A Rich History
Battlemead was, until its acquisition by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, part of White Place Farm which sits between Cookham and Maidenhead on the banks of the River Thames. It had been farmed by the Edwards family and previously was part of the Cliveden estate, owned by the Astor family until the 1940s.
Tumuli in the East Field, now ploughed out, point to very early settlement. Later it was partly common land and had also supposedly been to site of battles or, more likely, skirmishes in the English Civil War in the mid 17th century and also between the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings in the 9th century.
In the Thames flood plain, it is partly water meadow and provides a winter site for visiting ducks and geese; in the summer, it provides a home to a great variety of visiting and resident birds as well as many other creatures – insects and mammals – as well as a mix of trees, grasses and wild flowers. Nearly 70 bird species have been recorded there recently, including eight on the Red List of Conservation Concern birds and a further 16 on the Amber list. Fox, Roe and Fallow Deer, Hares, Muntjac and Moles, and several Bat species, are among the mammals found there.
An early 19th century map of the Battlemead area with (right) an aerial view of the land today. The River Thames is to the right of the images.
Below: Cliveden House. Battlemead once formed part of the Cliveden estate.