Clewer, the original name for Windsor

Before William the Conqueror came to Britain, there was a small anglo saxon church by the river just a little way upstream from the great rock by the River Thames where Windsor Castle now stands. The name of the parish associated with that church was Clewer and both name and the curch survive to this day.

St Andrew’s Church has been rebuilt on occasion since, but the font is believed to be from pre-Norman times.

clewer font

In the churchyard you will find a grave of a local boy who died aboard the Titanic.

The local pub, the Swan is just a short stroll from the Church and is a very convivial little old fashioned English pub with loads of charm.

The name Clewer means ‘cliff dweller’, which ties in to the idea that there was a small village here of people living by the cliff which faces north toward the river.

Over the years may spellings of the village name have appeared in the historical records. They include: Clivore , Cliueware,  Clifware, Clyvware, Cleware, Cliware, Clyware , Cloworth, Clewarth, Cluwar and Cluer.

Clewer parish owned the whole hill and so William the Conqueror actually rented the land for Windsor Castle. His decendants continued paying rent at 12 shillings per year to Clewer Parish until the 1500s.

Clewer Park is public land, but was once the location of a great stately home owned by Daniel Gooch, the man who was responsible for engineer responsible for laying the first transatlantic telegraph cables. This reduced communication times between Europe and America from more than a week to less than a minute.

Gooch also built a number of smaller workers houses in the village which still stand to this day.

Other noteable former residents of Clewer include singer and actress Natalie Imbruglia, Sir Michael Caine and Jimmy Page from the band Led Zeppelin.

Clewer has 3 large allotment sites for residents. Much of the housing dates from the 1930s and 1950s.