History

The ancient Parish of Old Windsor extended from the Thames to Winkfield and Windlesham and some maps still show ‘Old Windsor Bog’ south of Sunningdale.

Old Windsor pre-dates the town of ‘New’ Windsor. Evidence of activity from 4100BC through to the present day has been found. The most historically significant being a large ninth century riverside Saxon settlement (built on the site of an earlier roman settlement), with a royal palace providing a seat of government, and hunting forays into the vast Windsor forest, which continued with the early Normans up to Edward the Confessor. William the Conqueror’s Doomsday book of 1087 listed Old Windsor as the second largest settlement in Berkshire. The village almost disappeared after Henry I built Windsor Castle several miles up river. These origins have prompted several books about Old Windsor’s rich history which also boasts some Roman remains, brick and tile making, grand houses, a listed workhouse sponsored by Prince Albert in 1840, the Pennyroyal Almshouses and the Victorian tapestry and glassworks buildings.

The Hope-Taylor archaeological dig on the Saxon site of Kingsbury (in the field south of the Parish Church) in the 1950’s yielded many artefacts now currently being catalogued at Reading Museum. The Parish Council adopted one of these items, the ‘Kingsbury Beast’ (a bronze broach of a dogs head), as it’s logo.

These origins have prompted several books about Old Windsor’s rich history which also boasts some Roman remains, brick and tile making, grand houses, a listed workhouse sponsored by Prince Albert in 1840, the Pennyroyal Almshouses and the Victorian tapestry and glassworks buildings.

For a complete history of Old Windsor please follow this link to the “Old Windsor Parish Heritage Survey”.