>> History of Holybrook
History of Holybrook
The Parish of Holybrook takes its name from a channel of the River Kennet which runs from the north of that river from Theale, rejoining the main waterway in the centre of Reading, just downstream of the Abbey Mill by the prison. It powered the watermill of Reading Abbey, hence its name of the Holy Brook. A side stream of the brook runs into the Kennet again at Calcot and this powered the Calcot water mill which once was owned by Reading Abbey. Some parts of the channel are natural, whilst other parts were created in medieval times to supply water to water mills and fish ponds.
The Holy Brook and River Kennet flow through the Linear Park within the Parish Holybrook. The Parish itself was formed in the year 2000 from part of the Parish of Theale, to the east of the M4 motorway. Holybrook Parish is the fourth largest town/parish council in terms of population within the unitary authority of West Berkshire.
The Parish boundaries run from the M4 in the west as far as the Aldi Store in the east where it adjoins the eastern boundary of Reading Borough Council, and from the A4 Bath Road at Calcot in the north to the Reading/Newbury railway line and the Holy Brook in the south. Calcot, some three miles west of Reading, originally formed part of the Manor of Tilehurst. It now straddles the A4 Bath Road and falls into both Holybrook and Tilehurst parishes. Holybrook Parish is made up of Beansheaf Farm, Fords Farm and a small party of Southcote.
Linear Park is the main feature of the Parish, extending from the M4 all along the southern Parish boundary. At the M4 end, the Park is a huge grass area ringed by mature trees and contains a children's playground and a skate park. Apart from being extremely popular with walkers and picnickers, the area hosts football matches in the winter and is the site of the annual Holybrook Festival.
Holybrook Parish Council's office is located in the Beansheaf Community Centre which overlooks the Linear Park. The Centre, which was opened in 1993, has three well-maintained halls which are widely used by the local community and beyond for a variety of activities, the details of which may be found by using this link: Centre Activities.