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.

6 January 2021 CV 19

The government has announced that England, along with the rest of the UK is , from Tuesday 5 January,  back under a lock down. Legistation passed today indicates this will be until 31 March 2021.

With immediate effect the Garden Hall and Meeting Room are not available to be booked in any way. This will last until March 2021. All existing bookings for the period until the end of March 2021 are suspended.


From Saturday 16th January 2021 the Garden Hall of Watlington House, which is accessible only from South Street, will be used by two Primary Care Networks (PCNs) for the Coronavirus Vaccination programme.

Please DO NOT attempt to gain access via the House on Watlington Street. There is no way through. 

The entrance is round the corner in South Street.

The vaccination programme being undertaken on this site is only for patients who belong to surgeries within the two PCNs. Eligible patients have been given timed slots for their appointments. 

Queuing should therefore be minimal and will be easily confined within the large rear garden of Watlington House.

No other people are able to be vaccinated on this site at this time.

The programme is expected to deal with some 2,200 people per week, initially the target group of people are the over-80s.  The vaccination days will include Saturdays and Sundays due to constraints associated with vaccine transport/storage. The time slots will be 09:00 to 18:30.

To discourage people from driving down Watlington Street, patients will only be given the address as the “Garden Hall in South Street”.

Patients are being discouraged from coming by car.  If they must drive they are being told to use the Queens Road Car Park. Those who possess a Blue Badge (Disabled) will be able to drop off and pick up patients in the car park of the Garden Hall, so there should be minimal impact on parking in the street. As these numbers are expected to be small we do not envisage there will be a significant impact on traffic flows.  We recognise that two-way traffic in South Street can be tight.

The surgeries are employing Marshals to assist people and to manage any traffic or people flow issues.

Again we emphasise that this is NOT an open vaccination programme. Local residents are not eligible for the vaccination here unless they belong to the surgeries who are managing this programme, and then only if they have been given a specific appointment.

In due course we will all receive invitations to be vaccinated from the surgeries we belong to, at the sites our own surgeries will be using.  

This programme is clearly vital to protect people from this virus.  We therefore ask that you bear with us whilst we assist these local surgeries to deliver their vital work.

Canon Brian Shenton                                                        Richard Bennett                    

Chairman                                                                             Hon Sec

We are willing to consider bookings for April and beyond.   Information about use of the hall in normal times may be reached via the Hall Hire Page HERE.

Works to the Front of the House

approved Planning Application is  182240/ FUL

Work to improve the front garden has started.  The Conservation Area Appraisal highlights the current setting as having a Negative impact on the Conservation Area. Our builders have spent the last month or so changing the boundary of the parking area, making more solid the ground by the wall at the rear left side where. An initial tarmac layer has now been applied to the new areas.  Bricks have started to be delivered.  Work will start again in earnest in January.  Once the new brick walls have been constructed the railings will be commissioned and then planting undertaken. A final finishing coat of tarmac will then be applied to the whole surface of the car park.


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.