Inkpen - History of The Village

History of The Village

The earliest record of Inkpen is in the Cotton Charter viii, dated between 931 and 939. This includes the will of a Saxon thegn named Wulfgar, whose name means "wolf-spear". Wulfgar owned "land at inche penne" which he "had from Wulfric, who had it from Wulfhere who first owned it", his father and grandfather respectively. Wulfgar left this to be divided amongst named heirs: three quarters to his wife, Aeffe, the other quarter to "the servants of God" at the holy place in Kintbury. Following Aeffe's death, her share was also to go to the holy place at Kintbury "for the souls of Wulfgar, Wulfric and Wulfrere".

The Church of England parish church of Saint Michael is 13th century. The east window of the chancel and west window of the nave were added in the 15th century.The church was restored by Clapton Crabb Rolfe in 1896; he added the south porch, south window and north aisle The church's new reredos, altar tables, Rood and rood screen, pulpit, lectern and much new seating were carved for Rolfe by Harry Hems of Exeter.

Near the centre of the village just off Post Office Road is a large field of Mediterranean crocuses, one of only two in the UK. According to the information plaque, the plants are believed to have been brought here by the Knights Templar in the Middle Ages for the production of saffron. It is currently owned by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust.

The Old Rectory was built in 1695, Kirby House in 1733 and West Court House in two stages in the 18th century. The Primary School was designed by G.E. Street and built in 1850.

Inkpen Post Office closed in the 1980s.

Below is a selection of subsequent spellings of a dictated Inkpen over a period of some three hundred years by various scribes:

  • Ingepenne 935.
  • Hingepene 1086.
  • Ingepenna 1167, Ingepenn 1167, Ingepenne 1167, Yngepenn 1167, Yngepenne 1167.
  • Ynkepenee 1230, Yngelpenne 1235, Ynkepenne 1241, Ingelpenne 1241, Hingepenna 1242, Ingepepenn 1242, Ingelpenn 1252, Enkepenne 1282, Inckepene 1292.

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