outright
Owned with a loan
km² domestic gardens
Ivarr the Boneless, Danish
John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, son of King Edward III
Sir Robert de Hungerford, a
Baron Hungerford and a 14th-century
Charlie Austin, Footballer
Edmund Roche, 5th Baron Fermoy, maternal uncle of Lady Diana, Princess
of Wales. He died in
Hungerford in 1984.
Nonconformist theologian and preacher
Christopher Derrick, author
William Greatrakes, connected with the authorship of the Letters of
George Pocock (1774–1843), the founder of the Tent Methodist Society
and inventor of the Charvolant
Edward Duke (1779–1852), antiquary
Nicholas Monro (b. 1936), artist, had a studio at Hungerford
Charles Portal, 1st Viscount
Portal of Hungerford, RAF Chief of the
Air Staff during most of World War II
Robert Snooks, last highwayman to be hanged in England, born in
Hungerford in 1761
James E. Talmage, (1862–1933)
LDS Church leader, writer and
theologian. Author of Jesus the Christ
Henry "Harry" Quelch (1858–1913), one of the first British Marxists
Ralph Evans (1915–1996), footballer
Will Young, singer
Adam Brown, actor, comedian and pantomime performer
List of places in Berkshire
List of civil parishes in England
List of towns in England
^ a b Key Statistics: Dwellings; Quick Statistics: Population Density;
Physical Environment: Land Use Survey 2005
^ "Election Maps". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
^ "British towns twinned with French towns". Archant Community Media
Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July
^ "Magic Map Application". Magic.defra.gov.uk. Retrieved
^ a b
Hungerford in West
Berkshire – Sports. Hungerford.uk.net.
Retrieved on 17 July 2013.
^ Boulton, Bob. (29 April 2013)
Hungerford RFC. Pitchero.com.
Retrieved on 17 July 2013.
^ . Hungerfordhares.co.uk Retrieved on 8 September 2017.
^ Paragraph 4, Chapter VII, Part Fifth, Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure
^ Paragraph 6, Chapter X, Part Third, Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure
^ Radio Birmingham interview with Munro, 11 May 1972, transcribed in
part in Towers, Alan (July–August 1972). "Birmingham: Nicholas
Munro". Studio International. 184 (946): 18.
Hungerford Virtual Museum
Hungerford Town Council
Hungerford in West Berkshire
Hungerford Historical Association
Berkshire History: Hungerford
Hungerford and surrounding area on geograph
Ceremonial county of Berkshire
Windsor and Maidenhead
See also: List of civil parishes in Berkshire
Population of major settlements
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings
Settlements in West Berkshire
Thatcham (All are civil parishes and have Town Councils)
Woodlands St Mary