The parish of Sandhurst with Crowthorne has an
area of 4,534 acres, of which 329 are arable land,
659¼ permanent grass and 149 woods and plantations. (fn. 1) The rest of the parish is open land covered
with heather. Most of the parish was included
within the Sandhurst Walk of Windsor Forest and
the rest in Bigshot Walk. An inclosure award was
made for the parish in 1817 under the Windsor
Forest Inclosure Act of 1813. The soil is sandy
with a subsoil of sand and gravel, and barley and oats
are the principal crops. From the high ground on
the east of Crowthorne, where an altitude of over
400 ft. is reached, the land falls to a level of about
200 ft. near the River Blackwater in the south-west.
In the heather country the land is uneven, rising
into numerous small hills. From Sandhurst village
a road runs north to Wokingham and another north-west to Finchampstead. A third road runs north-east past Edgebarrow Hill to Easthampstead. From
the White Swan Inn near the railway, which lies
to the south-west, Darbygreen Lane runs south to
Yateley. East Mill was situated in this lane. The
village of Sandhurst lies along the road to Finchampstead in the south-west of the parish near the
River Blackwater, which here divides Berkshire from
Hampshire. It contains the church of St. Michael,
which was rebuilt in 1853, and has a mission church
attached to it in Little Sandhurst. There is also a
Wesleyan chapel dating from 1867, but rebuilt in
1906, and a recently erected Baptist chapel.
Crowthorne was made into an ecclesiastical parish
in 1874 and a civil one in 1894. Here is a Wesleyan
chapel. Owlsmoor is a hamlet on the south of
Crowthorne parish and contains an iron mission
The parish of Sandhurst is chiefly noteworthy as
containing the Royal Military College, established
here in 1812 on its removal from Great Marlow,
and Wellington College, founded by national subscription in honour of the Duke of Wellington, the
first stone being laid by Queen Victoria in 1856.
The buildings of Wellington College, which were designed by John Shaw and opened by Queen Victoria
in 1859, are grouped round a large central courtyard
divided into two nearly square quadrangles by the
great schoolroom, while at the south-west and south-east of the whole group, with which they are connected by covered ways, are two detached buildings,
originally intended to be occupied as the infirmary and
chapel. A new chapel designed by Sir Gilbert Scott was
afterwards added to the east of the original chapel,
and in 1886 two new dormitories were added on
the same side. The building is designed in the
18th-century French renaissance manner, and is an
unusually good example of its period. The materials
are red and purple brick, with stone string-courses,
bands and dressings. The east and west wings have
mansard roofs of slate, and from the centre of each
rises a brick tower containing the stairs to the upper
floors and the ventilating shafts to the dormitories.
Wellington College: The North Front
An estate of 450 acres partly in Sandhurst and partly
in Frimley was bought by the Military College from
William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, being part of the
Tekels Castle estate. The present building has a
central block with a portico and two wings.
Wellington College station is 1¼ miles from the
village on the Reading branch of the South Eastern
railway; it was opened in 1860. Sandhurst Halt
in the village dates from 1909.
Two silver medals, one of Mark Antony and the
other a consular medal of the Papia family, were found
in digging behind the Royal Military College. (fn. 2)
Sandhurst Lodge, formerly occupied by the late
Sir W. J. Farrer, is the manor-house and was built
by Richard Heaviside. It was bought from Mr. J.
Walter in 1913 by Mrs. Vaughan Davies. St. Helens,
the residence of Maj.-Gen. E. Elliott, and the rectory
were built by the Rev. Henry Parsons, rector from
1852 to 1878; Harts Leap, the residence of Commander P. G. V. Van der Byl. R.N., was built during
the same period. Ambarrow is the residence of Mrs.
Harvey, and Longdown Lodge of Mr. Thomas Mills.
SANDHURST only emerges into individual mention very late. Together with
Wokingham it was said to be vested in
the Bishop of Salisbury in 1316. (fn. 3) Chertsey Abbey
held the manor in 1498. (fn. 4) In 1510 William Rogys
acquired the manor on a forty years' lease from the
abbot, (fn. 5) who in 1537 surrendered White Waltham and
Sandhurst to the king. (fn. 6) The property was retained
by the Crown till 1562, when Elizabeth (fn. 7) conveyed
the lordship and manor to Sir John Ma-on for £248.
