"SHINFIELD, a parish, partly in the hundreds of Charlton and Theale, county Berks, and partly in the hundred of Amesbury, county Wilts, 4 miles S.E. of Reading, its post town. The village, which is considerable, is situated on the road from Reading to Basingstoke, near the river Loddon, and is chiefly agricultural. The parish includes the hamlet of Hartley-Drummer. The great tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £930, besides a glebe of 15 acres, and the vicarial for one of £200, with a glebe of 29 acres. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Oxford, value £200, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Hereford. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient edifice, with a low tower. The interior of the church contains several monuments. There is also a district church at Grazeley, the living of which is a perpetual curacy,* value £35. The parochial charities produce about £84, of which £58 goes to Pigott's free school. There is also a National school. The Wesleyans and Independents have each a place of worship. Hartley-Court, the Manor House, Goodrest Lodge, and Highlands, are the principal residences. Alexander Cobham, Esq., is lord of the manor."
"DIDNAM, a tything in the parish of Shinfield, hundred of Amesbury, formerly in Wilts, but now in the county of Berks."
"HARTLEY-DUMMER, a liberty in the parish of Shinfield, hundred of Theale, county Berks, 4 miles S. of Reading."
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.