Hungerford is a small market town on the River Dun in the south of England. It is the westernmost town in Berkshire on the border with Wiltshire and is situated in the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Refreshments can be found in a number of establishments, both on and off the high street. Whether it’s just a cup of tea and a piece of cake you’re after, or a full 3 course meal, there is something for everyone. Of course we would welcome you into our very own cafe, Rafters, situated on the top floor of the Arcade.
Hungerford has played it’s part in many important historical occasions, with the Arcade building standing testament to them since the late 14th Century. Several monarchs, including Elizabeth I and Charles I have visited the town and significant Civil War battles have raged nearby. William of Orange arrived to stay in December 1688 to meet with the commissioners of King James II in order to establish his succession to the throne as William III. Oliver Cromwell also stationed his troops in the Hungerford Arcade building.
Hungerford Common was the scene of one of the most famous bare knuckle boxing matches in history between Bill Neat and Tom Hickman. Over 22,000 people converged on the common on a cold December morning for the event in 1821 with over £200,000 being taken in bets. Within living memory, General Eisenhower addressed the troops encamped on Hungerford Common prior to their assault on the beaches on D-Day.
These days the Common is an excellent place for picnics, ball games and kite flying. In addition, Freeman’s Marsh on the other side of town provides a beautiful space for country walks and wildlife watching. Bird watchers will delight in the rare species that can be seen flitting through the reeds, and maybe rewarded with the sight of a red kite circling above. The river Dun has trout to tempt the fishermen – but keep an eye out for the pike! Both the Common and Freeman’s Marsh are an easy walk from Hungerford Arcade.