Barkham Village Residents Association

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Introduction

Barkham residents will be familiar with the long-standing tradition that Colonel William Ball of Millenbeck (c.1615-1680), the first Virginian ancestor and grandfather of George Washington's mother, Mary Ball, was descended from the Ball family which lived in Barkham in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. This has never been substantiated, however. 'Colonel' William emigrated from England to Virginia with his family at some time during the later 1650s and the early 1660s.

There is a growing interest in the events of the First World War, maybe because there is almost no-one left alive now who fought in that war, and many of us 'forgot' to ask our fathers or relatives about those events, even if some of them took part. The short biography below is a link between Barkham, Accrington and the events of July 1st, 1916; the first day of the Battle of The Somme.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the largest farm in the parish was Barkham Farm (subsequently Church Farm, now Church Cottages) adjacent to the parish church. 

The middle of the nineteenth century was marked by the building of a large number of new churches better to serve the growing urban population of Victorian Britain as well as the modernisation or rebuilding of many existing churches. Dr Samuel Wilberforce, the great reforming Bishop of Oxford 1845-1869, was a leading proponent of the new church building movement. 

When Barkham - A History was published in 2000, no records were thought to survive which showed when Barkham Square was built, or by whom. The minutes of the 1751 manorial court (Court Baron) merely record the sale of "a certain freehold messuage called the Square" by Charles Gery, gentleman, to the Rev.d Witting Colton since the previous Court Baron in 1738, when there was no mention of the property in the manorial survey conducted at the same time. 

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