The hamlet of Chavey Down is in the Parish of Winkfield and is situated 1 mile west of Ascot Racecourse. Chavey Down was originally common land within the Forest of Windsor. In 1813, by an Act of Parliament, all the common land within the Forest was enclosed and vested in George III. Vast areas of Winkfield were divided up and purchased by various landowners. The area known as Chavey Down became vested in one Samuel Sewell and was divided into plots which were then sold for development.
Various builders proceeded to build cottages in Chavey Down and then in 1883 St Martin’s Church was built, although this was originally a Chapel of Ease, later to become a Mission Chapel.
The oldest property in the village is Chavey Down Farm (previously Chavey Down Lodge). This was built around the mid 1600s. This area is the second highest point in Berkshire and a windmill was situated on the land. There is reference to Chavey Down Lodge and the windmill in William Faden’s Plan of Windsor Forest, surveyed in 1788-1791. The land near the farm is very wet due to historic ponds and natural springs.
The next oldest building is believed to be Ascot Priory which was originally built in 1861 as a convalescent home. It became a thriving priory, complete with school and orphanage. After the death of the last surviving sister it is now used as a centre for retreat and spiritual renewal and as a nursing home.
The first house in the village is believed to be Rosemount in Priory Road which was built in 1879.
Employment was originally at the Thomas Lawrence Brickfields and also some people from the village worked at various farms, parkland estates and Ascot Racecourse.
For further information on Chavey Down please refer to the publication “Chavey Up Down and Around” written by our very own local historian, Ruth Timbrell, and Ascot Priory’s website.