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History of Ruscombe in the Royal County of Berkshire
by David Nash Ford

R U S C O M B E

Home of William Penn

The suffix of the name is Celtic-Latin camp which appears to have been taken into the Germanic language meaning an early Saxon settlement on the edge of a Roman one. The parish church was anciently a chapel-of-ease to its mother-church at Sonning.

In the 14th century, Windsor Forest spread as far as Ruscombe and its bounties were a great temptation to the locals. On one occasion, Oliver the Rector was charged, at the Forest Court, with having shot a large stag with bow and arrow!

There was supposed to have been a Civil War skirmish in the village at which Lieut. Mynd of Sonning was killed, and the parish register records the burial of thirteen soldiers in the first three months of 1642. The villagers were so scared, they deserted their homes and hid in Ruscombe Lake (it was still full of water then). The mysterious tunnels in the area may have been used as their escape route.

William Penn, founder of Pennsilvania, lived and died in Ruscombe, but his house was torn down in 1830. Stanlake Park was built by Richard Aldworth, but the house is just in St. Nicholas Hurst parish. The original house stood within the moat in Botany Bay Copse in Ruscombe.




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