Dowsing Day - June 22nd

We all start off thinking that dowsing is silly, fixed, unscientific etc. but if you try it, you might change your mind. Some local residents have already tried it and been amazed, finding the experience quite unbelievable. Well, now you can come and have a go too. Remember, Thames Water and most other water companies still use this technique. And it isn’t used just to find water!

The Inkpen History Group is holding a ‘Dowsing Day’. It’s on June 22nd 13:00 to 16:00 at ‘The Folly’ paddock RG17 9DJ, (Map Ref: 51.38158, -1.474056. what3words: turns.drilled.waggled). Entrance is £1 per person or £2 per family. Just turn up and have a go.

If possible, please bring a mobile phone with you with a GPS app installed such as My GPS Location for android phones or My GPS Coordinates for Apple iPhones. Also bring a notepad/paper and a pencil or other writing aid. And we suggest you wear wellies as the grass is quite long.

If you are coming from Kintbury, please park on the downward slope by Inkpen School, but not past the school where there are houses. Then walk on downhill past the little grass triangle on the left, until you see a track on your right. Follow the track and you will find us.

If you live in Inkpen, then hopefully there will be enough parking space at the site.

We do not accept any liability for you or your car, that’s down to you! Please keep an eye on this website, just in case it rains and we have to change to another day. See you there.

Next Meeting.

The history group will hold it's next meeting in July at  the Inkpen playing field pavilion. The date will be advertised here so please keep an eye out for that. All comers are freely welcome. Do come and join us.

In the mean time, if you live in Inkpen, help us with our project to measure oak trees in Inkpen. This will only take a couple of minutes of your time and it’s a very simple thing to do. First, you need a flexible tape measure (preferably fabric) and someone to hold the other end of the tape. The procedure is shown in Age of Oaks.pdf and there’s a video of how to do this on youtube:

If you go onto private land to do this, please ask the landowner’s permission first. Once you’ve measured the circumference of the oak tree, please write it down. Now I need to know the location of the tree either as a description involving a place/house name or preferably in terms of a GPS, longitude and latitude.

If you have an android phone, then I suggest you use the ‘My GPS Location’ app. For an iPhone, please use ‘My GPS Coordinates.’ They are free apps. If you are going to record the GPS coordinates, please stand by the tree and record the longitude and latitude. Just email the oak tree’s position and its circumference to A big thank you to you for your help in doing this. Inkpen History Group.

Ancient remains

Beautiful and amazing neolithic cooking and water vessel finds come from a nearby dried up brook off Inkpen's Craven Road. Several Mesolithic, Iron age and Saxon finds have also been made.

Walbury Hill Fort

The iron age hill fort is the highest point in the south of England offering spectacular views. It is a well known landmark for walkers, a viewing point for the night sky and a source of wonder for naturalists. On the adjacent hill lies an ancient long-barrow.

Roman Occupation

Finds from an Inkpen field suggest that there was at least one Roman dwelling in Inkpen, and it was a dwelling with a hypocaust. Various Roman finds have been made including these distinctive fragments of a flue.

Medieval Finds

To date, we have many medieval finds from ampules and a purse bar, to bricks floor and roof tiles. The Ampule was used during the crusades to bring holy water from the Holy Lands. This one is from Jerusalem and was found in Inkpen.

St Michael's Church

Is a 13th century church thought to occupy the site of a much earlier wooden church. It attracts visitors from all over the world.

Inkpen in film

Inkpen featured in the John Schlesinger film, "The Black Legend". It's a film which portrays a double hanging during the late 17th century. A double gibbet still marks the spot on Combe Hill. The film has been reworked to bring it to a high definition standard, with narration by Robert Hardy, one of Britain's most successful character actors. A copy of the film is lodged with the British Film Institute (BFI) and showings of the film still draws crowded audiences as it offers a glimpse of Inkpen's sometimes troubled past.


An ode from 1967 giving a feel of life for some, and focussing on the bygone years of 'Windrush', a large and staffed house at the intersection of Folly Road and Post Office Road, close to the site of the Olive Branch public house. The poem is written by Richard Alexander Usborne and accessible here.

  • Maps

    Maps give us the best understanding of how Inkpen has changed. Tithe maps tell us who lived where and who owned what. We include a few here.

  • Grave records

    3 graveyards have been catalogued and headstone inscriptions are also included. These have been extensively accessed for family tree research.

  • WW1 and ww2

    A list of casualties for those from Inkpen and Kintbury are provided. As much additional information as can be gathered is also given.

  • 1975 recordings

    In 1975 Inkpen produced an audio record of its memorable past. This is in the form of 13 separate audio tracks. You might need headphones.

  • a victorian view

    This mostly relates to St. Michael's church which underwent a substantial makeover at that time. Before and after pictures are provided.

  • scrapbook

    Scrapbooks from the WI, Press clips and other linked content form a time capsule of Inkpen's recent past giving us a vivid insight into our local predecessors.

Always on the look-out

If you have an interest in Inkpen's history, photos or anecdotes, please get in touch. Email us at: