Barkham Village Residents Association

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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.

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. 

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.

The Domesday Book is a general survey and valuation of landed property in England, taken in 1086 on the orders of William the Conqueror, twenty years after he conquered England. In fact, there have always been two Domesday Books, called Great and Little Domesday, because of their different sizes. The survey probably became known as 'Domesday' (the popular name for the final Day of Judgement) because it was the final proof of legal title to land, and in later centuries it was mainly used, in the law courts, for this purpose. It is not a census of the population, and the names that appear in it are only of land-holders. 

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. 

Barkham - A HistoryThe 170 page book contains 23 history chapters by ┬ęDavid French, well known to regular readers of the BVRA newsletter for his historical articles. Whilst the history makes extensive use of the surviving ecclesiastical and property records, it also draws extensively on three less commonly used sources: early probate documents, early legal proceedings and early newspapers.  

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. 

008 Blac and WhiteThe Barkham story begins about 5,000 years ago when analysis of ancient pollen suggests woodland clearance and agricultural activity. Flint and pottery finds show evidence of human activity in the late Bronze Age. 

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