One of five working farms in the parish; also shown is the water tower which serves the village and surrounding area.
Originally a tiny two-up, two-down oak framed farm worker's cottage. It was extended at some time in the nineteenth century and some of the wattle and daub internal walls are still intact.
The house is thought to date from about 1480, and was built as a hall with the floor dividing it into a two-storey dwelling coming at a later date. Further additions were made in the 17th and 19th centuries, and it was a working farmhouse until the 1930s.
The Austin Ten standing outside reflects the passion for vintage cars of the present owner. Still part of a working farm of some 400 acres, the farmhouse was built about 1700 as a timber framed building, and was extended in 1766 and 1840, with the present facade being created in 1979.
The Poet Laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson married Emily Sellwood who lived at the Manor (after a fourteen year engagement). Tennyson's affection for the village was shown when he named his house 'Aldworth', and took as his title Baron Tennyson of Freshwater and Aldworth. Mr Sellwood donated one of the church bells. Members of the Sellwood family are buried in the churchyard.
The oldest part of the church is the lower half of the tower which may be dated to about 1200, but probably the site is much older. In the 13th century, the Manor was held by the Norman family of de la Beche, and the nine stone effigies from the early 14th century are unique in the country. The tower. bells, south aisle and chancel were restored in the late 19th century, at which time the porch, vestry and lych gate were built. The church and lych gate were also renovated in 1984/5 and 1991/2. The yew tree on the border panel can be seen to the right.
There is more information about St Mary's here.
Originally built as a manor hall, and dating from about 1340. The name is thought to have come from the de la Beche family who have bells on their escutcheons. The McQuhae family have lived here for five generations, and in the early 1900s also ran The Four Points Inn. The Mummers Play is acted out at Christmas each year as a duel between St George and an infidel knight in which one of them is killed but later revived by a doctor.
The village well was dug following an outbreak of typhus in 1868, and paid for by the sale of parish cottages. Dug by Higgs of the nearby village of Basildon, it is 372 feet deep.
She visited St Mary's church accompanied by the Earl of Leicester to see the effigies in about 1644, probably riding over from Ewelme.
On 2nd January 1976 the old yew tree, estimated by current methods to be at least 1000 years old, was uprooted in a storm. It is thought to be the inspiration for the line "Old Yew, which graspeth at the stones" in Tennyson's poem In Memoriam (see also Pibworth) Part of the old root survives and has produced new growth.
Dating from mediaeval times.
The tapestry was produced to mark the Millennium. While bonfires were lit all over the country to mark the occasion, none was actually lit in Aldworth, although it had been suggested at the time the design was commissioned.
Brian Calvert was a pilot on the very first commercial Concorde flight, and a regular at The Bell Inn. Ian Macaulay asked whether it would be possible to take a trip on it and Brian made it possible to arrange. As a result, on 19th September 1978 one hundred people paid £100 each to make the first ever chartered flight in the supersonic airliner.
Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, arrived on the Recreation Ground by helicopter on 9th October 1998 (see The Glebe).
A village scene from the past at St Mary's Church of England School.
The beacon was last lit for the Queen's (silver) Jubilee in 1977, the previous occasion being VE Day 1945. The German bomber was shot down nearby during the Second World War. Charlie Walters, the farmer living at Dumworth Farm, obtained the surrender of the unfortunate airmen (much to his surprise!) armed only with a pitchfork.
This stone effigy of Sir Philip de la Beche is one of nine in St Mary's Church, together popularly known as the Aldworth Giants. They are of the de la Beche family, date from about 1300-1350 and are unique in the country. Sir Philip was valet to King Edward II, and if he was as big as his statue, he really was a giant.
More information on the Giants can be found here.
The pheasant is representative of the large number of game birds in the area, both wild and bred for sporting purposes by two local estates.
The eclipse of 12th August 1999 was only partial in Aldworth, but it became dark enough in Aldworth to send the geese and donkeys at The Bell to sleep, and to give a definite chill to the middle of the day.
Sometime between 1649 and 1660 they were quartered in the church, and the effigies were desecrated.
Those from the village who gave their lives in the two World Wars are remembered in the East window, and on the memorial on the outside wall.
What more can be said...
Lady Isabella, whose effigy is also in the church, was the wife of Sir John de la Beche. The seal is a beautiful piece of silverwork and one of the finest examples of its kind in the country. It was found near the Manor House in1871 and is now in Reading Museum.
On the night of 7th January 871 the invading Danes camped overnight at Starveall while the Saxons led by King Ethelred with his younger brother Alfred as second in command made their camp round the track junction on the Ridgeway. Battle was engaged the following day and the Danes were routed.
On the Berkshire Downs.
Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) lived at Westridge House and his ashes together with those of his wife are buried in the churchyard at St Mary's. He is especially remembered for the words from his poem "For the Fallen" quoted at Remembrance Day services.