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History of the Hamlets of Binfield Parish in the Royal County of Berkshire
by David Nash Ford

B I N F I E L D
H A M L E T S


Berkshire

Amen Corner (Binfield).
This area of Binfield, now well known for its "Mini Zoo", has a most unusual name. It may have been named from the murmurs of local baptists returning home from a local chapel, or it may be related to prayers said while beating the bounds.

Billingbear (Binfield). 
The earliest version of the name is Pullingbere. This may be Phol-Bearo meaning "Balder's Sacred Grove". Balder was the son of Woden and has been identified with the Celtic Beli. Balder was mostly worshipped in Swabia, and a reference in a White Waltham Saxon charter relating to "Swabian's Hollow" in the general area may back up this idea. Billingbear Park, home of the Neville Lords Braybrooke, stands just over the parish boundary below Shurlock Row in Waltham St.Lawrence parish.

Farley Wood (Binfield).
The Farley Wood estate was built on the site of Farley Copse Farm in 1989. The roads are all named after old Binfield families. Here is also Farley Hall, a beautiful and imposing Victorian mansion, now one of the homes of British Telecom. Strangely, their rivals, Cable and Wireless, are not far away surrounding Farley Moor Lake (a name first recorded in the reign of James I) where you can see much waterlife: Ducks, Swans, Moorhen, Coots, Heron, Egyptian Geese, Canadian Geese and Great Crested Grebe. The fish are also very large and the wide array of wild flowers particularly lovely in the Spring. This time of year sometimes brings a flock of Waxwings to the area. Common in East Anglia, you don't often see them in the south.

Popeswood (Binfield).
The place is named after the Pope family who made quite an impression on the area. Pope's Manor was the home of a retired Roman Catholic linen-draper, the father of the famous writer, Alexander Pope who also lived there from 1700 until 1716. His father constantly encouraged Pope to write verse and it was here that he wrote his famous Rape of the Lock. He described the house as:

A little house with trees a-row
And like its master, very low.

Temple Park (Binfield).
Temple Park is a very new housing estate built around Park Farm, the Home Farm of the old Binfield Manor estate. The present house was built by the Prime Minister, William Pitt the Elder, Earl of Chatham, in 1754 (See Binfield). The house, and no doubt the parkland too, has seen many literary and artistic visitors in its time. The Park is now best known for its Blue Mountain Golf Club. The adjoining Jock's Lane has a reputation for being haunted, but by whom or what is unclear.

See also Binfield Village




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