Local History

We're gradually adding bits and pieces about the history of Eton and Eton Wick to the website. If you have done any research or have memories you would like to add, please email us or contact Mrs Teresa Stanton, Secretary.

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Farmhouses and Cottages

At the close of the Middle Ages many houses in the village, the homes of ordinary villagers, would have been poor affairs, huts which could be built or demolished in a day.  But not all, for those who could afford it built in timber with an infilling of wattle and daub.  Bell Farm has already been mentioned and there were certainly others, though none has survived. Read more here......





Tony Anderson's village recollections


I lived over the Anderson's the Newsagent with my parents Arthur and Connie Anderson at number 13 Eton Wick Rd. It was a traditional CTN (Newsagents, Tobacconist and Confectioners) with a barbers shop to the rear of the premises. You can read more of Tony's recollections here.....




Public Houses and Outings - The Shepherds Hut  



The Staceys were landlords from 1899 to 1932. William Stacey died in November 1918. His widow kept the pub for a further fourteen years. The pub became a Meux house, then Friary Meux, Ind Coope and, now, Fullers. Read more here....




The Parish Boundary

As there were few accurate maps it became the custom, and was even ordered by Elizabeth I, to beat the bounds of the parish annually. These were often colourful occasions, full of hymn singing and chanting.  Marks were made appropriate trees and buildings and, where necessary Read more here......




The Blue Bus Service

Until the Blue Bus Service started around 1922, villagers walked to Windsor, and schoolboys to Eton. If they were lucky they got a lift on a horse and trap, or cart. The first bus was quite small with a bench seat each side for the passengers. This, and subsequent buses up to the 1930s Read More here.....




End of the village based milk round

In September 1993 Bill and Joan Cooley decided to retire from business of delivering milk to homes in Eton Wick. As they say in their letter ...... Read more here............ 






Dorney Common Anti-Aircraft Battery 1940-45

The first territorial anti-aircraft (ack-ack) unit arrived on the Dorney Common site in June 1940. Other local sites included the tower mounted 40mm on the Brocas, Eton. Read more here........






A village in the shadow of Eton


A few years ago, in the course of researching a subject, a member of the Eton Wick History Group asked an Eton College Secretary what difference the College had had on the village. The reply was "None, the College has never tried to influence the village". That may well be, but having an influence and setting out to influence are two very different things. Read more here.......



18th Century Cottagers


The early years of the Century were hard for families getting their subsidence from the land and for those few families living in the Wick the daily toil brought its woes and ill health. They were prey to many killer diseases such as smallpox, diphtheria, influenza and tuberculosis to say nothing of accidents. Read more here......

Eton College: Tudor rights and responsibilities


The Tudor period, brought to Eton College rights and responsibilities never envisaged by the Founder. These came about as a result of the new and increasing number of civil duties imposed upon the parishes by numerous Acts of Parliament. Already many parishes had vestries, that assembly of rate paying parishioners who managed the ecclesiastical affairs of the parish. Read more here......








Trades men and women 1887 and 1897

The photograph shown to the left is of the Three Horse Shoes and Ada Cottage on Eton Wick Road. Ada Cottage was home to the first Post Office in the village. Read to list here...







A Short history of 24, Victoria Road


WILLIAM HEARN : Apprenticeship in saddlery; employment in harness making; more interested in the motor car, driving in 1903; returned to Eton Wick, married in 1906 Read more here......



St Gilberts Church: a short history


It was in 1954 that a Father Dunstan (formerly a Torpedo Boat Coxwain!!) encouraged Eton Wick's Catholics to strive to finance the construction of their own church in the village. At that time, Sunday morning mass was being celebrated in the Village Hall  Read more here......


Under the shadow of Eton


The fifteenth century brought a new force into the parish - Eton College, which was founded in 1440. It is one of the earliest brick buildings in England and well over two million bricks were used in its construction between 1442 and 1452, most of which were baked at ' ie Slowe '. Read more here......





