Hungerford is a historic market town and civil parish in Berkshire, England, located 8 miles west of Newbury, 9 miles east of Marlborough, 27 miles northeast of Salisbury and 60 miles west of London. The town’s name is derived from an Anglo-Saxon name meaning “ford leading to poor land”. The town was founded as a borough or ‘new town’ by the 2nd Earl of Leicester sometime before 1173 (probably before 1118). The town’s symbol is the estoile and crescent moon. In the late 14th century, John of Gaunt was lord of the manor and he granted the people the lucrative fishing rights on the River Kennet. During the Civil War, the Earl of Essex and his army spent the night here in June 1644. In October of the same year, the Earl of Manchester’s cavalry were quartered in the town. Then, in November, Charles I’s forces arrived in Hungerford on their way to Abingdon.
In more recent times, Hungerford has become a popular destination for tourists and visitors alike. The town has a thriving arts scene with many galleries and exhibitions showcasing local talent. There are also many independent shops and boutiques selling unique gifts and souvenirs. The annual Hungerford Food Festival is a popular event that celebrates local food and drink producers, while the Hungerford Arts Festival showcases local artists and performers.
The town is also home to many historic buildings and landmarks, including St Lawrence’s Church, which dates back to the 12th century, and Hungerford Town Hall, which was built in 1871.
In terms of infrastructure, Hungerford has a railway station that provides regular services to London Paddington via Reading. The town is also served by several bus routes that connect it to nearby towns and villages. There are several schools in Hungerford, including John O’Gaunt School, which is a secondary school with academy status. As of 2021, Hungerford has a population of 5,869.
Town and Manor
Town and Manor of Hungerford and Liberty of Sanden Fee, or the Town and Manor as we call it for short, is a charity (formed in 1908) that protects the beautiful countryside, and a wonderful ancient set of rights, for the Commoners and people of Hungerford.