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Earliest records: 1713
Date of building: c1808
Listed: Grade II

Thumbnail History:

The Tannery -> Residential / antiques.

Description of property:

From Listed Building records: House, now offices. Early C18. Tiled roof, flanking chimneys. Red brick walls, parapet with moulded stone cornice, bands at first and second floors. 3 storeys. 3 glazing bar sashes, the outer ones being tripartite. C20 flat roofed canted brick bay to right of ground floor. Central door with 6 raised and fielded panels, semicircular wreathed and radiating fanlight under segmental pedimented bracketed hood.

Photo Gallery:


Riverside, Feb 2010


Riverside, Feb 2010

002-bear_14 c1910c
002-bear_14 c1910c

Riverside House and The Bear, c1912


The ruins of Hungerford Tanyard Chimney, c1912

riverside - map 15th aug 1893
riverside - map 15th aug 1893

Plan showing Tan Yard Lawn, 1893

riverside - map 16th feb 1912
riverside - map 16th feb 1912

Plan showing "Old Public Road" from ford to Charnham Street, 16th Feb 1912

riverside - map 21st feb 1912
riverside - map 21st feb 1912

Plan showing access for main sewer pipe - 2s 6d per year, 21st Feb 1912

riverside - map 27th mar 1912
riverside - map 27th mar 1912

Plan showing property leased to Stradling & Plenty, 27th Mar 1912

riverside-os 1911 map
riverside-os 1911 map

OS Map 1911, showing area around Riverside

riverside - plan 1912
riverside - plan 1912

Plan of property, 27th Mar 1912

riverside - plan 1946
riverside - plan 1946

Plan of property, 4th April 1946

093-tanyard lawn c1912
093-tanyard lawn c1912

Bridge Street, showing Tanyard Lawn, c1912


Charnham Street, showing 2 Charnham Street on right, c1912

2000-ish charnham street
2000-ish charnham street

Aerial view of Riverside, c2000

charnham st 148 stradlings
charnham st 148 stradlings

Charnham Street c1919-20, showing entrance to Stradling & Plenty's Garage on the right. [Kingsway Real Photographs, for WH Smith. S13682] Kindly sent by Roger Day.

20190825 08.54.31
20190825 08.54.31

The restored doorcase, 25 Aug 2019.

19120000ca The Bear
19120000ca The Bear

The Bear, showing Riverside and Stradling & Plenty's Garage beyond, c1912. [Collier, B616]

- Riverside, February 2010.

- Riverside, February 2010.

- Riverside House and The Bear, c.1912.

- The ruins of Hungerford Tanyard Chimney, c.1912.

- Plan showing Tan Yard Lawn, 1893.

- OS Map 1911, showing area around Riverside.

- Plan showing "Old Public Road" from ford to Charnham Street, 16th February 1912.

- Plan showing access for main sewer pipe - 2s 6d per year, 21st February 1912.

- Plan showing property leased to Stradling & Plenty, 27th Machr 1912.

- Plan of property, 27th March 1912.

- Bridge Street, showing Tanyard Lawn, c.1912.

- Charnham Street, showing 2 Charnham Street on right, c.1912.

- The Bear, showing Riverside and Stradling & Plenty's Garage beyond, c.1912. [Collier, B616].

- Plan of property, 4th April 1946.

- Aerial view of Riverside, c.2000.

- The restored doorcase, 25th August 2019.


(With thanks to Joan & Geoffrey Archer, who researched Riverside & The Cottage, 2 Charnham Street in 2001)

The Tannery (<1626 - c1885):

Tanning at one time was a flourishing Berkshire industry, largely due to natural supply of oak trees. 

At Hungerford the tanning business was of sufficient importance for the Hocktide Court to appoint "searchers and seekers" annually. These were official "snoops" whose duty it was to see that none but properly tanned leather appeared for sale.

The earliest record of a "tannery" in Charnham Street comes from a grant in 1626 by Vincent Smith, the tanner, of Charnham Street towards the education of boys. Vincent Smith sought to provide an annual sum to be used in purchasing apprenticeships for poor boys in the parish of Hungerford, and to this end he provided by grant the rent charges on two of his properties, one in Charnham Street, the other in the High Street, Hungerford. It is probably that his Charnham Stree property was this tannery. For more on this see Free Grammar School.

The earliest deed is the one hanging in the hallway of the house; it mentions William King and his family.

