The parish of Winnersh includes the two settlements of Winnersh and Sindlesham. It
is situated in Berkshire between Wokingham and Reading and is broadly triangular
in shape. The A329(M) marks the northern boundary and the River Loddon forms part
of the western one; the southern-eastern boundary runs along Simons Lane and Old
Forest Road. Today the centre of the area is best known as the "Winnersh crossroads",
the junction of the A329 Wokingham to Reading road and the B3030 Arborfield to Twyford
The parish was once part of the Windsor Great Forest. Even today substantial trees
can be seen in Sindlesham, the more rural southern part of the parish (south of the
M4), while the central part is residential and the northern part includes a high-tech
Winnersh was originally part of the Bishop of Salisbury’s Manor of Sonning and was
under the jurisdiction of the Bishop. As an estate, it was probably broken up early
on and by the 16th century had become attached to Hurst. In 1841 the population of
Winnersh was 673. From the 1920's onwards, Winnersh began to expand rapidly. Much
of the initial growth took the form of ribbon development along the A329 and the
roads leading to Hurst and Arborfield. Expansion in the last four decades has been
in the areas between the arms of the ribbon development.
There are still several well-marked footpaths and bridleways in the parish. A beautiful
rhododendron drive of almost a mile leads out of Sindlesham past St Catherine’s Church
and St Catherine’s Lodge. The Lodge is now the national switching centre for the
National Grid. The Walter family, founders of The Times newspaper, built the village
of Sindlesham, planted the rhododendron drive and built the splendid church.
The Bearwood Recreation Ground, located in the south of the parish, is owned by the
Parish Council. It is used extensively for football and is the home of the Winnersh
Rangers Football Club. The Winnersh Community Hall, the Allnatt Sports Pavilion and
the Parish Council Office and Meeting Room are located here, and there are activity
areas for children and young people, recently refurbished and expanded. Dinton Pastures
Country Park, owned by the Borough Council and adjacent to the parish's northern
boundary, provides facilities for walking, sailing, fishing, bird watching and golf.
The parish has a successful comprehensive school (Forest - a specialist Business
and Enterprise College for boys) and two primary schools (Bearwood in the south and
Winnersh in the north). A library has been built in the grounds of the Forest School
for shared use by the public and the school. There are three churches serving Winnersh:
St Catherine's, St Mary’s and Sindlesham Baptist Church.
Winnersh has a large supermarket (Sainsbury’s), DIY and auto-product stores (Wickes
and Halfords), a post office and a range of small shops and other commercial outlets.
There is also a Showcase multi-screen cinema as well as a well-known health club
(Nirvana/Pulse 8). The Winnersh IQ business park (formerly Winnersh Triangle) has
been selected by several international companies for their European headquarters,
and is being extensively redeveloped over the next few years to keep up with changing
The parish has excellent road and rail communications with easy access to the M4
motorway via the A329(M) and two stations (Winnersh and Winnersh Triangle) on the
Reading to Waterloo line.
The name Winnersh is thought to be derived from the words ‘wyn’ meaning meadow and
‘hurse’ meaning ploughed field or stubble field. The old name suggests a parish of
very little arable land, as about half of the land of the parish was flat and lying
in the bend of the River Loddon.
Winnersh station reached its centenary on 1st January 2010. Although the railway
line was opened in 1849 there was not a station at the current Winnersh site until
1910 when “Sindlesham and Hurst Halt” was opened. The station was renamed Winnersh
in 1930. A second station to the west of the parish was opened in May 1986 to serve
the Winnersh Triangle business park.