Until the middle of the Nineteenth Century Spencers Wood was one of several, small settlements straddling the main road from Reading to Basingstoke and, beyond that, Portsmouth. In the last half of the Nineteenth Century the village began to grow with the development of its first pub, the Red Lion and the development of a number of new trades. By the turn of the Twentieth Century newly prosperous professionals and trades people had begun to move out from Reading to settle in the village. This was when St.Michael’s Church and the Library, originally the local school, were built. Nevertheless, the village was still largely rural, its economy

based on agriculture and market gardening. It wasn’t until after the Second World War that the village was connected to mains services. Since then the Village has grown with waves of further development in the 1960s and 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and more recent development from 2015 onwards.

Much of the research undertaken by the Group has been to record and document the growth of the Village over time and the loss of fields, farms and market gardens to housing and other development.  Below are links to more detailed contributions by members of the Group, most first published in the Loddon Reach magazine.

The Village in War Time – accounts of the impact of the Great War and Second World War on the village, including the evacuation of children from London to the village in 1939

Settlement and landscape – changes in the landscape and the rivers and lanes that run through it.

Farms and Farming – pieces about changes in farming and land use

Leisure and Recreation – sport and other recreation and leisure pursuits

Trades and Businesses

People residents and former residents.