BRACKNELL POSTAL HISTORY &  PHOTOGRAPHS by Frank Mardle

Where is Bracknell?

Bracknell is 31 miles west of  London in the UK, between what is now described as the M3 & M4 motorway corridor. The Town is in the UK's Silicon Valley area where many High Tech Companies are located.

Bracknell, a Brief History.

The name Bracknell derives from Braccen-Heale meaning "Bracken covered secret place." It was mentioned in a Winkfield Boundary Charter of 942.

Bracknell and the surrounding district lie within the area of the Royal residence of WINDSOR CASTLE.  Surrounded by forest, the Saxon Kings had many hunting lodges in the area.  In 1350, King Edward the III built a hunting lodge at Easthampstead.. EASTHAMPSTEAD HOUSE. The present house and grounds are now a district of Bracknell town.  Henry the VIII loved hunting and spent many long days at the house (to get away from his wives?). The stables for the old house still stand in the center of the local golf course. As you tee off into the early morning mist, the stable tower clock rings out it's hourly chime.....for those that notice, a haunting reminder of what once was!

Bracknell was a small Hamlet within Windsor Forest.  Many fine houses where built in the surrounding area by the gentry. Under the post war rebuilding scheme, the quiet little village of Bracknell was designated a NEW TOWN.  The old town and surrounding area were gradually flattened and the village became a modern Town. A Town of new housing and business, with many of the new occupants coming from London. Clean affordable housing, away from the Smog!!

Near by in the woods is the infamous Broadmoor asylum for the criminally insane, where an American patient once contributed a considerable amount to the first Oxford English Dictionary..... Strange world! (1).

Why do I collect Postal items of Bracknell?

Yes, I like the New Town!! It takes time to recreate the community spirit that existed in London, but like many others I have brought up a family in the New Town with it's good schools and housing (no high rise flats here). You can walk or cycle in Bracknell safely from many of the houses to the Town Shopping Center(Mail) without crossing any roads. Try that in my new home in Orlando! Unfortunately, the old Town and surroundings were sacrificed for this New Town. As a collector of stamps, I naturally took an interest in the my local Postal History.  Many of my pictures and letters describe things and places long gone from the Town. As you would expect, most of the older items all originated from the outlying district where the large houses were located. I have many old letters from 1600  upwards, mostly from  the Warfield, Binfield & Winkfield areas of Bracknell.

Along with studying the means and system used to deliver letters, I find it fascinating to read the contents of some of these letters, they contain HISTORY!  But, the most exciting thing is the search for them. Searching through piles of old letters or postcards for anything posted from or sent to this small area of England. Sometimes I have spent a whole year searching without finding anything!! This is truly a labour of love.

     

My own Personal collection of Items, photos, letters etc

Relating to Bracknell & it's surrounding Districts

       

 

For a humorous modern view of Bracknell & its roundabouts

 

Does anybody have any information about the "Ewens colonial Stamp Packet Company, Emblems, Bracknell"?
Want to add something about Bracknell of your own. Tell me or write some memories?  I would consider any items submitted.

   

Please contact me, FRANK

    
BIBLIOGRAPHY
(1) The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester. 1998. "A tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary" 
(2) The Postal History of Bracknell by G.H.R. Homer-Wooff. 1981. Inspiration to start this collection & without his studies & dedication, most of this would not be possible.
(3) A Backward Glance by Eileen Briggs. 1998. A good book to read to get a feel for the area during the war and subsequent changes afterwards.
(4) Brickmaking A local Industry. by Michael Dumbleton. 1978
(5) Collect British Postmarks by Dr J.T. Whitney and Continued by ColinG. Peachey & V.Brian Crookes 1997
Copyright F.MARDLE 2008  All rights reserved. Published by Stampnews