Jack the Moneymaker
Places to Go
The best reminder of Jack O'Newbury's benefaction in the town is St. Nicholas' Parish Church. It is a fine perpendicular building of huge proportions built, with money given by Jack and his son, between about 1500 and 1532. It stands on the west side of Newbury's main street, Northbrook Street, just at the point where it changes to Bartholomew Street. You can't really miss it. Jack's memorial brass is inside, attached to the wall beneath the great tower. It shows him dressed in a long fur-lined cloak of the time, with a belt and, of course, a money-purse. Alice stands alongside him, with their two sons and one daughter below. He also features in the "Good Shepherd Window" which is the second one as you head east from the south door; and his monogram appears twelve times on the roof bosses.
Much more personal than the church, however, is 'Jack O'Newbury's House' which stands on the opposite side of the road a bit further down Northbrook Street. Unfortunately only one gable end survives, but it is a beautiful example of 16th century brick and timber domestic architecture. The upper storey retains its superb oriel window and you can easily imagine Alice leaning out of it laughing at Jack stuck outside down below. The main facade of the building is now shops, but once it spread all the way back to Victoria Park. It is easily found just off Northbrook Street in little Marsh Lane. A large sign announces that you have found the right spot.
The Litten Chapel where Jack and Alice were married stands at the opposite end of the town in Newtown Road, adjoining the old Grammar School. The chapel was once much larger, but it was reduced in size when the Newtown Road was built in 1825. St. Bartholomew's Hospital is not far away, at the junction with Argyle Road. Opposite this is the medieval Bartholomew Manor which was leased to Jack shortly before he died.
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