Five abandoned Berkshire villages lost in time

Berkshire has a vast history spanning many centuries, with developments over the years changing the face of the county.

While some towns grew in size due to more and more people settling in Berkshire, other villages or settlements just became abandoned and were lost in time. These were later uncovered by historians or by archaeological digs.

Some villages were abandoned for varying reasons or were just simply destroyed. Not a lot is known about some of these lost Berkshire villages, so there is limited information available.

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Here are a number of lost Berkshire villages that time has forgotten about.




Based near the village of Bucklebury in West Berkshire lies the tiny village of Marlston.

Although its not mentioned specifically in the Doomesday book, there are three buildings shown around the church in the area now occupied by Marlston House (itself apparently rebuilt in the late nineteenth century and now a school) there were two buildings north of the road, lost by the time of the 1808 Ordnance Survey drawing.


Although no evidence has been identified on the ground or in aerial photographs for a deserted settlement at Shottesbrooke, some of the documentary evidence suggests a modest medieval community of some form probably once existed here.

Index Map to the Hundreds of Bray and Cookham

Index Map to the Hundreds of Bray and Cookham

According to Beresford’s Lost History website, is it ‘puzzling’ looking back on when the area vanished. By the time of the 1524/5 Lay Subsidy the small number of tax payers (seven in one assessment) was already the lowest in the medieval Hundred of Cookham and Bray.

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The area is home to a Grade II listed Tudor mansion built in the 16th century.


Another Medieval area in Maidenhead shows little evidence of ever exisiting but there is data showing a population of 11 people in 1332.

Historians Beresford and Hurst suggested that the period of depopulation should be attributed to between 1450 and 1700.

The area located close to Hawthorn Hill is now mapped as parkland, and could perhaps have been part of a medieval settlement.

Windsor, Old

There is evidence that Old Windsor was once home to people in the Roman and early-mid Anglo-Saxon periods, with a higher status settlement present from at least the ninth century, if not earlier.

According to Beresfords website, a series of excavations took place at Old Windsor between 1953 and 1958, with only limited details published.


Sheffield appears as a vill in Domesday Book and its entry records a mill as well as meadowland and woodland, implying a landholding that stretched from the Kennet to higher ground.

The area close to Theale had once had 31 poll tax payers recorded in 1381 and is the main evidence for a lost village.

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