Surrey Towns » Englefield Green

The earliest surviving reference to Englefield Green as 'Hingefelda' dates back to 967 A.D. The name probably means 'Inga's open space' from a personal name. Englefield was a tithing of the manor of Egham and formed part of the estates which belonged to Chertsey Abbey until 1537.

It was at Runnymede nearby in June 1215 that King John and the rebel barons met to settle their differences. Here John put his seal to Magna Carta, which can safely be described as the first major milestone upon the long road to a democratic state.

On Coopers Hill above Runnymede stands the memorial to the 20,000 RAF aircrew who were killed in the Second World War. It was designed by Sir Edward Maufe, who was also responsible for Guildford Cathedral, and built in 1953. Also at Runnymede is the Kennedy Memorial recalling the American president who was assassinated in 1963.

The church of St Simon and St Jude at Englefield Green was built in 1859 and the Roman Catholic church dates from 1931.

The green is an attractive feature of the village with one or two houses which date back to the 18th century. In this comparatively tranquil setting it is, perhaps, hard to believe that Englefield Green was scene of the last fatal duel to be fought in England. The date was 19th October 1852 and the man to die was a Frenchman, Frederic Cournet. He was buried in the churchyard at Egham. The winner of the duel, another Frenchman named Emanuel Barthelemy and his two 'seconds' were caught by the police and tried on a charge of manslaughter. Although found guilty, they served only seven months in gaol.

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