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The Yateley Society / LocalHistory

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Page history last edited by Peter Tipton 13 years, 12 months ago

Yateley Society History Group


Click here for our educational Yateley Local History website


Click here for Local History Resources


The Yateley Society History Group was one of the two research groups set up when the Yateley Society was inaugurated on January 1981.


In 1982 the Society sponsored a major research project into Yateley's past. This was run by the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) as a tutorial class following an introductory series of lectures. A major achievement of this project was the collation, and transcription of over 200 pre-1700 wills and inventories, as well as several publications. For other members fortnightly 'How to Do It" meetings were organised mainly to research Yateley's old houses. This research contributed to  a substantial increase in numbers of listed buildings and the eventually to the designation of two further Conservation Areas. About 60 members attended these meetings.


The second five years, from 1987 - 1992, was mainly devoted to researching the history of Yateley's major listed buildings, spurred on by planning applications for development which would affect them. The Society's evidence was pivotal in refusing development or encouraging sensitive development. The major achievement of this period was guiding the successful transition of Yateley Hall, a notable early Norman Shaw house built round a mediaeval building. This grade II* building was converted from a convent school to the headquarters of a major financial group, without compromising the buildings historical integrity. The Society organised a memorable open day at which 2,000 visitors queued for long periods to be guided through the building by a team of specially trained Society members.


From 1991 - 1998, the History Group devoted its greatest efforts towards computerising its existing historical records for Yateley creating a resource which allows many historical questions to be answered with remarkable speed.  After the disastrous fire which destroyed most of Yateley Parish Church in 1979, through which however most of the Parish records fortunately survived though with damage, Yateley's local historians felt it necessary to make the records of the Parish less vulnerable to such disasters by making transcriptions of the principal historical records of the parish. Phase II of the Yateley History Project now has many of the more important records of the village transcribed onto computer format. More recently, facsimiles of old photographs and paintings have been added to this ever expanding collection. There is still a long way to go before all the important records are computerised.


Yateley is very fortunate in having survived as a manorial holding until 1925. The Crondall and Hall Place Manorial Records for Yateley from the Manor Court Books since 1729, and earlier in some cases, now make it possible to trace the ownership of the older properties in Yateley at ones desk. Likewise, questions of family history can often be answered using computerised versions of the Parish Records (baptisms, marriages and burials) from 1636, and the census from 1841-1891. Electronic copies of most of the local history booklets are also included, and a variety of other eclectic sources.


Since 1998, the computerisation of the historical records has continued, but more attention has been given to understanding Yateley´┐Żs historic economy, its important connections with the East India Company, and tracing the genealogy of some of the more important local Yateley families.


We welcome offers of the loan of additional material, whether written records, photographs or other archival memorabilia, to add to this database. Yateley Society members who are interested in the history of Yateley and its environs may access to the material.


The Yateley Society is a founder member of the Berkshire Hampshire Surrey Heathlands Local History and Archaeology Research Forum (HeathHist)


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