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St Mark, Englefield, Berkshire

(51°26′36″N, 1°6′12″W)
SU 624 720
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Berkshire
now West Berkshire
medieval Salisbury
now Oxford
  • Ron Baxter
17 September 2001, 19 November 2013

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Englefield is just outside Reading, to the east, and consists of Englefield House and its park with the estate church built by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1857 nearby. Scott re-used a good deal of the medieval church that was already there in his new build. His church consists of a nave with S aisle, chancel with a N chapel (the Englefield Chapel), a tower (added in 1868) at the NW of the nave and a S doorway with a porch. Three bays of the S arcade date from c.1200, while the jambs of the doorway, a pillar piscina and the font are all 12thc.


The manor of Englefield was held by William of Ansculf in 1086, but no church was mentioned. In 1180–84 the patron, William Englefield granted the church to Reading Abbey, but insisted on retaining rights of advowson, which the abbey agreed to in exchange for payment. This arrangement led to lawsuits in 1239 and 1249.


Exterior Features


Interior Features





Piscinae/Pillar Piscinae


The author agrees with the analysis in VCH that there is work of at least two Romanesque periods here. The beaker clasp jambs and probably the pillar piscina are mid-12thc work, while the arcade capitals with their well-developed stiff-leaf forms and the font are of 1200 or even a little later.

Windblown stiff-leaf is found on the S arcade of Blewbury, but is not uncommon. Pillar piscinas are, but probably only as survivals. Within the county, other examples are known at Blewbury (again), Finchampstead, Sonning, Besselsleigh, Lambourn and East Garston. The beaker clasp form of proto-beakhead is also found at Avington.


Anon, Church guide, undated (post-1985))

B. Kemp (ed.), Reading Abbey Cartularies, 2 vols., London, (Camden Fourth Series vols. 31 (1986) and 33 (1987)). II, 89-96.

C. E. Keyser, 'Notes on the Churches of Aldermaston, Padworth, Englefield and Tidmarsh', Berks, Bucks and Oxon Archaeological Journal, 17 (1911-12), 65-76, 97-107.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. Harmondsworth, 1966, 138-38.

G. Tyack, S. Bradley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. New Haven and London 2010.

Victoria County History: Berkshire III (1923), 405-12.