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Aldworth is a small attractive village high in the Berkshire Downs. Just a few houses make up the village centre together with a well-known pub and a 372 feet deep Victorian well with an ornate tiled roof structure over.

The remaining cottages are spread out around the village mainly around local road junctions, and near one such junction is the parish church, St. Mary's, which is mainly early 14th century with an earlier tower.


Location map:

 

St. Mary's church contains numerous monuments to the De La Beche family who were influential local land owners in the 14th century. These monuments are known as the “Aldworth Giants” and are supposed to be life size representations but in fact some of the knights are over seven feet tall. The collection is the largest number of medieval memorials to a single family to be found in a parish church. 

The De La Beche estate included La Beche Castle. There is no trace of the castle now and it was already in ruins by the time of the Civil War. A farm to the south of the village bearing the De La Beche name now identifies the site of the castle.

In the churchyard is the grave of the poet, dramatist and art scholar Robert Binyon whose famous work For the Fallen is well known for being used in Remembrance Sunday services.

Also in the churchyard there is an ancient yew tree thought to be 1,000 years old. An inscription beside the tree reads:

"This tree is thought to be 1,000 years old and quite probably its antecedents together with those of the adjacent holly trees were witness to pagan worship long before Christianity arrived in Britain. During a gale in 1976 the trunk which had become mainly hollow broke. Fortunately some of the roots survived to continue the life of the tree as we see it today. Please do not climb or deface the tree so that it may flourish for future generations to enjoy. Thank you"

Aldworth is about 2.5 miles south-west of Streatley and 4 miles from East Ilsley on the B4009 Streatley to Newbury road.

Images of Aldworth
(Click to view)

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Aldworth