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There is no road access to this beguiling little church and there is no authorised parking nearby. It is approached along footpaths, but it is well worth the effort. Its setting is lovely: in a lush meadow close to the River Lambourn and with a background of gentle Berkshire countryside. The church itself is tiny and attractive, with a bellcote at the west end. Inside, there are remains of wall paintings from as early as the 12th century, as well as biblical texts painted after the Reformation. The most striking monument in the church is that to Sir Thomas and Lady Beatrice Fettiplace, made in about 1450, with their full-sized effigies. Another Fettiplace monument, from 1524, is set into the north wall of the chancel.

St Thomas
East Shefford

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About The area

Discover Berkshire

Berkshire essentially consists of two distinct parts. The western half is predominantly rural, with the Lambourn Downs spilling down to the River Lambourn and the Berkshire Downs to the majestic Thames. The eastern half of Berkshire may be more urban but here, too, there is the opportunity to get out and savour open spaces. Windsor Great Park and Maidenhead Thicket are prime examples. Threading their way through the county are two of the South’s prettiest rivers – the Lambourn and the Pang. Beyond the tranquil tow paths of the Kennet and Avon Canal, Greenham Common’s famous airbase has been transformed to delight walkers of all ages.

Reading and Newbury are the county’s major towns, and the River Kennet flows through them both. Reading is a vibrant, multicultural centre with great shopping and plenty of history. Oscar Wilde was incarcerated in Reading prison in the late 19th century, and wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol about his experience. Newbury is probably best known for its race course, which opened in 1905, although the first recorded racing at Newbury was a century before that. Famous people born in the county include Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Winlset and Ricky Gervais.

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