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St Mary, Shaw, Berkshire

(51°24′42″N, 1°19′6″W)
SU 475 683
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Berkshire
now West Berkshire
medieval Salisbury
now Oxford
  • Ron Baxter
28 August 1990, 20 November 2013

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Feature Sets

Shaw is on the NE edge of Newbury in the Kennet valley, and shares that town's urban character. Shaw House, alongside the church, ranks as the most important Elizabethan house in Berkshire. The medieval church was pulled down without authorisation in 1841 by order of the Rev. S. Slocock, the then Rector, and the Rev. T. Penrose, the Patron, and the present church, built by J.Hansom in what must be called a Romanesque style, dates from 1840-42. The plain font is all that survives from the previous building.


Shaw was held by Aelfric in 1066 and by Hugh FitzBaldric in 1086. The land was assessed at 5 hides in 1066 but only 2½ hides in 1086. It also contained a mill, 5 acres of meadow and woodland sufficient for 50 pigs. Unusually Hugh, the 1086 landholder, was a Saxon thane, and at his death the manor passed to his daughter Erneburga and her husband Robert de Stutevill. Robert was killed at Tinchebrai in 1106, and his estates were forfeited. Shaw was in the king's hands initially, and was farmed by Richard de Humez in 1166-67, but it was subsequently granted to Philip de Columbers who died seised of it in 1215.





Pevsner (1966) considered the W front of the church 'shocking.' He did not mention the font, but Tyack (2010) spotted it and called it 'tub-shaped C12', which is probably all it deserves.


A. Mee (ed.), The King's England: Berkshire. London, 1939, 163.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. Harmondsworth, 1966, 213.

G. Tyack, S. Bradley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. New Haven and London 2010, 504-05.

Victoria County History: Berkshire IV (1924), 87-97.