The Mortuary

This picture of the Eton Wick mortuary was taken around 1960 just before it was demolished. It was built in 1913 on the north side of the brook running along Common Road approximately opposite Albert Place. Read more here......


Eton Wick in the 14th century  

By the fourteenth century there were at least nine families in the village, for they are readily identifiable from deeds: Adam in the Lane, John Doget, William the Blakesmith, William Chapman, Thomas and William atte Wick, Robert the Shepherd and others. Read more here......


Haymaking at Eton Wick

This photograph is used by kind permission of the Leicestershire Records Office and is precisely entitled and dated by the photographer, artist George Henton.
Read more here......



An event in 1391


An event of 1391 was, perhaps, equally exciting, but not so pleasant. This was the year that Elizabeth de Cheriton, daughter of John de Huntercombe, and lady of the Huntercombe Manor of Eton, died, read more here..........





Memories of the 1947 flood


The winter of 1946-47 had been one of the worst winters on record. It was estimated that the ground was frozen to a depth of almost 3ft, and when the thaw came the water, instead of soaking into the ground, ran straight into the river. Read more here......


A report on the 1977 Story of a village exhibition.


Its fair  to say that the Eton Wick History Group was started on foundations laid by Dr Judith Hunter. In 1977 she published her first book, The Story Of A Village, Eton Wick 1217 to 1977. Read more here..........







A short history of the Manor of Eton cum Stockdales and Colenorton


In 1204 there were only daughters to inherit the manor, Christiana and Gunnora de Windsor, and within two years it was officially recorded that their husbands had paid livery for their wives' halves of the divided manor.  For a few decades the connection between the two manors and the Castle was broken; but when the heir was a minor, according to custom, Read more here......




Remembered days from before 1939


The other day I came across a reference to the old school and it got me thinking about those early days. I attended the school for four years. In those days we had to walk from the village and back no matter what the weather. Freed from the tyranny of the classroom I always enjoyed the walk home. Read more here.....





Dick Harding's memories 1929 to 1935


There was a large sign on the roof at the back of the house proclaiming it to be the 'GAS COMPANY'S DEPOT'. You could see it right across to the 'Shepherds Hut ‘and the Eton Wick Road. It became our address, as it was easier to spell than Perseverance Place.





Eton Wick in 1893



1893, the last year before Eton Wick was to have its own Parish Council, independent of Eton (Urban). The village had a gravel dusty through road, no main drainage, gas or electricity. The Church was twenty six years old, but burials in the village had only started the previous April. No weddings were yet licensed here. The Boveney New Town Chapel was seven years old and the village school five years old. Read more here......


How a Thames flood was averted in 1992


It was a little after 4 pm on December 7th 1992 when Boveney Lock Keeper Dave Gibson heard a sharp crack as the mooring chains of the 150 ton hotel barge 'ACTIEF', tied up in the weir stream, snapped. The river was high and fast as the great 90 foot boat became swept along in the 6 - 8 knot stream sweeping towards Windsor. Read more here......






The annual 5 a-side competition 



Originally this was open to boy under the age of 15 who lived in the villages of Boveney, Dorney and Eton Wick. The Cup was played for annually from Easter 1920. In recent years it has changed to a 6 a side competition with the event taking place in July. Read more here......







18th Century Eton Wick: Agriculture, some background information

At the beginning of the 18th century people living in Eton Wick like many other citizens no doubt suffered hardship especially for those scraping their existence from agriculture, but the century witnessed vast improvement in husbandry and in the development of farm machinery. Read more here......




Mr Cyril Tarrant - Farming and other memories

A flock of sheep were kept up to about the early 1920's - hurdle sheep, that are kept in pens by wooden hurdles and given a fresh pen every day over roots grown especially for them. The ground would be ploughed up as soon as one strip had been fed off by the sheep and pressed by a three-wheeled press, then sown by hand. Read more here......


