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Caves, Castles, Convictions & Clashes



  • Romans living at Caversham are known to have been Christian. They left behind a lead font (for Christenings) decorated with 'Chi-Rho' symbols.
  • Caversham has lots of underground chalk caves. They mostly date from the 17th century when the chalk was dug out for building stone. Some people think they may be Saxon. That's why it's called the 'Cavers' Home'.
  • In Norman times, a small group of monks from Notely Abbey in Buckinghamshire came to live near the church in Caversham. They set up a chapel with the 'Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham' (the Virgin Mary). It became a very important place for pilgrims to visit & made the monks very rich.
  • The pilgrims would also visit St. Anne's Holy Well at the top of the hill.
  • In Medieval times, Lower Caversham had an important castle:
    • It was the home of William Marshal who ran the country for the young King in the early 13th century.
    • Later, the Earls of Warwick lived there when they weren't at Warwick Castle.
  • The most famous Earl of Warwick was Richard Neville. His support put kings on the Throne during the War of the Roses. He asked his wife to marry him on Caversham Bridge.
  • John London dissolved the shrines in 1538.
  • During the Civil War, King Charles I & his army tried to relieve the Siege of Reading. He stayed at Caversham Park and his troops in the village. They lost the Battle of Caversham Bridge, but Reading had surrendered anyway.
  • Caversham became part of Berkshire in 1911.


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