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Help and advice for Purley

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

If you wish to report a problem, or contribute information, then do use the following form to tell us about it. We have a number of people each maintaining different sections of the web site, so it is important to submit information via a link on the relevant page otherwise it is likely to go to the wrong person and may not be acted upon.


"PURLEY, a parish in the hundred of Theale, county Berks, 4 miles N.W. of Reading, its post town. The village, which is of small extent, is situated on the Thames and near the line of the Great Western railway. It is chiefly agricultural. The greater portion of the land is arable, with some pasture and woodland. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £300, and the glebe comprises 48 acres. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Oxford, value £281. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is situated about a mile distant from the village."

From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland(1868). Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003.

Other descriptions can be found from other periods in various trade directories covering Berkshire from the early 19th century onwards and from A Vision of Britain Through Time.


Archives and Libraries

In addition to those listed on the Berkshire home page, see the Research Wiki from Family Search (the Church of Latter-day Saints (Genealogical Society of Utah))


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Purley area or see them printed on a map.


Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Purley which are provided by:



Ask for a calculation of the distance from Purley to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.


Historical Geography

  • Purley was in the hundred of Theale

You can see the administrative areas in which Purley has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



  • Two floods in 18th century Purley from Vol 54, page 3 of the Berkshire Echo).
  • Deeds of Purley manor and the Purley Park estate, 1677-1913 (D/EZ25) are held by the BRO

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

Purley was in the Bradfield Union.  For more information, see Poorhouses.