In 1590 (fn. 8) Anthony Weekes alias Mason, grandson of
Sir John's mother by a second marriage, with Elizabeth
his wife quitclaimed the manor to John Mason,
gentleman, his son and heir, who sold it to Richard
Geale. (fn. 9) In 1601 it is found in the possession of
Richard Geale, son of the elder Richard, and Elizabeth
his wife, (fn. 10) who with John Geale conveyed it to Robert
Lee. The latter, with his wife Joyce and Clement
Dawbeney, reconveyed it to Richard and John Geale
in 1606. (fn. 11) Richard Geale held the manor in 1674.
A Richard Geale was appointed regarder of the
forest in 1695. (fn. 12)
In 1751 (fn. 13) Elizabeth Caroline Williamson held the
manor as daughter and devisee of Adam Williamson,
the previous owner. She married Daniel Fox and
was living in 1786. In 1787 it was held by Adam
Williamson, who sold it in 1789 to Richard Heaviside. (fn. 14) By 1854 Robert Gibson owned the manor,
but sold it very soon after to John Walter, M.P. (coproprietor of the Times), from whom it has devolved
on Mr. John Walter, the present owner. (fn. 15)
Wellington College from the South-west
The manor of HALL or SANDHURST appears to
have been the holding of a family of Atte Halle.
There was a contributor of this name to a subsidy
levied on the parish in the reign of Edward I, (fn. 16) and
a John Atte Halle was assessed for the same purpose
in 1332. (fn. 17)
In 1354 (fn. 18) John Atte Halle gave a bond on his
lands in Sandhurst, and this estate, called the manor
of Halle, was sold by Thomas Atte Halle, (fn. 19) brother
and heir of William Atte Halle, in 1397, to Hugh de
Byseley of co. Gloucester, who
conveyed it under the name
of the manor of Sandhurst to
William Molyns (fn. 20) of Lechlade
(Gloucs.). William Molyns
and others in 1425 conveyed
the estate to Matilda Merfeld,
Joan the widow of Richard
Okele, and John Westmere
(apparently three co-heirs);
a water-mill, mill-pond (perhaps that beside the mill farm
on the Blackwater River), and
a meadow adjacent called
Hullemede were excepted.
Walter. Argent sprinkled with drops of blood two swords gules crossed saltirewise and a lion sable over all.
In 1428 (fn. 21) this manor was
divided into moieties, Matthew Masschebrook and
Joan his wife (probably the widow of Okele) convey
ing one moiety to John Feriby, Robert Wodcock,
Thomas Grene and Richard Paulyn, clerk, the heirs
of Joan quitclaiming to Richard Paulyn. John Westmere's son John in 1432 (fn. 22) conveyed his moiety also
to John Feriby. John Feriby in 1442 (fn. 23) conveyed
to Richard Combe, Richard Russell and John Kingesdowne the manor of Sandhurst and all lands once
belonging to Nicholas Atte Halle, and the water-mill
and Hullemede (once Hugh Byseley's). This manor,
of which no further trace has been found, may be the
manor held by Chertsey Abbey in 1498 (see above).
In 1510 (fn. 24) a manor of Buckhurst in Sandhurst was
among the lands assigned to Sir William Sandys and
Margaret his wife, niece and heir of Sir Reynold Bray.
William Lord Sandys, the grandson, sold part of this
property, described as two messuages in Buckhurst
and Sandhurst, to Walter Sandys in 1577 (fn. 25) and
another part to Roger Croppe in 1588. (fn. 26) In 1613
Buckhurst and the adjoining house called Cressells
(once belonging to Chertsey Abbey, but later to Lord
Sandys) (fn. 27) were held by Richard Powell. (fn. 28) Cressells
with Sandhurst Farm was acquired in the 18th
century by the family of Simonds, with whom Sandhurst Farm has since remained, the present owner
being Mr. Barrow Simonds of Winchester. William
Blackall Simonds claimed manorial rights in 1809,
but produced no evidence. (fn. 29)
A 'Manor of Sandhurst,' with the manor farm
and mill, was bought by the Crown in 1801–2 from
the Hon. William Pitt, and on this site was built
the present Government House. The mill pool was
converted into the lower lake. (fn. 30)
The church of ST. MICHAEL
was rebuilt in 1853 on an old site
under the direction of G. E. Street.
