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Help and advice for Wantage

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"WANTAGE, a parish and ancient market town in the hundred of Wantage, county Berks, 22 miles N.W. of Reading, and 60 W. of London. Wantage Road is a station on the Great Western railway. It is situated near the Vale of the White Horse, on the Wilts and Berks canal, and a branch of the river Ock. The parish includes the hamlets of Charlton, Grove, and West Lockinge. Alfred the Great is said to have been born here. After the Conquest it was held by Roger Bigod, who gave it to the noble family of Fitzwarrens, who held it for a considerable period, and obtained for it a grant of a market from Henry III. In 1849 a millenary festival was held here in commemoration of the birth of King Alfred, when funds were subscribed for the rebuilding of the grammar-school, and a medal was struck in honour of the jubilee." (more ...).

"CHARLTON, a hamlet and chapelry in the parish of Wantage, hundred of Wantage, in the county of Berks, 1 mile N.E. of Wantage, close upon the Berks and Wilts canal. Here is a meet for the Vale of White Horse hounds. The living is a curacy annexed to the vicarage of Wantage, in the diocese of Oxford, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Windsor."

"GROVE, a hamlet and district parish in the hundred of Wantage, county Berks, 1 mile N. of Wantage, its post town, and 7 miles W. of Harwell. The Wantage Road station, on the Great Western railway, is within a short distance of the village. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Oxford, value £83, in the patronage of the Vicar of Wantage. The church is a small building erected in 1832. Here is a National school, held in the old chapel, which has been repaired for this purpose." [Since 1832, Grove has been a separate parish]

"WEST LOCKINGE, a hamlet in the parish of Wantage, in the hundred of Wantage, county Berks.

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, from Berkshire FHS, and from A Vision of Britain Through Time.


Archives and Libraries


Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Wantage which are provided by:



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

Click here for a list of nearby places.


Historical Geography

  • Wantage was in the hundred of Wantage

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



  • The Largest Tanyard in the Kingdom: Three Centuries of the Tanning Industry in Wantage, by John Parrot is available from Berkshire FHS

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • Wantage was in the Wantage Union.  For more information, see Poorhouses.
  • Wantage: Gallon Loaves and Fustian Frocks: Wantage Union and Workhouse 1835-1900, Hazel Brown, ISBN 9780955497919 is an in-depth study.  It is available from Berkshire FHS