Welcome to Watlington House

Watlington House is one of Reading’s oldest buildings dating back to 1500.  Its history may be seen HERE  and a video about the house and garden may be seen HERE.

1 November 2020 CV 19

The government has announced its intent, subject to the vote in Parliament on Wednesday, to introduce tighter controls on people movement and the closure of gyms, restaurants and pubs with effect from Thursday 5th November (how appropriate).  Our tenants of the house are already following the govt rules, working against Risk Assessments and their use is light.  The implications will be for users of the Garden Hall.  If the proposal is approved by Parliament we may have to close the Garden Hall (as a Community Hall).  If we are able to keep it open it seems likely that indoor exercise groups (Yoga) will not be allowed for the period of a month.  We have a number of bookings for youth groups (Theatre and Irish Dance). As the PM said “Education is important and our young people have suffered enough”.  We will consider if we are able to enable such groups to continue.   We will update on Wednesday.

22 September 2020 CV19

The Government has today announced tighter controls on the wearing of masks in a variety of circumstances.  It has reinforced social distancing rules which restricts the number of people who can meet inside, or outside, to 6 individuals, though there are exceptions. Each of the 5 tenants in the house manage their own policies of Social Distancing in the work place, they abide by approaches which the Trust has agreed with them as regards use of common areas.

The widest impact of the rules is on the use of the Garden Hall and Small Meeting Room which are available for hire by Community Groups, Businesses and individuals.  The implications of the CV19 constraints and laws are detailed Hall Hire Page HERE.

Heritage Open Days September 2020

Unfortunately we were not able to open the house or garden this September.  In August 2020 we invited the Mayor and Mayoress and Reading’s Heritage Champion to visit the house and they filmed a “Welcome to Heritage Open Days” from the front of the house and in the  Garden.  We have commissioned a video tour which we hope you will like.  To view both videos please go to Heritage Open Days 2020

The Garden Restoration and Opening for the National Garden Scheme July 2020 and 4 July 2021

We were planning to open the garden for the National Garden Scheme in July to raise money for Nursing Charities.  This was not possible so we commissioned a video about the garden and its restoration.  To find out more and view the video please go to The Garden Restoration   . We plan to open the garden on 4th July 2021, so come to see us then. 


In 1929, The Watlington House Management Committee was formed, now though recently changed now into Watlington House Trust ( 1158378). Our aim remains is to promote the services available within the community and ensure these become accessible through Watlington House. To this day we very much keep to this by helping local charities and community groups to exist, and thrive, by perhaps renting office space, or using the hall and small office in the rear garden at special rates. The Garden Hall and small meeting room may be hired by individuals and companies but there is a slightly higher charge.

Watlington House is protected by the Grade II* listed status and being in trust means no one can directly profit from the building. All our income is put back into the building, hall and garden to cover maintenance and improve facilities.