He was in partnership with John Hedges and Thomas Butler. The names and dates are as follows:

John Hedges and William King c1640-1713

1640 John Hedges. King and Hedges were recorded as being Tanners from 1640.

John Hedges and Thomas Butler 1713

1713 Thomas Butler and John Hedges. Release June 2nd 1713: William King, a Tanner of Charnham Street, had seven daughters who inherited half of the property known as Riverside House. It consisted of seven acres of land and a Tannery. His daughters were
- Elizabeth,
- Hannah who was married to William Butler,
- Martha who was married to William Westall,
- Sarah who was married to George Jennings
- Anna who was married to John Evans,
- Joanna who was married to Robert King, and
- Sarah who was married to Benjamin Dell.
Thomas Butler who traded as an Ironmonger bought the property from them for £130.

John Hedges and William Westall, 1713-

1713 September 16th: Thomas Butler sells the said property for £160 to William Westall, the husband of Martha.

William Westall, 1719

1719 William Westall. 5 & 6 Nov 1719: John Hedges owned the other half of Riverside. In his will, he left the property to his widow Francis and to his son Edward. They sold the property to William Westall for £140. He now owns all of Riverside.

Reverend and Mrs Fowler rented land at this time. "The Lost Charters of Hungerford", by Robert James, September 1999 mentioned the name of William Butler, Constable. Also the name of John Fowler, draper and juryman. Possibly descendants?

Martin Dunn emailed (February 2023) saying: "...I'm working on a particular tanyard in Wantage and at one time a mortgage was given on part of it to a Robert Webb of Bucklebury in Berkshire. His will (PCC) of 4th August 1720 says (inter alia) :   "....I give devise and bequeath to my daughter Mary the now wife of James Wickens and to her heirs and assigns forever all that my messuage or tenement and tanyard and all that my hereditaments in Hungerford in the said county of Berks with their and every of their appurtenances now or late in the possession of William Westall or his undertenants and all my estate title and interest therein...". At present it is difficult to reconcile this apparent ownership by Robert Webb with what we thought was ownership by William Westall.

1723 30 Aug: The will of William Westall. He leaves to his wife Martha, all the property and 4 acres of arable land, plus 3½ acres of meadowland called Charnham Marsh, and after wards to his eldest son Edward Westall. His other children each received £20, James, John, Elizabeth, Mary and Richard.

1747 Edward Westall. September 11th 1747: The will of Edward Westall. All the property and 4 acres plus 3½ acres to his wife Jane for and during her natural life, and after to his son and heir William Westall. To both his sons Thomas and James £50 each paid within two years after the death of his wife Jane. Edward died on the 1st March 1748

In 1749, the cottage known as 2 Charnham Street may have been built for James Westall the son of Edward. There is a timber beam in the roof space of the premises of the Fireplace, formerly the Fire engine station, it matches the ones uncovered in the restoration of the cottage in 1995. It also has carved in the beam, the initials J W 1749. Joan Archer felt sure that a section of the east side of the cottage was demolished to make way for the building of the fire station in 1891.

1772 William Westall. 19 Mar 1772: The will of William Westall. All the property and 3½ acres of arable land plus 3 acres of marshland to his wife Anne and after to his son and heir Edward and his heirs forever, and to his daughter Jane, and his son James, £100 each.

William died on the 12 Jun 1786.

1780 & 1781 Land Tax: William Westall as owner and occupier of the Tan yard.

Anne Westall widow of William died in 1791.

In 1783 there was some property rented out for 3/= per annum to Phoebe Hughes, maybe she was a tenant in the cottage. 1787 Bond 29th March 1787.

Edward Westall and Anne Burch were married on the 30 Mar 1787 in Hungerford.

Edward Westall has a bond with Moses Burch for £1,200 as a marriage settlement with Anne Burch. They had four children - William, Samuel, Thomas and John. William was born August 1788. John Westall, their youngest son lived in Marlborough and he was an auctioneer.

Moses Burch died aged 82, in Hungerford on March 2nd 1809. His trade was a blacksmith.

Edward pays to Job Kimber 5/= per annum; it is unclear why. He appears to have been in partnership with Moses Burch.

Job Kimber of Speenhamland died in Kintbury on the 21st November 1802, he was 54.

1808 Mortgage: Property pledged to Newbury bankers, Messrs Samuel Toomer, Bruce Bunny and Samuel Slocock from whom Edward Westall has a Mortgage for £3,905.17.4d. In addition, he paid £500 for insurance. Owing altogether, the sum of £4,405.17.4d.

Part rebuilding, 1808:

In 1808, the property was partly built, enlarged and improved. (Was it because of a fire?)

