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St Mary, Marlston, Berkshire

(51°26′37″N, 1°14′30″W)
SU 528 719
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Berkshire
now West Berkshire
medieval Salisbury
now Oxford
  • Ron Baxter
31 July 1998, 7 November 2003

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Marlston is a hamlet in West Berkshire, 10 miles W of Reading. There is no distinct village centre, and the area is largely occupied by the twin schools of Brockhurst and Marlston House. The chapel stands in the school grounds, and was built substantially by Butterfield in 1855, of flint with red tile roof. It has a single nave with a bell turret at W end, and a square-ended chancel of two bays. There is a vestry in the position of a N transept, and facing doorways at the W end of the nave, the S under a porch. The N doorway is of c.1200, and there is a pillar piscina of the same period in the chancel.


Marlston does not appear in the Domesday Survey, but it is identified by VCH as a manor of 4 hides in Bucklebury held by the Count of Evreux in 1086. William, Count of Evreux founded a monastery in Noyon in Normandy, and endowed it with his holdings in England, and his grandson Simon confirmed this gift in the mid-12thc. It remained a possession of Noyon until the reign of Henry V when it was given to his priory of Sheen in Richmond.

The chapel was built by Geoffrey Martel, a 12thc Lord of the Manor of Bucklebury as a chapel of ease to the parish church. It passed to Reading Abbey with Bucklebury church, and was assigned to the Hospital of St John.


Exterior Features



Piscinae/Pillar Piscinae


Doorway and piscina both date from the last years of the 12thc.


Humphreys, Bucklebury, A Berkshire Parish, privately published, 1932.

B. Kemp (ed.), Reading Abbey Cartularies, 2 vols., London, (Camden Fourth Series 1986 and 1987), I, no.224; II, no.694.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. Harmondsworth 1966, 177.

K. R. Poole, History of St Mary the Virgin, Bucklebury and Marlston Chapel.

Victoria History of the Counties of England: Berkshire. London. Vol. 3 (1923), pp.291-96.