Watlington House frontage
|Location||Reading, Berkshire, UK|
Watlington House is a 17th-century building, with a large walled garden, in the town of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. The building is brick built and is reputed to be the oldest surviving secular building in the town. It is a listed building, being listed grade II*.
Reading is a large, historic university and minster town in Berkshire, England, of which it is now the county town. It is in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway. Reading is 70 miles (110 km) east of Bristol, 24 miles (39 km) south of Oxford, 40 miles (64 km) west of London, 14 miles (23 km) north of Basingstoke, 12 miles (19 km) south-west of Maidenhead and 15 miles (24 km) east of Newbury as the crow flies.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
Berkshire is a county in South East England. One of the home counties, Berkshire was recognised by the Queen as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 because of the presence of Windsor Castle, and letters patent were issued in 1974. Berkshire is a county of historic origin, a ceremonial county and a non-metropolitan county without a county council. The county town is Reading.
The western or rear part of the building was built in 1688 for Samuel and Anne Watlington, whilst the eastern part, fronting onto Watlington Street, is said to date from 1763. Samuel Watlington served as mayor of Reading in 1695 and again in 1711.
Samuel Watlington was a cloth merchant and leading citizen of the town of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. He held the office of Mayor of Reading in 1695 and 1711. In 1688, he and his wife Anne had Watlington House, reputed to be the oldest surviving secular building in Reading, built.
The first recorded occupant of the house was Captain Edward Purvis in 1794, renting the house for £25 annually. He fought at the Battle of Corunna in the Peninsular War with the 4th Regiment of Foot and trained the Berkshire Militia in Orts meadow near his home. The house is rumoured to be haunted by his ghost. After Captain Purvis, the house was variously occupied by a Mrs Stevens and then used as an office by the town clerk of Reading.
The Battle of Corunna, in Spain known as Battle of Elviña, took place on 16 January 1809, when a French corps under Marshal of the Empire Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult attacked a British army under Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore. The battle took place amidst the Peninsular War, which was a part of the wider Napoleonic Wars. It was a result of a French campaign, led by Napoleon, which had defeated the Spanish armies and caused the British army to withdraw to the coast following an unsuccessful attempt by Moore to attack Soult's corps and divert the French army.
The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was a military conflict between Napoleon's empire and Bourbon Spain, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when the French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, and escalated in 1808 when France turned on Spain, previously its ally. The war on the peninsula lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814, and is regarded as one of the first wars of national liberation, significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare.
In 1877 the house became the first home of the newly founded Kendrick Girls School. The school remained on the site until 1927, when they moved to their current location on the corner of Sidmouth Street and London Road. During their stay they erected a corrugated iron hall in the garden, which still stands.
Kendrick School is a selective girls' grammar school situated in the centre of Reading, Berkshire, UK. In February 2011, Kendrick became an Academy.
Since 1931, the building has been owned by local trustees. They provide accommodation for social and educational organisations, using the rents for the upkeep of Watlington House.
Since 2003, the House has been the home of the Mills Archive, the national repository for documents, images and other records on mills, milling and the historical uses of traditional power sources.
The Mills Archive was established in 2002 to preserve and protect records of milling heritage and to make them freely available to the public. It is governed by the Mills Archive Trust, which is a charity that is based at Watlington House, Reading, Berkshire.
Reading Abbey is a large, ruined abbey in the centre of the town of Reading, in the English county of Berkshire. It was founded by Henry I in 1121 "for the salvation of my soul, and the souls of King William, my father, and of King William, my brother, and Queen Maud, my wife, and all my ancestors and successors". The traditions of the Abbey today is continued by the neighbouring St James's Church, which is partly built using stones of the Abbey ruins.
Prospect Park is a public park in the western suburbs of Reading situated north of the Bath Road in the English county of Berkshire. It is the largest and most popular park in Reading, and includes a large regency style house, now known as Prospect Park Mansion House and previously as Prospect House. There are also sporting facilities and a miniature railway within the 50 hectares of parkland, and a restaurant in the Mansion House.