1810, 9 May Anne Westall died and was buried in Hungerford on the 14th May. She was 50 years old

1810 Edward Westall Bankrupt. 1810 Bargain and Sale: In London at Westminster, on the 9th November Edward Westall was declared bankrupt.

On the 16 Jan 1832. Edward died he was 70 years old. He was buried on the Island of Jersey. He moved there after he was declared bankrupt.

The creditors met at the Greyhound Inn at Bath on the 1st December and appointed assignees to Liquidate the estate.

1811 B. Bunney and S. Slocock. On the 1st February 1811, The Bankrupt Commissioners transferred the property to the assignees.

1811 July 10th Indenture: B.Bunney and S.Slocock had an indenture with S.Toomer as assignees. They formed a new agreement that made Bunney and Slocock owners of Riverside.

1812 Benjamin Matthews: 1812 Lease and Release March 3rd: The assignees sell to Benjamin Matthews, who was the highest bidder at the Auction of Edward Westall's effects. The auction was held at the George and Pelican Inn at Speenhamland.

Lot 1. Comprised of the Capital and newly built dwelling house with garden, brew house, two stables and other convenient outbuildings, also a most extensive Tannery with various drying and other sheds, various barns, a Mill house, and other appurtenances. In addition, the 7 acres of land. The price he paid was £1,570.

In the Wiltshire Public records office, the tithing tax mentions a house destroyed by fire, possibly the old Tannery. In the back room of Riverside House there is scratched in the window the name 'Westalll'. Did he make his mark when the house was sold?

1817 Humphrey Carpenter. 1817 Lease and Release: Benjamin Matthews sells to the executor of Humphrey Carpenter for £1,700. Henry Robes was a tenant of the cottage at 3/- per annum.

In 1821, a Mr John Westall was Constable of Hungerford.

1825 Henry, James and John Carpenter. 1825 Lease and Release: The executors of Humphrey Carpenter sell to Henry, James and John Carpenter , Tanners. William Toms was mentioned as an under tenant. William Hanning was a tenant at 3/- per annum.

1838 James Miller, Charles Pugh and Alexander Grant. 18th December 1838: At the above date, Riverside house was divided between the following people:
- James Miller and Charles Pugh of the 1st part,
- Alexander William Grant 2nd part, and
- Henry, James and John Carpenter of the 3rd part.

1847 Charles and George May. 1847 Conveyance: The Carpenters sell their portion of the property to Charles May and his brother George Edward May, for £1,800, they were also Tanners. The three brothers each receive £600 each being a third share of £1,800.
1851 Census: George May (30), farmer employing 21 men, wife Ellen (27), 2 servants.
1861 Census: George E. May, employing 19 men, 15 women, wife Ellen (37), uncle-to-wife, 3 servants..

February 16th 1864: Will of Charles May. He bequeathed to his wife Emma May an annuity of £150 to be paid during the lifetime of her mother. If her mother dies and she hasn't remarried, she receives £75. However, if his wife remarries she would lose the whole of the annuity. A Mrs Jepp occupied the cottage.

In 1st June 1868 Charles May died, and he was buried at Marlborough.

18th May 1876 Emma May, his widow, marries Mr William John Stent and she forfeits all of her annuity and property.

1864. The Wesleyan Chapel in Charnham Street was built.

1869 PO Dir: May brothers, tanners, Charnham Street.

1877 Indenture 17th February: Indenture between George Matthew May, Charles B May, and George Edward May of the 1st part, William Clark Merriman of the 2nd part, and the said George Matthew May of the 3rd part.

Indenture between C.B.May, G.E.May, and G.M.May of the 1st and 2nd part, and John Platt the younger, Brewer of Hungerford. John Platt secured a mortgage with Phillip Gibbons of Wantage an Agriculture Engineer for £1.200.

In 1877 (David Cave reports, from a commercial list of 1877 at the BRO) the tanners at Charnham Street were listed as "Gilligan and Son", listed as "also of Reading", but Evelyn Williams adds "as far as I can see this was not a tannery. As well as Hungerford they also ran the tannery at Gomshall near Guildford for a while (between 1880-93."

The 1881 Census records Henry Bryant (or Briant) (54) as the "working foreman in Tan Yard". He occupied the cottage.

1881 (CS) Robert Canning (aged 64 yrs, living in The Croft) is recorded as "Engine Driver at the Tannery".

It appears that the tannery closed c1881-1886.

John Platt 1886-1891/2:

1886 John Platt and Phillip Gibbon. Mortgage 24th June 1886: George Matthew May sells to John Platt all the property and land for £1,783.15.6d. The sum of £1,250 was still outstanding to C.B.May and G.E.May; this was paid to them from the sale of the property, leaving the balance of £533.15.6d to G.M.May. Francis William Leyborne Popham, who owned Littlecote House and vast acres of land, also owned the Bear Hotel and the land going towards Chilton Foliat, including the Tanyard Lawn.

