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The History of Watlington House

 

We know that Watlingotn House is one of the oldest buildings in Reading and this was built by Samuel Watlington, we also have the date stamps still present to show this build date of 1688, however as we research more of the history of the family and the surrounding areas we learn more of the importance and the hidden past this very important building once played.

 

 

 

And there is an older part of the building still attached that exists today, Watlington House is the oldest secular building in Reading with the earliest Part of the building dated as being Medieval. The current building was built by Samuel Watlington, a successful Reading merchant in 1688 and the front was added in 1763.

A Piece of Reading Abbey

Many houses in Reading retain flint in the building walls which is believed to come from Reading Abbey and their is clearl evidenance of tihs within the Walls for Watlington House. We know that Robert Watlington was commissioned to clear the remains from Reading Abbey, the remaining items mostly being timber & flint. In the oldest part of Watlington House an acient Stone Plinth has been set in the wall in the area once used by TOC Chapel, this Stone Plinth was found on the premises whilst restoration work was completed, whether taken by Robert Watlington we cannot be certain, we do however know this to be from Reading Abbey and so this make the Plinth an important piece of skilled stone work.

 

The first Kendrick School

In 1877 Watlington House then changed from being home to a family to that of School, Kendrick School, and this was to last for 50 years until the decision to leave this wonderful building was finally made and Kendrick moved into their new premises. Some old features when Kendrick occupied the premises still exist, the outside toilets and Hall are the two most obvious. Drawings and notes taken from the pupils diaries help to give an idea of how lively Watlington House once played host too and the pictures shown below help to give am idea of the activities that too place in the groungds. 

The stone plinth above the front door has since been removed and can now been seen in the outer wall for the current Kendrick School on Sidmouth Street.