Getting to Eton Wick in 1929


In 1993 retired village Sub-postmaster, Dick Harding wrote an account of gas distribution in Eton Wick from 1929. It mainly concerns my Father, my family and the people that worked in it. You can read the first extract from the account here......




Eton Wick: The Norman's and the Domesday book

By Norman times the manor of Eton was firmly established and Eton Wick, together with the villages of Hedgerley and Wexham, was part of it. Read more here..... 



The Jacobs' Cottage

This photo, c. 1900, shows the Jacobs outside their cottage, which faced on to Dorney Common. The Jacobs worked on the nearby farms. Mr Joseph and Mrs Annie Jacobs both born in Wargrave in the 1840's and were married in 1868. 




18th Century Eton Wick

18th century Eton Wick should have been a hamlet of little interest with its small farming community inhabiting the ten or so houses, but research by Dr. Judith Hunter and other local authors reveals an Eton and Eton Wick community that stood up for their rights to farm the common land as was their ancient custom.








Eton Wick: Anglo-Saxons and Vikings


 It is unlikely that we shall ever learn much more about these first few centuries in the existence of the village beyond what can be inferred from its location, a Thames-side village in south Buckinghamshire, part of the kingdom of Wessex until the expansion of Mercia in the seventh century.

 

 

 



The Colours of Eton Wick


Amber and black are the colours of Eton Wick Football Club and have been for well over 100 years. It has also been the sports colours of the village primary school.  When a junior football team was started in 1947 they played in white and black. Read more here......



What evidence is there of Eton Wick from before written records.

 Besides the name, what else has survived from those early times of ten, eleven or even twelve centuries ago?  Unfortunately there have been no archaeological finds* as at Old Windsor and Taplow to suggest where the Wick may have been, though probably it lay to the north of the brook in the area of Bell farm. Read more here.... 

 



How Eton Wick got it's name

 

The origins of Eton Wick are unrecorded but a clue may be found in its name.  The words themselves are old English and the name Eton was given to that village by the Saxons who, together with the Angles and Jutes, colonized this country in the fifth and sixth centuries A.D.  The first part of the name the 'E' - has the same meaning as the suffix 'ey' of Dorney, Read more here.......


The prefabs, Eton Wick Road


The prefabs were built in 1946 and 1947, read more here,,,,,

 


 

 

William Ingalton (1794 - 1866)

I am writing a book about a mystery painting which was found many years ago having been dumped on a Sydney street during a council "throw out" campaign. The painting is about two by three feet, on an oak panel and bears a fake David Wilkie signature. Read more......





The Ayres and Prior family at Home Close


From the Eton Wick History Group photograph collection









Primrose Villas, Alma Road



Primrose Villas were developed by John Moore in 1885. Read more...... 





Eton Wick School in the post-war years

The school diary records that the air raid shelters were removed in 1946 and school life was back to normal by 1947. As the school is of Church of England denomination an inspection by the Oxford Diocesan brought forth the following comment— Read more .......




Coronation Tea, 1953 

John Bond commented: "I've just been looking at the photograph of the coronation party. It was held opposite my grandfather's green grocery yard on Common Road. Not far from the Greyhound Pub. The lady on the far left is my mother Kathleen Bond and next to her Betty Hood nee Bond. The small fair haired girl behind the boy with the cap is my sister Pat Bond. Read more........



The Wheatbutts remembered

Wheatbutts was built by William Lydford, a butcher from Eton, between 1704, when the land was described as 'All that close of arable land called wheatbutts', and 1716, by which time the house had been built in the corner of the close and the rest converted into an orchard. Whether William Lydford ever lived there is not clear, but by 1716 he was living in Old Windsor and the property sold to the Eton Poor estate. Read more......