1890/1: The Hungerford Voluntary Fire station was built.

1891 (Kelly) "Avonside" [??this property??] William King. George Platt, Charnham Street (?where); John Platt at Manor House, High Street.

On 4 Mar 1891 Riverside was put up for auction at The Three Swans. Follow this for the notice of the auction in the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette, Sat 28 Feb 1891, which gives a detailed description of the property. This includes "..well-built dwelling house ..known as "Riverside" and which comprises Drawing, Dining and Breakfast rooms; 9 bedrooms; bathroom with hot and cold water laid on; W.C., Kitchen, Scullery, Pantries and the usual domestic offices, with a capital four-bedroomed cottage adjoining. The Buildings and Premises are ... well suited for carrying on a large business; they comprise: Large Yard, bounded on the south by the river Kennet (no - it's the river Dun - HLP); Stabling with Loft over; Engine House, over which is a spacious room, the chimney shaft to which is 80ft. high, and of most substantial structure, Coal and Wood-house, Sheds, Warehouses, &c. In 1888 the Dwelling House was papered, painted, fitted with electric bells, otherwise re-decorated, and is now, from top to bottom, in first-class order. There are two plots of land, adjoining to the Chilton Road, and now in the occupation of the vendor; these will be sold in separate lots. Possession of the Dwelling House will be given at Lady Day, and the remainder at Michaelmas 1891. Particulars and Conditions of sale may be obtained from ..... Henry Poole, Auctioneer and Valuer, Hungerford."

Richard Henry Hoskins, 1893

1893 Richard Henry Hoskins. Indenture 24th March 1893: Indenture between John Platt and Phillip Gibbons of the 1st and 2nd part, and Richard Henry Hoskins builder and contractor. Richard H. Hoskins purchases the property and some of the land for £1,200. John Platt pays some of the money owing from the mortgage to Phillip Gibbons of £800.

F.W.L.Popham in addition sells to R.H. Hoskins for £125 the Tanyard Lawn on the 15th August.

1893 Indenture 7th September: Indenture between R.H. Hoskins builder of the 1st part and George Cottrell agriculture engineer, John Platt brewer, George Edmund Platt brewer, and John Adnams com merchant of the other part. The sum of £70 being the price paid for a parcel of ground in Charnham Street between the property of Margaretta Dredge and the cottage. In addition, the three named in the 2nd part have recently erected a building, to be used as a Fire Engine Station. R.H. Hoskins built the Fire Station, and the three gentlemen named, contributed the money for the people of Hungerford.

1894 Charnham Street changed counties from Wiltshire to Berkshire.

1895 Kelly Dir: Richard Henry Hoskins, builder and contractor, Charnham Street.

1896 January 13th: Phillip Gibbons died and his will of 1893 appointed his oldest son Fred Gibbons, and his brother John V.Gibbons. John Platt pays to Fred Gibbon's £400 the balance of the mortgage dept.

1901 (Census) "Avonside" Henry Hoskins (45) Builder (with Selena, 4 sons, 2 daughters, a lodger and servant).

1903 (Kelly) Richard Henry Hoskins, Builder and Contractor.

1907 Captain Thomas Ricketts Morse Retired. Conveyance 23rd March 1907: Richard Henry Hoskins sells to Thomas Ricketts Morse OBE retired army Captain, for £1,400. Thomas New occupied the cottage.

1907 Mortgage 23rd March. Indenture between Captain Morse and Henry D.W.Astley solicitor of Hungerford. The sum of £957.

1911 Census: #127: "River Side": Walter Watton (50), working manager, wife Fanny (48) (pisciculturist), 1 step-daughter, 4 rooms. (What part of the property was this? - HLP)

c1912: At about this date the tall tanyard chimney was demolished. School children were allowed to watch it fall. (See picture above right)

1912 Indenture 21st February: Indenture between Captain Morse and Margaretta Dredge concerning the free right of way for the repair and upkeep of the sewers and drains on Captain Morse's property, in Faulkner Square.

1912 Certificate 1st January: Stephen Clifford, a boot maker relinquishes claim to a private right of way over the route of the old public road leading into Hungerford , by the Forge. He received the sum of £5. The road was used before the building of the bridges in 1740

Stradling & Plenty lease part of the property, outbuildings and yard, 1912-1919:

1912 Lease for seven years 27th March. Indenture between Captain Thomas Morse, and Stradling and Plenty Ltd. Motorcar agents of Newbury. The cottage and premises in Charnham Street was in the occupation of Hugh Manning Vyall as a weekly tenant. He also had part of the yard situated at the rear of the cottage with various buildings erected on it.

