About the Author

Penelpe Stokes


Penelope Stokes has lived in West Berkshire for several decades, and has been writing local and social history for most of that time.

From 1986 to 1996, as a freelance, she wrote regularly for the Newbury Weekly News, specialising in local history features and supplements. She also wrote occasional contributions to The Daily Telegraph and Country Living, as well as book reviews for The Independent on Sunday and Auberon Waugh’s Literary Review.

In the 1990s she published book histories of the Norland Nursery Training College, Doltons (a 200-year-old Newbury firm of grain merchants), and the Newbury Weekly News, as well as a history of her own village of Hamstead Marshall.

In 2003 she gained an MSc in English Local History from Oxford University, turning her dissertation into a book published as Free Rein: Racing in Berkshire and Beyond, 1700-1905.

From 2006 to 2016 she was the editor of the Berkshire Family Historian. Since then she has published a village history of Enborne and Wash Common, and is currently working on a book entitled Georgian Newbury.