Welcome To Our Website 


Project Purley is the Local History Society for Purley on Thames
in the Royal County of Berkshire.

Purley is essentially a Saxon foundation and remained a small feudal village until the early part of the 20th Century when it began to be overwhelmed by development spreading out from its much larger neighbour to the east: Reading. Its eastern half has now changed from a small, mainly agricultural, community of 200 to a modern mainly residential, suburban area of some 1700 dwellings and 4500 residents.

It forms part of West Berkshire and has its own Parish Council of 13 members who provide  many of the local services. St Mary’s Church which dates back to the 8th or 9th century, but whose building is mainly Victorian, provides another active centre for the community.  There are also many local clubs and societies providing sport, culture, fund raising, social support and a bewildering array of pastimes.

In the 1990s we often got confused with our ‘daughter’, Purley in Surrey, spawned as a result of workers on the Carew and Huscarle estates moving to the headquarters at Beddington and eventually providing the name for the south London suburb. So the Parish Council changed the name to Purley on Thames (please no hyphens)

This website is in two parts. The Front End where you are now is mostly about Project Purley and current happenings. The Back End provides a large number of Articles and Web Pages linking information about Purley. The web pages all have a menu on the left hand side which can take you quickly to another page. You will however find that there are many different paths to most articles so you can browse and follow your own pathways. To get to the start of the Back End CLICK HERE

On this website you will find links to many of the other groups who operate in the Purley on Thames area and also to those who contribute to the historic environment of Berkshire (including those parts occupied by invaders from north of the river)  But the site is mainly about Purley and its history and geography. Click on one of the menu headings above to get started and happy browsing.

One word of CAUTION. The old site which is made up of menus and articles is presently being revised and updated to include as much as possible of the research work done by members of Project Purley over the past 35 years. Thus you will probably find that many of the pages you select have no content yet. However please bear with us and we will be adding content

Happy Browsing – and if you would like to leave a comment or a message please click on CONTACT US before leaving – we would love to hear from you.