History of a Road of Distinction – A Noble Road in Reading – by Anne Green Jessel

History of a Road – above “The Monastery”  “Turret House”  “Omer House”

History of a Road - image

History of a Road – Reading Libraries Publication
The history of Southcote Road, Reading – between the 1800s – mid 1900s

Portraying a sample of the Heritage of this lovely green leafed Reading road.
It’s wonderful to remember the persons who once lived here,  many of them that helped build the history and the business in Reading town.  The days when domestic staff were the order of the day,   and the coach and horses were the means of transportation.

History was researched, covering this road mid 19th century to mid 20th century. All started when living at Hampton Towers in the 90s and with bursts through to the present.

Not all the houses are shown here. This is a very tiny corner of an aerial map featuring another part of Reading.

Numerous visits to Reading Library within the Archive Department uncovered the mysteries of the Road. Maps; Books; Directories and Reading Review journals; Census Returns; and past Estate Agents plus meeting a few Descendants including from, and in, the nobility!

During writing History of a Road I hoped to gain sight of the houses in the way of the pictures, though regarding the actual houses there is at the moment a dearth of images. The research has been published by Reading Libraries Publications. All copies can be obtained from myself.

I have discovered who lived in the lovely detached houses and semi detached villas lining both the west and eastern side of the road. Starting from late 19th century – their heyday – up until towards the late 40s – 60s. It was during this time that the old Southcote Road began to see change and begin to meet its demise.

Mainly around the turn of the century and into the early 20th century, residents were of local fame and fortune. They enjoyed gentlemens’ lifestyles. But we must also remember families went through the arduous years of the Boer War 1899 – 1902; WW1 1914 – 1918 and WW2 1939 – 1945 (there were other conflicts beforehand)
Along with the ladies of the households, these highly fashionable homes included the butler, housemaids, other servants, governess’s, nannies, and grooms from all parts of the country.

History of a Road reports there was considerable change during 50s/60s.  A very different style architecture in the way of  apartment blocks sprung up from the blue print of these historical beautiful homes filling the road with “Courts”. If our forbearers were to come back, they would possibly be shocked at the totally unrecognisable style of living.

history of a road west wide - image

The first house, west side of the road, walking northwards is in fact is situated on the Bath Road of today. But then…it was No. 1 Southcot Crescent, “Lexden House, ” and formed a grand entrance to the road, followed by the majestic “Westfields” No. 3. (pictured in leaflet). Similarly, at the top end and crossing over to begin the walk southwards on the East side, Omer House also helped form also a grand entrance to the road.

history of a road east side - image

The Booklets depict eminent owners of the day, late 18th – mid 19th century with those who serviced them.
They helped paved the way for Reading town.
I’m delighted that my research has contributed towards a possibly doomed residence, Omer House, becoming locally listed.

© agj16 revised 2018. All rights reserved

 

If you are interested re the people that were instrumental towards the business and foundations of the town of Reading, I do have booklets which are in black and white. Just £3.00 for the two (Part 1 and 2) to cover printing and postage costs. You do not need a Paypal Account.  Safe and Secure.

 

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