If you know any interesting facts or history of the village please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org'd love to include them.
(With grateful thanks to Egham Museum and the Literary Institute for much of the content featured here)
1959 Elizabeth Taylor in Englefield Green
n May 1959 Elizabeth Taylor and her fourth husband Eddie Fisher came to live in Crown House, Englefield Green for eight weeks while she filmed 'Suddenly Last Summer' at Shepperton Studios.
The couple had only recently married and public sympathy lay with Debbie Reynolds who Fisher had divorced to marry Elizabeth Taylor. It seems that they were not given a friendly welcome locally, even by the press who had been banished from the film set.
However they did comment that Taylor arrived wearing an ermine-lined purple coat and accompanied not only by her three children but also 44 pieces of luggage.
1963 Woman Pilot Breaks the Sound Barrier
On 26 August 1963 Diana Barnato Walker became the first woman to break the sound barrier, flying an English Electric T4 to Mach 1.6 (1262 mph). In so doing she established a new world air speed record for women.
Diana Barnato Walker was born in 1918 to a wealthy family who lived in Englefield Green. Her father was Woolf Barnato, the legendary racing driver (three times winner of the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1928-30) and owner of Bentley Motors from 1926-1931. In 1938 he commissioned a 39-bedroom house, Ridgemead, and the family used it as their country house until 1948.
In early 1941 Diana Barnato became one of the women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), practising landing and take-off speeds by driving down the Egham bypass in the silver-grey Bentley her father had given her for her 21st birthday. Her job for the ATA was to deliver low-powered single engine aircraft from factory or repair base to storage units and RAF and Naval flying units. She later progressed to delivering Spitfires, Hurricanes, Mustangs, Tempests and other high performance fighter.aircraft and she was the first woman to fly a Spitfire to Brussels - although this was without permission and she was docked three months' pay!
(From 1943 onwards the ATA paid women the same amount as men - the first major organisation or corporation to treat men and women equally as a matter of policy.)
After the war Diana Barnato Walker gained a commercial flying licence.
She died of pneumonia in 2008, aged 90, and is buried in Englefield Green Cemetery alongside her husband Derek Walker, who died in a flying accident in 1945, and her father.
1967-1993 Creator of The Saint lived in Englefield Green
Author Leslie Charteris, who wrote the series of books featuring Simon Templar, aka The Saint, spent the last years of his life, from the late 1960s to 1993, in Englefield Green.
With his fourth wife Audrey, a former actress, he lived at Corfield, Ridgemead Road.
He died in 1993 at Princess Margaret's Hospital in Windsor.
His Simon Templar books, written from 1928 to 1983, represent one of the longest uninterrupted spans of a single author in the history of mystery fiction, equalling that of Agatha Christie.
Englefield Green Cricket Club
Cricket has been played at Englefield Green since the eighteenth century and possibly earlier. Grounds like the Green were the birthplace and cradle of cricket - common land, well drained, with locals given grazing rights that ensured the grass was kept short. The picture those early cricketers would have seen is little different from today - Englefield Green remains one of the most picturesque cricket venues in the country.
There is a story that the Green staged a royal cricket match in the late 1740s - a match probably promoted by Frederick Prince of Wales (who incidentally was killed when a cricket ball hit his stomach causing an abscess to burst) and including King George II and his son the Duke of Cumberland. It is impossible to substantiate the story!
According to local newspaper reports in the early years of the nineteenth century the Green was mainly used by Egham or, as the team was then more commonly known 'Eleven Gentlemen of Egham' - a description impossible to use these days. By the 1820s teams with Englefield Green in the title were beginning to appear: Egham and Englefield Green Cricket Club, Englefield Green United Club, Englefield Green Star Club and the Englefield Green Temperance CC - another title that would not be used today! However, it wasn't until July 1879 that the first reference to Englefield Green Cricket Club is to be found - in the Windsor and Eton Express - so 1879 is the club's founding date.
For many years the players changed in the Barley Mow and held their post-match celebrations there. They then progressed to using a wooden hut until finally in 1956 the pavilion was built. This was the result of a joint project with the Rovers football club and was financed by many money-making schemes including door-to-door collections, resident contributions of a shilling (5p) a week for four years and a number of individual contributions including famously Mrs Arthur Miller - Marilyn Monroe who was living in the area while filming 'The Prince and the Showgirl'.