Oxford Road is a major arterial road in Reading, Berkshire, England, Beginning near the town centre at the meeting of St. Mary's Butts/West Street/Broad Street. The road leads west to Pangbourne, continuing eventually to the city of Oxford. The road was previously known as Pangbourne Lane.
Caversham Park Village is entirely residential land, associated with Emmer Green, which has the closest amenities — much of it is marked as Emmer Green. Both are upland areas of the former enlarged form of Caversham in the English county of Berkshire. Today these areas are suburbs of the large town of Reading. Whilst the area has no formal boundaries, it generally refers to the residential area constructed on part of the former grounds of Caversham Park, to the eastern side of Caversham and adjoining the border with Oxfordshire.
Forbury Gardens is a public park in the town of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. The park is on the site of the outer court of Reading Abbey, which was in front of the Abbey Church. The site was formerly known as the Forbury, and one of the roads flanking the current gardens is still known as The Forbury. Fairs were held on the site three times a year until the 19th century.
Greyfriars Church is an evangelical Anglican church, and former Franciscan friary, in the town centre of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. The church forms part of the Church of England's Diocese of Oxford.
Reading Civic Centre was a civic centre in the town of Reading, itself in the English county of Berkshire. The centre dates from the mid-1970s.
Broad Street is a main pedestrianised thoroughfare and the primary high street in the English town of Reading. The street is situated in the town centre, running for approximately 0.25 miles (0.40 km), from west to east. The western end of the road lies at the crossroads with Oxford Road, West Street and St Mary's Butts. The eastern end continues as King Street after the junction with Minster Street and Butter Market.
Reading Town Hall is the town hall for the town of Reading, in the English county of Berkshire. The town hall was built in several phases between 1786 and 1897, although the principal facade was designed by Alfred Waterhouse in 1875. Situated close to the site of Reading Abbey, it is adjoined to the north by the Hospitium of St John and to the south by St Laurence's Church.
Friar Street is a thoroughfare in the English town of Reading. It runs parallel to Broad Street, connected by Union Street, Queen Victoria Street and Cross Street. At the western end is the Greyfriars Church and at the eastern end are the Town Hall and St Laurence's Church.
Queen Victoria Street is a pedestrianised thoroughfare in the English town of Reading, Berkshire. It connects Broad Street with Friar Street and Station Road.
St Mary's Butts is a thoroughfare in the English town of Reading, Berkshire. On its west side is the Broad Street Mall. It is connected to the north with Broad Street, the pedestrianised primary high street of Reading. St Mary's Church and Butts are where the town of Reading originally grew from.
The Malmaison Hotel Reading is a grade II listed hotel in the town of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. It is situated at the junction of Blagrave Street and Station Road, directly opposite the main entrance to Reading railway station. It was opened in 1844, shortly after the Great Western Railway opened its line from London, and is thought to be the oldest surviving purpose-built railway hotel in the world.
High Bridge, sometimes known as Duke Street Bridge, is a bridge across the River Kennet in the town centre of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. It links Duke Street, to its north, and London Street, to its south. High Bridge is the oldest surviving bridge across the Kennet, and is a grade II listed building. It comprises a single arch of vermiculated Portland stone, with a plain keystone of ashlar.
Brock Barracks is a British Army barracks in the town of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. Located on Oxford Road in the district of West Reading. The majority of the buildings and structures within Brock Barracks are Grade II listed.
St Peter's Church is a Church of England parish church in Caversham, a suburb of Reading in the English county of Berkshire. It is situated close to the River Thames in Caversham Heights.
Reading may have existed as early as the Roman occupation of Britain, possibly as either a trading port on the River Thames, or as an intersection on the Roman road connecting London with Calleva Atrebatum near Silchester.
Adam de Lathbury, O.S.B., otherwise known as Adam of Lathbury or Adam Lothbury, was a Benedictine monk who ruled as Abbot of Reading Abbey, in the English county of Berkshire, from 1226 to 1238.