In 1868 the building was further enlarged and restored. It consists of a chancel with a north organ
chamber, a vestry and a small transept on the south
side, a nave of four bays with north and south aisles,
a north porch and a south-west tower.
The design is in the style of the 13th century, and
the materials are squared rubble with dressed stone
for the quoins and details. The north porch is of
wood and the tower has a timber upper stage with a
shingled octagonal spire. The south aisle has a lead
roof, but all the others are tiled. Built into the west
wall are two old stones which apparently once formed
parts of a diaper pattern of four-leaved ornament.
The nave roof contains a few old timbers, and on the
north wall-plate at the west end is cut the date 1647
with the regnal year in abbreviation.
There is a peal of six bells, all cast by Mears &
Stainbank, the tenor in 1879 and the rest in 1880.
The plate consists of a silver-gilt chalice of 1880,
a silver cup with a plated stem, undated, a flagon of
1863, a silver paten and a second plated paten.
The registers begin in 1603.
The church of ST. JOHN BAPTIST, Crowthorne, was built in 1873 and is of brick with stone
dressings. It consists of a chancel with a north vestry
and organ chamber, a south chapel, a nave of four
bays with north and south aisles and a west apsidal
baptistery. The east windows of the chancel and
chapel are filled with stained glass by Kempe. The
Bishop of Oxford is patron.
The mission church of St. Mary was built in 1889
and serves the eastern end of the parish.
There was a chapel at Sandhurst as
early as 1220, attached to the mother
church of Sonning, (fn. 31) which was held
by the Dean and Chapter of Salisbury. The rectory
was farmed out by the dean and chapter in the 16th
century and later. (fn. 32) In 1851 and exchange was
effected by which the tithe-rent charge became the
property of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, who
annexed it to the living.
The advowson remained vested in the dean until
1846, when it was transferred to the Bishop of
Oxford. The living was declared a rectory in 1866. (fn. 33)
The charity of Richard Bannister,
founded in 1417 for the relief and
benefit of the poor of this parish and
of Yateley, Hants, is regulated by a scheme of the
Charity Commissioners dated 5 February 1886. The
endowment consists of 29 a. 2 r. in Sandhurst, let to
the governors of Wellington College at £12 10s.
a year, and £1,370 8s. 2d. consols held by the
official trustees arising from sale in 1865 of 16 acres
belonging to the charity, producing £34 5s. 2d.
a year. The moiety of the income, amounting to
£23 7s. 6d., is under the scheme applicable in
subscriptions to hospitals, for providing nurses, donations to provident clubs, &c., or temporary relief in
In 1823 Captain Charles Stone, by his will,
bequeathed £100 Navy 4 per cents. to the Royal
Military College, the interest to be applied in
pecuniary assistance to servants or former servants of
the college or their windows, subject to the repair of his
tomb. This legacy was the subject of proceedings in
the Court of Chancery, and after payment of costs
came to be represented by £165 16s. 5d. consols
transferred in 1865 to the official trustees, producing
£4 2s. 8d. a year.
The Morgan Recreation Ground, consisting of
about 3 acres of land at Crowthorne, conveyed by an
indenture 4 July 1885 by the Rev. Henry Thornhill
Morgan in consideration of £150 provided by
voluntary contributions, is regulated by a scheme
of the Charity Commissioners dated 29 August
The Walter Recreation Ground, conveyed by an
indenture 10 June 1887 by John Walter, consists of
two pieces of land in the parishes of Wokingham and
Sandhurst, containing together 5 a. 0 r. 38 p., under
the control of the parish council. The land is used
as a playground for children.
In 1891 Mary Tompson, by her will proved at
London 23 September, bequeathed a sum of £500,
now represented by £513 9s. 7d. consols with the
official trustees, the income to be applied in the purchase of coals and blankets for the poor. The charity
is distributed in the parish of Sandhurst exclusive of
the district of Crowthorne.
The public reading-room, Crowthorne, conveyed
by an indenture dated 14 April 1894 by the aforesaid Rev. Henry Thornhill Morgan, is for the benefit
of the residents of Crowthorne. The premises are
closed in summer and during the winter are used as
a reading room and young men's club. The expenses
of the maintenance are defrayed by subscriptions of
members at 6d. per month and by voluntary contributions.
Lucas Hospital—The parish participates in the
benefits of this hospital (see under Wokingham).