During the Great War, 1914-18, a voluntary aid auxiliary  hospital was established in the Henley Public Hall and Institute in Station Road on 28 November 1914 and continued  to do excellent work until 5 April, 1919, when it ceased to be used  as a hospital.   An extension was opened at Wootton Hall in the music room  there in June, 1917, through the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. R. D.  Guinness, which provided thirty beds in addition to the fifty-two  at Henley and proved a great benefit to the Henley Hospital as it  enabled cases to be transferred from there.    Miss N. Fieldhouse (now Mrs. Barnard) was the commandant  and Mrs. Guinness the honorary assistant commandant at the  Wootton Hall Extension. In addition there were many others from among the inhabitants who gave their services as nurses and  as officers of various kinds in connection with the establishment.      

The church at Wootton Wawen, as it exists to-day, exhibits almost every successive style of architecture besides many unusual features and is deserving  of close study. George Gilbert Scott described it as ‘an epitome  in stone of the history of the Church of England.’ Its ancient  monuments and library of chained books of 16th and 17th century  theology are also notable features.  Soon after the conquest, Robert de Stafford gave the church of  Wootton and an endowment of land to the Benedictine Abbey of  St. Peter of Castellion of Conches who established a small Alien  Priory here. This Priory with all its possessions was bestowed by  Henry VI on his new foundation, King’s College, Cambridge in  1443.  

Wootton Hall (in which a disastrous fire occurred to the upper part of the Hall in May 1945), the ancient home of the Smiths and Smythes,  is an attractive mansion standing not far from the church. It is of  Italian design in stone built mainly in 1687 with apparently an  older building incorporated in its western portion. During last century it was often let and the writer feels that the following letter  written to him in instalments in 1937 by Capt. Hubert Berkeley, who  lived there during his father’s tenancy of it more than seventy  years ago (1869-1874), will be of interest to readers:  

‘With reference to your Wootton Wawen book, when the Tempests left the Hall, Mr. Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton  and Lady Chatterton lived there from 1867 to 1869. Then my  father and mother, Mr. R. Berkeley and Lady Catherine Berkeley  and their twelve children, 1869 to 1874. After that the old Duchess of Norfolk resided there for one year and she was followed by Capt.  Haydock, who was succeeded by Capt. Wickham. The last-named married the widow of Sir Alfred Tichborne of Tichborne,  Hants, mother of Sir Henry Tichborne (my school-fellow)  defendant in the great trial. Her first husband was brother of  Roger Tichborne, lost at sea. You will notice that Sir Frederick  Smythe would only let the house to old Catholics not to converts;  though Capt. Haydock was a convert, his wife was an old Catholic.  Mrs. Fitzherbert (she was Maria Anne Smythe and was morganatically married to the Prince  Regent George IV in 1785. The Prince of Wales’ feathers may be seen in one  of the bedrooms) was brought up in Wootton Hall and lived there  a great deal even after her marriage to the Prince Regent.  

The Carington heart (thought to be that of Lord Carington, murdered at Pontoise by his valet  for his money, 21 Feb., 1664-5) was in an old heart―shaped oak box  lined with velvet and enclosed in an inner box covered with velvet.  Mr. Wm. Keyte found it in a cupboard in the stone floored room  at the very top of the back stairs. At last not knowing what to do  with it he put it in a grave when he was burying some one in the  Catholic cemetery.

The concealed staircase from the priest's two rooms went up to the attics and also down to the housekeeper’s room, in the thickness  of the wall.