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Latitude: 51.4678 / 51°28'4"N
Longitude: -0.9794 / 0°58'45"W
OS Eastings: 470991
OS Northings: 174806
OS Grid: SU709748
Mapcode National: GBR QK9.38
Mapcode Global: VHDWS.ZC3N
Entry Name: No 20 (The Rectory) Including Garden Walls
Listing Date: 14 December 1978
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1321971
English Heritage Legacy ID: 38861
Location: Reading, RG4
Electoral Ward/Division: Caversham
Built-Up Area: Reading
Traditional County: Oxfordshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Berkshire
Church of England Parish: Caversham Thameside and Mapledurham
Church of England Diocese: Oxford
No 20 (The Rectory)
SU 7174 11/444
Detached villa, 1843 with late C19 and early C20 alterations and additions.
MATERIALS: Red brick with slate roofs. Iron verandah.
PLAN: Rectangular main house of three bays with hipped slate roof. Single storey late C19 or early C20 flat roofed extension to east and verandah, probably of the same date, to south. Adjoining C19 flat to west.
EXTERIOR: Main roadside elevation to north onto Church Road. Of three bays and two storeys with central half-glazed front door with decorative fanlight. Door framed by brick piers with moulded stone capitals and cornice decorated with scroll work. Stone plat band divides the ground and first floors. Shallow and wide brick pilasters break up the building line. Hipped slate roof. Brick chimney stacks with stone caps. Windows have flat brick arches and original hornless sashes; also blind windows to maintain the symmetry of the facade. Adjoining two storey linking bay and further two storey bay to west under a hipped roof, both forming the adjoining flat at first floor level. Similar south elevation of three bays but with French doors at ground floor level opening onto an elegant and decorative iron verandah. East elevation of two bays with late C19 or early C20 single storey flat roofed extension forming balcony at first floor level. Wooden steps up to French doors on ground floor.
INTERIOR: Main house entered from the north into a hallway with decorative plaster ceiling and central staircase. Original features include: some original fireplaces in black marble on the ground floor and wood on the first; main staircase with stick balusters and a wooden handrail; cornices; moulded door surrounds and broad four panelled doors, and some surviving shutters. Both drawing room and dining room have been extended to the east and the position of the original end wall is apparent. Brick subdivided cellar beneath the kitchen and stairs. Service and storage rooms to the west. First floor landing has no natural light as a blocked round headed arch formerly provided access to what is now the adjoining self contained flat. Adjoining flat, accessed from stable yard is largely on the first floor with a staircase lit by paired ceiling lights. Other than its staircase/landing the flat is largely devoid of noteworthy internal features.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Brick outbuildings to south-west including coach house/garage. Dwarf garden walls to north which have lost their iron railings; earlier, probably C17, high brick garden walls to east and west of the house.
HISTORY: Caversham Rectory is believed to have been built in 1843 and this would equate well with the mid C19 history of the former rectory: The Old Rectory was located to the north-west of the present house. This had very early and certainly pre-Reformation origins, although may have been partially rebuilt after damage during the Civil War. This house was rebuilt again in circa 1840 when the family employed Augustus Pugin to build a Gothic mansion, at which time the property was renamed Caversham Court. It is therefore likely that the present rectory was built when the old rectory ceased to function as such and was aggrandised in the 1840s. Caversham Court was demolished in 1933 but its C17 garden survives to the west of the present rectory.
The present rectory is certainly shown on the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1879. In plan this was similar to the present building including an adjoining flat to the west, and outbuildings to its south-west. The rectory gardens are bounded in part by brick walls of much greater antiquity than the house. The 1978 list description suggested that these could be circa 1700 but they may be C17 and associated with the adjoining C17 Caversham Court gardens.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: Caversham Rectory is of special interest as a good quality 1840s villa with attractive features such as the handsome door surround with scrolled decoration and the iron verandah. It also retains many original interior features, including the main staircase, some fireplaces, plaster ceiling to the hallway and cornices. The earlier garden walls are also of particular note.
SOURCES: Reading Borough Council, 2005, Caversham Court Management Plan. Includes a history of the former rectory on the adjacent site.
Listing NGR: SU7099174806
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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