Twyford (double ford)

Twyford from Dalby's map of Hurst manor, 1723. The almshouses are shown to
the right of the road junction. (click for 1761 map)

Twyford from Rocque's map of Berkshire, 1761
(click for 1723 map)

The fords, which gave their names to Twyford, were crossed by the Vikings as they retreated from a battle at Reading in 871 AD.

Twyford originally occupied the northern area of Hurst parish. It was described by Leland in the mid 17th century as 'a praty town'.

'The Ford' from H R Robertson's Life on the Upper Thames

Some Important Buildings

Twyford Mill

The first reference to a mill at Twyford may have been made in 1168 when Wimund the Miller of Twyford was mentioned. In 1589 it was recorded in the Court Rolls for Hinton Pipard. It was subsequently held by the Hide, Harrison and Compton families. In 1798 a mill at Twyford was used to produce paper. In 1810 new mill buildings were erected at Twyford by the Billinge brothers for silk production. In 1840 when the Tithe Map was produced, the Flour & Silk Mills and Carpenters shop were occupied by Jacob Bailey & Frank Wardle and owned by the executors of George Billinge Esq.

In 1891 Twyford flour mill was destroyed by fire. A new mill was erected and this mill was purchased in 1927 by the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Farmers Ltd, a co-operative of local farmers who produced foodstuffs for livestock. This mill was damaged by fire in 1976. Recently the mill area has been converted into a residential estate.

Twyford Mill, 2001 (click for earlier picture)

Twyford Mill, 2001

Mill House, left and the High Street.

Twyford High Street with the Rose and Crown on the left
where in 1924 George Pounds was the landlord.
(click for modern picture)

Twyford High Street with Chiswick House on the left, 2001.
Chiswick House dates to the 17th century and was formerly the Rose & Crown.
(click for earlier picture)

Hillyers the bakers, with the brick bake house, High Street, 2001.

The Old Farm House, High Street, 2001

The 16th century Old Farmhouse, the oldest building in Twyford, is all that has survived of Twyford Farm. The farm closed in 1920 and some of the land that extended behind was subsequently developed.

Polehampton Schoolmaster's House, High Street. (click for earlier picture)

Polehampton Close, 2001. Now old people's homes with the Lady Elizabeth Centre (low building towards right)
used by Twyford and District Age Concern.

Edward Polehampton was born in Hurst in 1652. With the fortune that he made in London. he bequeathed a considerable sum to endow the Polehampton buildings, a school, house and chapel in Twyford. The school and chapel were demolished in 1888 to make way for the Boys School, but the Schoolmaster's House has survived. Polehampton Close was built on the site of  Polehamton cottages and the school playing fields.

St Swithins Court, 2001.

St Swithins development was completed in 1987 and named after the saint who also gave his name to the chapel that was part of the Polehampton School, and possibly a medieval chapel in Twyford. St Swithin was born in Wessex and became Bishop of Winchester. He was appointed royal chaplain by King Egbert, and entrusted with the education of his son, Aelthelwulf, who succeeded to the throne in 839.

Twyford crossroads, 2001. The former Bell Inn on the left, new development in Wargrave Road on the right.

Twyford crossroads, looking towards Church Street from Wargrave Road, 2001 (click for earlier picture)

Looking towards the crossroads from the London Road with Apsley House on right, 2001

Looking down London Road with 18th century Apsley House on left, 2001


Twyford Almshouses

Twyford Almshouses, 2001

The Twyford Almshouses were built by Sir Richard Harrison, Lord of the manor of Hurst, in 1640 to accommodate six poor persons, of either sex, of the Parish of Hurst. They were not endowed until 1707 when his granddaughter, Lady Frances Winchcombe, gave the rents from a house and 80 acres of land. Each person was to receive 40 shillings annually, and a gown every other year. Five trustees were appointed to administer the trust and ensure the buildings were kept in good repair.

The Almshouses were renovated in 1966.

St Mary's Church, Twyford

Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Twyford, 2001
(click for earlier picture)

Twyford Church was built in 1846. It was designed by Benjamin Ferry in the Early English style and originally comprised of a nave, chancel, south aisle, small vestry and an open porch. It was dedicated to St. Mary during the consecration ceremony conducted by Bishop Wilberforce. In 1876 Twyford was constituted into a separate ecclesiastical parish, and a civil parish in 1895.

As the population of Twyford increased, the church was enlarged. The north wall was taken down and a series of arches  inserted to support the larger roof of the nave. The north wall was then re-constructed in a new position. Work began on the tower in 1908, and the bells were installed in 1914.

Twyford War Memorial and Parish Church, 2001

Vicar (Twyford & Ruscombe -
Revd. Graham Hamborg)

934 4792

Vicar (Twyford St Thomas More)

934 0854

United Reformed Church

United Reformed Church, 2001. Built in 1897
by Joseph R Wigmore, replacing an older chapel.

Station Terrace, 2001. The Royal Station Court (left, opposite the station) replaced the Royal Station Hotel in 1987

Twyford railway Station, 2001 (click for earlier picture)

The railway station was built in 1838. For two years it was the end of the line for passengers travelling west, and those wishing to go further were conveyed by coach. The footbridge, which is also a public footpath, was built when the station was modified in 1894.

The Golden Cross, a 19th century posting house, at the junction of Wargrave Road and Station Terrace, 2001

John Finch,  President  of Twyford and Ruscombe Local
History Society with the plaque in Wellington Court placed
there at the opening of Waitrose supermarket, Spring 2000
(© The Maidenhead Advertiser)

The Twyford and Ruscombe Local History Society was formed on March 7 1977 when some 120 local people attended a meeting organised by Mr John Finch and a group of enthusiasts. Meetings are held regularly and the results of members work, together with news of visits and other items of interest are published by the Society in the Journal. It also publishes special booklets dealing more fully with important subjects. Through the efforts of its members, the Society has added a vast amount of knowledge, and created an important archive, dealing with the history of the area.

In 2001 the census recorded 6,294 people living in 2786 houses in Twyford

Twyford & Ruscombe Local History Society

 934 0109

References in main text:

         I   Early Forest (7)
       III   The Bounds (3)
       V   The Manors (4)
    VIII   War and Poverty (9)
      IX   Great Houses (2)
       X   Bread (11)
      XI   Commuting (13)
     XII   Commerce (14)
    XIV  Pleasant Memories (4)
     XV  Recently (9)