The Whitchurch and Goring Heath History Society

The Thameside Counties of Oxfordshire and Berkshire were at the crossroads of English history for many centuries. For its size the village of Whitchurch, at the centre of that region, has a rich and fascinating story to tell. It was a former Royal Manor and larger than Pangbourne at the time of the Domesday Book. For many centuries Whitchurch has had a riverside port, two landed estates and a river crossing.

The Whitchurch and Goring Heath History Society and its precursors have a long history of study, talks, visits and publications. The parish of Goring Heath is included in the territory as a substantial part of that parish was originally part of Whitchurch and is known as Whitchurch Hill.

The Society meets on the third Thursday of most months for a talk by an invited speaker or for some other historical activity and we go on two outings in the summer. Why not join us? The subscription is just £12 a year.

Chairman and Secretary -Vicky Jordan 0118 984 3260

Treasurer - Alan Nicholls 0118 984 5204

Brief History

For a brief account of the history of Whitchurch, visit this page of the website.

Publications by the Society

Listed below are the publications produced by the Society in recent years. Copies of most of them are still available. To obtain one, please ask Vicky Jordan, contact details above.

Relics and Monuments - Peter Hawley

Essays and talks on Whitchurch Village history by Peter Hawley. For this second edition, published 2017, the material has been updated and expanded. Contains many colour and black and white illustrations.

A5, 135 pages,  £7.95.

Footprints and Cyphers - Robert Noble

A collection of local historian Robert Noble's articles published in the Whitchurch Bulletin from 1982 - 1992 which included well-researched information on people and places in a readable style. Edited by Peter Hawley. 

A5, 136 pages, £7.50. Published 2001. 

Millennium Exhibition, November 2000

Significant new material was contributed by residents during the planning of this display in Goring Heath Parish Hall. The document shows many historic photographs.

A4, 55 pages, £ 5.00. Published 2005.

Memories of Whitchurch - William Barefield-Hutt

Born at Copyhold Farm in 1910, William lived and worked in and around Whitchurch-on-Thames and Goring Heath. His books are personal memories of people, places and events and of the stories he was told by the old people of his time.

A5, 64 pages, £3.50, - includes sketch map and four pages of photographs. Second edition, 1999.

Hardwick - William Barefield-Hutt

The house and estate where William lived and worked in building maintenance in later life, described in detail, with stories from the past.

A5, 128 pages, £8.00, - includes map, five pages of colour/sepia photographs, and 13 black and white photographs in the text.  Published 2010.

First Memories - William Barefield-Hutt

A lively autobiography of a working boy and youth.

A5, 144 pages, £5.50, with line drawings and five pages of photographs. Published 2001.


More Memories - William Barefield-Hutt

Country life and lorry driving in the 1920s and 1930s. This contains a list of slang and Chiltern dialect words.

A5, 88 pages, including three pages of photographs, £4.50. Published 2006.

Whitchurch Common, How They Said It Was - William Barefield-Hutt

Based on his recollections of what he was told by his grandmother and other local residents, Whitchurch Hill and its local people of generations ago are described and named.

A5, 50 pages, £3.50, with two sketch maps and three pages of photographs. Published 2000.

Over the Hatchgate

Republished in 2000, the book was originally produced by the Women's Institute in 1974. It records the memories of elderly people who had spent their lives in Whitchurch Hill.

A5, 24 pages, £1.00, includes a map and two archive photographs.

The Victoria County History of Oxfordshire

Peter Hawley has written an article on The Victoria County History of Oxfordshire.

Vicky Jordan is seen below with the History Society's copy of Volume XX of the Victoria County History, entitled The South Oxfordshire Chilterns: Caversham, Goring, and Area.