Lease for seven years at £30 per equal quarterly payments, and to spend at least one pound ten shillings in painting and repairs to the said cottage, also to connect a water supply to the closet and a tap in the kitchen. Shortly after taking on the lease two temporary buildings, a garage and shed, wre erected in the yard.

See Photo Gallery for:

  • the plan showing property leased to Stradling & Plenty, 27 Mar 1912.
  • photo of The Bear, showing Riverside and Stradling & Plenty's Garage beyond, c1912. [Collier, B616]

It appears that Stradling & Plenty did not renew the lease in 1919.

In 1913, Captain Morse receives a letter from the Constable of Hungerford concerning the fishing rights on his property. He was caught illegally fishing in the River Dunn! Follow this link to read the correspondence.

George Philbrick, 1920

1920 George Philbrick. Conveyance 24th March 1920: Indenture between Henry D.W.Astley in the 1st part, Thomas Morse 2nd part and George Philbrick 3rd part. Captain Morse agrees to sell property to George Philbrick for £1,750 and to pay the balance owing, of £550 to Henry Astley.
1920 Kelly Dir: George Philbrick, Riverside, Charnham Street.

George Philbrick, Tanner and Fellmonger, died 16th January 1922.

Evelyn Williams kindly contacted the Virtual Museum (Feb & Aug 2016) with the following: "The Philbrick tannery in Reading closed about 1939. George Philbrick's brother Charles retired by 1911 (census), but George continued longer, along with his son Charles A Philbrick." George's move to the old Tannery in Hungerford remains a mystery. Perhaps, having known it from when he was running the Reading tannery, he just liked the property.

Dr Robert Blake James, 1922

1922 Dr.Robert Blake James. Conveyance 22nd June 1922: Indenture between George Hooper Philbrick, schoolmaster of Beckenham Kent. In addition, Charles Alfred Philbrick. Tanner of Reading, and Harold Coster Dryland solicitor of the 1st part, and Dr Robert Blake James, medical practitioner of the 2nd part. The estate of the late G.Philbrick was sold to Dr.Robert James for £2,500. Dr Robert James was the local GP. He used Riverside House as his residence. The premises next door that were used by Stradling & Plenty, were renovated and rebuilt to use as his surgery.

Mr Brooks rented the cottage. He was a boot and shoe repairer.

1932 - heavy floods in Charnham Street
1939 Blacket's Dir: Dr R Blake James, "Riverside". (Then Telephone kiosk, then here is Bridge Street")
1940 Blacket's Dir: Dr Blake James

1946- 4th April 1946 Conveyance: Doctor James sells the cottage and the rear garden to Mr Reginald John Wells, a caterer from Newbury. He pays £400. There is a schedule of four agreements and conditions concerning right of way and fences etc. The cottage is now completely separated from Riverside House.

c1946-47: Frank and Joyce Smith started an Antique business.

Dr Cliff Pritchard contacted the Virtual Museum (Jan 2013) saying: "I would be very grateful for any information available about Frank Smith, who ran an antique business from Riverside, Charnham Street and died on 2 August 1974. I am interested to know what happened to Winifred and when Joyce became his partner/wife. I would also be interested in any other information about his life that you might have." Can anyone help?

Margaret Stockland, 1973

1973 Mrs Margaret Stockland bought the property. She used the ground floor as an Antique business, called Riverside House Antiques. The stables next door were used for furniture restoration. Peter was the restorer and Kevin used the Coach house for French polishing.

1988 Riverside Antiques Ltd., (Margaret Stockland) - "Large stock of quality 18th and 19th century furniture and treen shown in period setting".

James & Susie Podger, Great Grooms Antiques, 1998-

1998 Mrs Stockland lived there until 1998, when she sold it to James and Susie Podger, who converted the whole of the property to an antiques centre called Great Grooms. See "Invitation to Grand Opening of Great Grooms, 11 Oct 1998".

The stables next door were converted and refurbished to a four bedroom cottage which was sold in 1999, to Mrs Y Belton.

The coach house was then refurbished and sold for residential use.

See also:

"Invitation to Grand Opening of Great Grooms, 11 Oct 1998".

- Notes on 1 Charnham Street by Joan Archer, Apr 2001

- Correspondence between Town & Manor and Capt T R Morse, 1913