Caversham 100 Years On Project

During the Caversham 100 years On Project, information was gathered on a wide range of sources of images and information which are set out below for others to explore and enjoy.

Caversham in World War I

CADRA prepared for exhibition these displays about  Caversham in World War I.

William Marshal and Magna Carta

William Marshal, Lord of Caversham Manor and Regent for the young Henry III, played a significant role in the signing of the Magna Carta. This will be celebrated in Caversham Court Gardens summer 2015 - 800 years after the first signing.

'From Village to Suburb: Caversham 1840 to 1911'- by Joan A Dils

by permission of Oxoniensa Online.

Joan Dils is a Visiting Research Fellow in History at the University of Reading with particular research interests in local communities of Berkshire and South Oxfordshire. This article, published in 1999, looks at the development of Caversham and the building of streets of terraces, suburban villas, schools, churches and commercial premises. It shows local maps and a wealth of detailed information.

Joan Dils, Oxoniensia, Vol. 64, 1999: 87-115. Read the full paper 

The 1910 Inland Revenue Survey

This was the first listing of property ownership since Domesday and it gives a starting point to the hundred years of Caversham's life that are being celebrated. See the National Archives.

It was carried out to have a base line for any inflation in house or land prices so that the government could levy a tax on the increase when the property next changed hands – in effect a capital gains tax on house sales – and was part of Lloyd George’s People’s Budget.

Every property was described in terms of its size, rooms, building materials, owner, leaseholder and tenant, as well as capital value and rent paid. Rows of terrace houses were under single ownership and the tenant often did not know who the owner was, just who collected the rent on his behalf.

The Inland Revenue started with large scale colour maps and worked out from them how each area would be covered. Field officers carried out the survey and recorded their findings, one page per property in a note book, whose number corresponded to the area on the map. The maps and notebooks are all at The National Archives at Kew.

Caversham Properties - Unfortunately the map for Caversham is lost but the note books are there and have the numbers IR 58/ 65104 and 65105 and 68918 – 68949. Caversham Court for example appears with a sketch map of the site and all the buildings, greenhouses and dog kennels identified on page 167 of field book IR 58 /68919.

Reading Museum

Reading Museum holds a varied collection of material found in or associated with Caversham; photographs, postcards and paintings show Caversham in the past, whilst objects provide tangible evidence for life from prehistoric to modern times.

Highlights of the collection include:

  • Palaeolithic handaxes from gravel pits in Caversham;
  • the remains of a Roman lead baptismal font;
  • a newel post from Caversham Court dated 1638;
  • the wooden gavel of Caversham Urban District Council;
  • the silver gilt key made for the 1926 opening of Caversham Bridge by the Prince of Wales*.

Daily life is represented by a servant's call board, fishmonger's price labels from J. Eighteens of Caversham, a brown paper bag from the Reading and Caversham Laundry Co Ltd and a flagon from J.Cheadle, Botanical Brewer of Caversham.

*View a British Pathe video of the Prince of Wales opening the new Caversham Bridge during an industrial visit to Reading in 1926.


In 2011 Historypin worked with Reading Museum on a project to tell the history of Reading through the photos, stories and memories of the people of Reading. Historypin asked Reading residents of all ages to share their history and help collect the most complete record of the town that has ever been created; new projects and additions continue.

Archaeological Finds in the Caversham Area

Courtesy of: Berkshire Archaeology

For more details you can view Berkshire Archaeology's Historic Environment Record (HER) by appointment at 3rd Floor, Reading Central Library or drop in (Open House) any Thursday between 12pm and 4pm.

View a Summary Report of Listed buildings in Caversham 

The Berkshire Record Office

The Berkshire Record Office is based in Reading and provides an archive service for all places in the Royal County.

It holds many unique items relating to Caversham's history, including for its people, land and property, the River Thames, schools and charities. Amongst the archives of Caversham institutions kept at B.R.O are those of St Peter's and other local churches, Elliotts the joiners and the Caversham Urban District Council, which was abolished on the move to Reading in 1911.

Reading Borough Libraries - Local Studies Illustrations: Caversham

The Local Studies section of Reading Library has a large collection of well catalogued illustrations, including many in Caversham, which can be searched at Local Ilustrations

Oxfordshire County Council - Online Heritage Search

The Heritage Search is a catalogue of Oxfordshire's cultural and heritage resources; it contains many documents and images relating to Caversham.

Search on 'Caversham', choose between 'matches' or 'images only'

Collections at the Museum of English Rural Life

MERL hold library books on local history and it also has a photographic archive including photographs of Caversham 1860-1930; they have kindly compiled a list of the photographs  for this project. Opening times can be found on the MERL website; all reserved library or archive items must be ordered beforehand.

Interview with Mary Kift 
A transcript of an interview with Mary Kift concerning her memoirs of the Women's Land Army dated 7 March 2006 (reference D DX1723) is available at MERL.

Caversham Park

Caversham Park is now the headquarters of BBC Monitoring; you can view a copy of their publication (by Brian Rotheray).
A History of Caversham Park 

The Building of Caversham Park Village

When Caversham Park Village was still being built, Eric Sykes and the late, great Tommy Cooper starred in a film called "The Plank". It was filmed in 1967 during the construction of phase two. Watch the part of the film that was filmed in Elstow Avenue.
"The Plank" - A Piece of Caversham Park Village History on Film

Old Caversham – 1894

A copy of a lecture given in 1894 by Mr W Wing on 'Old Caversham'.

Aerial Photographs 1920s

This collection of aerial photographs, taken between the WWI and WWII, includes a large number of Reading, seven of the Royal Agricultural Show in Caversham Park(July 1926), and three of Caversham in 1928 - one of each bridge and one of Thornycroft Engines with Elliots joinery in Lower Caversham. Go to: Britain from Above and search for Reading.

The History of Caversham and Mill Green

In June 2000, Kathie and Al Summers produced an account of: Caversham in the last millennium, and the last 150 years of the Mill Green area

The Lovedays at Caversham Court

John Loveday was an antiquarian, traveller and philologist best known for the tours which he made and chronicled in Great Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands between 1728 and 1765. Thomas Loveday laid out the gardens at Caversham Court between 1660 and 1681 and the Lovedays lived at Caversham Court until the end of the eighteenth century. Sarah Markham (nee Loveday) transcribed many of the family manuscripts and this work is now being continued by her sons.

Changes in Local Rights of Way

Changes in local Rights of Way have been charted by the local Countryside Local Access ForumClick here to view a presentation from 2011 

The Story behind Balmore House

The house was built in 1834 by the Robinson family, as told in Kate Summerscale's book: Mrs Robinson's Disgrace: the private diary of a Victorian lady published by Bloomsbury in 2012.
Click here to read: The Story behind Balmore House 

Emmer Green Chalk Mine

In 2003 Subterranea Britannica explored the Emmer Green (Hanover) South Chalk Mine; you can view their report here

A Very Brief History of Caversham, from Prehistory to the Reformation:

A very brief history of Caversham can be viewed on the Caversham Traders' website.