Binfield is a village and civil parish in Berkshire, England, which at the 2011 census had a population of 8,689. The village lies 2 miles (3.2 km) north-west of Bracknell, 3 miles (4.8 km) north-east of Wokingham, 8 miles (13 km) south east of Reading on the westernmost extremity of the Greater London Urban Area.
All Saints' Church
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||RG12, RG42|
Much of modern Binfield stretches towards the south and east of the original village. Parts are now suburbs of Bracknell:
while Billingbear is a small hamlet north-west of the church.
Binfield is part of Bracknell Forest and the local authority is Bracknell Forest Council however the village is within parliamentary boundary of Windsor & Maidenhead and as such Binfield is represented by a different Member of Parliament to Bracknell. The local council is a conservative majority[when?] operating a leader and cabinet model where the leader has been Cllr Paul Bettison since 1997.[when?]
Binfield has three public houses: The Victoria Arms (Fullers), the Jack O'Newbury (freehouse) and the Stag and Hounds (Marston's). In addition to these there are a number of former public houses in the village, which include an ancient ale houses along Wicks Green (The Kicking Donkey), a since demolished public house along Red Rose (The White Horse), The Jolly Farmer which stood in Howe Lane, The Royal Standard, Shoulder of Mutton and The Beehive 
Binfield has a cricket club, Binfield CC founded in 1865. They celebrated their 150th anniversary by hosting an MCC X1 and paying a return fixture at Lord's. They became champions of the Morrants Chiltern League for the very first time in 2009. The village has a football team, founded by the brick makers of the village in 1892, Binfield F.C. is a Step 5, FA Community Standard club, with 32 teams from Under 7s to Veterans, including girls' teams. The first team played in the FA Cup for the first time in season 2009–10, after being promoted to the Hellenic League Premier Division from Division 1 East, which they won in 2008–09. The first team won The AM Print & Copy Floodlit cup in April 2012. Binfield is also the home to The Bowmen Of Warfield archery club who have their own field on Hill Farm lane. Bowmen of Warfield have over 150 members.
The village has four main parks: one at Wicks Green, one at Silver Jubilee Fields, one at Popes Meadow and the fourth at Foxley Fields, next to Binfield Primary School. The park at Wicks Green has a Trim Trail around the perimeter and a Cableway. The play area has recently been refurbished, with a large swing, climbing blocks, and multi-purpose frame – all designed for older children. Silver Jubilee Fields is next to Wicks Green, separated by a pond. At the northern side of these fields is an area of specimen trees, including Black Walnut, Pin Oak, White Berried Elderberry and Persian Ironwood. There is also a small play area for younger children, which includes swings and a climbing frame. Popes Meadow, a Green Flag park, has large grassed areas, a large pond and a small play-park for younger children. Foxley Fields has three all-weather tennis courts which are managed by the Binfield Tennis Association and a play area with a climbing frame, spinner and swings. For the older children and teenagers there is an all-weather pitch, with basketball hoops, integral cricket stumps and markings for several games. Recently, a brand new play area has been installed at Foxley Fields, with a trampoline, a tunnel, a climbing rock, various swings and a bridge and stepping stones.
The name Binfield derived from the Old English beonet + feld and means "open land where bent-grass grows". The surrounding forest was cleared after the Enclosure Act of 1813 when Forestal Rights were abolished and people bought parcels of land for agriculture; it was at this point that villages like Binfield expanded, when there was work for farm labourers.
The Stag and Hounds was reportedly used as a hunting lodge by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and an elm tree outside it (the stump of which was finally removed in 2003) was said to mark the centre of Windsor Forest. John Constable spent his honeymoon at the Rectory in 1816 and sketched All Saints' Church twice.
The presence of large houses in the area, most of them without estates to support them, meant that many tradesmen could make a living in the village and Binfield continued to flourish until the development of Bracknell New Town.
Historic country housesEdit
In the 16th century, Reading was the tenth richest town in the country. An old story of uncertain origin claims that the Abbots of Reading Abbey established a retreat at Elm Grove. Although the house has since been rebuilt, the street name Monk's Alley (which runs westwards from Binfield House) is supposed to survive from that association. White Gate, opposite, is a significant hall house dates from the 15th century.
Binfield House, similar in appearance to Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill House near Twickenham (Grade II listed) was built in 1776 and for nearly 150 years was rented out to a number of tenants including the well-known historian Catharine Macaulay, whose work was greatly admired by the 1st American President George Washington, and in 1788 she travelled to America to visit him. In the mid-19th century the house was used for at least 35 years as a small school. In 1928 it was purchased by Lady Knox who with her husband Major General Knox rebuilt and greatly extended the house under the guidance of the architect Nugent Cachemaille-Day. Binfield House was sold in 1974 to the then Bracknell District Council. Early maps show the much larger Binfield Park as Binfield House, so the name of Binfield House may have been different in the late 18th and into the middle part of the 19th century, although the map of 1883 certainly confirms the use of the name by then. Previously, the house may have been called 'Wyhtwicks' after its builder. Its grounds contain a small Ha-Ha, a half buried pillbox and a former walled kitchen garden.
Alexander Pope in BinfieldEdit
- Gelling, M., The Place-Names of Berkshire, vol. I, page 76. Cambridge University Press, 1973.
- Ford, David Nash (2020). East Berkshire Town and Village Histories. Wokingham: Nash Ford Publishing. pp. 26–32. ISBN 9781905191017.
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