Washer women and home laundries

During the 19th century many of the village girls were in service, but it was home laundries which provided employment for some of the married women in Eton Wick. The Eton Boys' personal linen and clothes washing, together with that of many business people of Eton town, was done in small home laundries of Eton, Eton Wick and Chalvey. Even the opening of Eton College laundry in 1881 initially did not have a great effect on the home laundries.  Read more.......




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Henry Burford, Builder

Henry Burfoot was a Bricklayer who lived in a cottage nearby Little Common within Eton Wick. He was born in 1858, and by the early 1890s he had built himself a show house with a substantial workshop and yard in Alma Road, Read more......



Farming around Eton Wick



Robert Valentine Tarrant, known as Bob Tarrant, was born at Crown Farm, Eton Wick, on 18 August 1911. His neice Monica has recorded some of his memories of farming life in and around the village. Bob Tarrant was the youngest child of George and Lillian Tarrant (nee Hobbs) and he had two older brother - George born 1908, and Reginald born 1910. Bob Tarrant went to Eton Wick infant school where he remained until 1918 Read more......





1st Eton Wick & Boveney Scouts

Eton Wick Scout Troop was first formed in the early days of the Boy Scout movement before World War I by Mr E. L. Vaughan, a master at Eton College. The photo shows the troop at camp at Osmington Mills near Weymouth, August 1914, with their Scoutmaster E. L. Vaughan. Read more......





Eton Wick Recreation Ground

The beginnings: the coming of the Great Western Railway. The construction of the Great Western Railway main line to Bristol was originally intended pass through Windsor, Reading and Oxford. The University of Oxford objected, considering that such an innovation was a danger to life and limb. Read more......



For those of us who grew up in Eton Wick, the Annual Show organised by the Eton Wick Horticultural Society, held on a Wednesday in August, was the highlight of the summer. We remember big tents with long trestle tables laden with the best vegetables, fruit and flowers from gardens and allotments, read more......






The Hayward, The Commons and Lammas Land

The hayward grazed the cattle over Lammas lands from the commons, the Slads, Eton Wick Recreation Ground, South Field and back. The milk herds have virtually all gone, and with them the hayward, but the name lives on in the Haywards Mead housing development. Read more......







Hardship and poverty in the 18th Century meant that the rights of pasturage and the right to subsistence farm the land were crucial to the village householder and his family. Improved farming scientific knowledge giving better returns from farming made enclosure of the common land in the 17th and 18th centuries an attraction to the rich. Read more.......




A Mystery Painting 

I am writing a book about a mystery painting which was found many years ago on a Sydney street during a council "throw out" campaign. The painting is about two by three feet, on an oak panel and bears a fake David Wilkie signature. The theory I have developed is that it is identifiable with a painting titled 'The New Road to Matrimony; or the New Marriage Act' which was exhibited at the British Institution in 1823 by the now obscure Eton artist William Ingalton. Read more......

 


My parents, Betty and John Denham, along with my two brothers, Michael and Andrew and sister, Amanda moved to Eton Wick from Tiverton in September 1960. I was seven and a half at the time. My first view of the village was from the Blue Bus that our Aunt and we boys used to get from Windsor station. Read more.......



Pubs of Eton Wick 

The earliest mention of an ale house in the village is a very tentative one: local historian Judith Hunter found an isolated parish reference to the Small Fox in Eton Wick in the early 1700’s or late 1600’s.The next mention is quite positive and is the recorded fact in the Vituallers Recognizances of 1753 of the Bulls Head and of the Three Horse Shoes (recognizances were pledges made before a court or magistrates). Read more.......





A brief history of Eton Wick


For hundreds of years Eton Wick of Eton Wick depended largely on Eton College and town for employment and trade. Fuel and produce was supplied to the town before the coming of Eton College in the mid-15th century, and to both town and college later. Local school boys were educated at Eton Porny School until 1939 when Slough and Eton (C of E) Secondary School in Slough was built. By the end of the 20th century, the development of Slough Trading Estate and other industries and services. Read more......



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