About the Parish

Horton, BerkshireThe village of Horton lies in the central part of the Thames Valley on a broad, flat floodplain east of the River Thames and between Windsor to the West and Heathrow to the East. The parish has developed from farming settlements and has grown over time as people migrated from London.

Horton dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086, listed as "Hortune" (believed to be derived from "ort" or "wort" for herbs and vegetable, and "tun" for and enclosed garden). A number of historical landmarks include The Old Rectory, Horton Lodge, The Cedars, Brookfield, Milton's Cottage and St Michael's Church. It has been recorded that a foundry located at the end of Coppermill Road was
the source for the copper that made the famous Copper Horse at the end of the Long Walk from Windsor Castle. A number of historical houses can still be found in the village, including the Grade II listed Old Rectory, believed to have been built at the end of the 16th Century/early 17th Century.

Perhaps the most significant landmark today is the 12th Century church of St Michael's, with its Norman arch over the north door. Indeed, the name most associated with the village is that of poet John Milton (1608-74), whose family rented Berkyn Manor, a house that belonged to Sir John Egerton between 1632 and 1640. Milton wrote many of the literary greats, including Comus, Il Penseroso and L'Allegro, whilst living in Horton. The chancel of St Michael's also contains the grave of Milton's mother Sara, and a 19th century stained glass window which commemorates Milton's poem Paradise Lost.

Through the Horton parish flows the Colne Brook which runs to the Thames from the River Colne

The agricultural floodplain that once lay south of Horton was mined for gravel during the post-war period and later filled with water, forming large artificial water storage reservoirs, which result in restricting expansion of development. This network of mature gravel pits is now used as lakes for emergency water supplies and recreational purposes; mainly angling, sailing and bird watching. Both Horton and its neighbour village of Wraysbury were transferred from Buckinghamshire to Berkshire in 1974.