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A Disappearing Landscape: the heathlands of the Berkshire Borders

An Online Talk by Dr Alan Crosby

Back in the early 1720s Daniel Defoe found Bagshot Heath so terrifying that he described it as being like ‘Arabia Deserta’. There were then over 100,000 acres of barren sandy waste, sprawling across three counties and touching the edges of Egham and Wokingham, Farnham and Woking.

Today, only fragments of this hauntingly beautiful landscape remain.

Whole towns have grown up where a few cottages were three centuries ago – Bracknell, Bagshot, Camberley, Aldershot, Farnborough – and forests have covered tracts of the wastes. Chopped up by railways and motorways, bombarded with artillery, seized for leafy estates and des res communities, the heathlands fell victim to developers.  

This is their story – and the story of the people who lived there.

2 - 3.15pm

Pre-booking is required, because full joining instructions will be emailed in advance. Bookings close one day before the event.

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About Berkshire Family History Society

This talk is organised by Berkshire Family History Society, a registered charity number 283010.