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Templeton House was a large house about 1½ miles south-east of Hungerford, just west of Inglewood House. The estate is ancient, but the most recent house on the site, built in 1895, was demolished sometime after 1959 and the Templeton Stud has been built where the house once stood.

Photo Gallery:

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templeton 1928
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- Templeton House, undated [A. Parsons]

- Templeton House, undated [A. Parsons]

- Templeton House (from Sale Particulars, 1928) [A. Parsons]

The early history:

Templeton was the site of a small hospice or hostel with chapel belonging to the Knights Templar, passing to the Knights Hospitallers in 1311. It was in private hands at Dissolution and a mansion named 'Templeton House' was built on site 1895.

www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/berks/vol4/pp205-217 records: 

Roger de Beaumont, Count of Meulan (Roger son of Humphrey), granted 3 hides at Inglewood in this parish to the Knights Templars. (fn. 82) This land, afterwards known as the manor of TEMPLETON or Templeyngeflod, (fn. 83) formed part of the honour of Leicester (fn. 84) and reverted on the dissolution of the order in 1311 to the overlord, (fn. 85) though Robert Hungerford and his wife Geva were holding it for life in 1327. (fn. 86) These lands were subsequently granted to the Knights Hospitallers, (fn. 87) who continued to hold them until the Dissolution, (fn. 88) when they passed to the king. The manor was granted in 1543 to Richard Bridges of West Shefford and John Knight of Newbury. (fn. 89) Bridges and Knight, who had purchased other lands at the same time, seem to have divided them, (fn. 90) and this manor fell to the share of Knight, who in 1546 mortgaged it for £100 to Sir William Essex. (fn. 91) Sir William Essex died at Fulham on 13 August 1548, having bequeathed his interest in the manor to his son George (fn. 92); but John Knight seems to have redeemed it, for he died seised of it on 13 January 1550, leaving a son Richard, (fn. 93) who succeeded to this estate. (fn. 94) Richard Knight died in 1591, leaving the manor to his wife Constance until his son John should attain his majority. (fn. 95) Constance seems soon to have been married again to George More, and they, with the consent of John Knight, conveyed the estate in 1596 to Lawrence Stoughton. (fn. 96)

Before 1610 the manor had passed into the hands of Joan the wife of William Gregory and Margaret the wife of Nicholas Jordan, for in that year Nicholas purchased the share of William and Joan. (fn. 97) In 1611 Nicholas and Margaret Jordan sold the estate to George Smithes, who at the same time purchased from Anthony Bridges, the son of Richard, any interest he might possess in it. (fn. 98)

George Smithes died on 11 July 1615 seised of this estate, which he left to one of his younger sons William, (fn. 99) who with his wife Elizabeth sold it in 1631 to William Dormer. (fn. 100) John Dormer sold the manor in 1685 to William Tipping, (fn. 101) and Thomas Faithful of Templeton is mentioned in deeds of 1731 and 1742. (fn. 102) In 1816 Samuel Daniels and James Woulds conveyed the manor to William Mott, (fn. 103) whose daughter Sarah married Adam Blandy of Kingston Bagpuize. Adam was in possession of Templeton Farm in 1836, and the estate was sold in 1870 by his grandson John, who had assumed the name Blandy-Jenkins in 1856, to George Shippen Willes of Hungerford Park, of whom it was purchased by William New Dunn. Mr. Dunn afterwards sold it to Mr. Humphrey Jeffreys Walmesley, the present owner. (fn. 104)

Notes (unascribed and undated, but written well before the demolition of the house in 1959) say that "the only part that remains is one bed-chamber and part of the ground floor, supposed to have been the refectory or dining-hall.

When alterations were made between 1886-95, three human skeletons were dug up on the site above the present tennis court, once doubtless the graveyard of the Knights Chapel that stood in front of the house; and Miss Dunn believes they were re-interred in Kintbury Churchyard.

This Order spreads all over Europe, gained great power and riches, and hence excited so much envy in the Church and in Kings throughout Europe that it was disbanded in 1311 under Edward II.

Templeton was then assigned to the Knights Hospitallers, the Red Cross Knights, who remained here till the disolution of the monastic establishments by Henry VIII. In 1543 he granted it to Richard Bridges, who held most of the southern part of the parish in the 16th century. After him, went successively to the Sloughtons, Jordans, Smiths, Dormers, Tippings, Faithfulls, Notts, and in 1831 to Adam Blandy, after whom Blandy Hill (also called Dopson's Hill) was named. He sold Templeton to the Willes family of Hungerford Park, of whom it was bought by the late Mr Walmesley."

West Berks Heritage Gateway includes:

"According to a late 19th century report in the Transactions of the Newbury District Field Club <02>, three human skeletons were found immediately in front of the house at Templeton Manor, on the spot where a chapel is supposed to have stood. An ancient brass spoon, some drainpipes 'of exceptional form' and 'other articles of antiquarian interest' were also found during the work excavating foundations in 1884 <02>.

There was no local knowledge of the skeletons or chapel site at the time of the Ordnance Survey field investigator's visit in the 1960s <03>.

The site was later developed as a stud (MWB17343) and the 19th century country house (MWB21350), which had already replaced an earlier one, demolished <04>".

For the earlier history of Templeton House, see also the article on Inglewood Estate.

The Walmesleys:

It is thought that Templeton House was built by a Mr. Lidderdale (see letter from Mrs. Goddard, 1991).

Since 1893 the Inglewood Estate, including Templeton House, had been owned by the Walmesley family. In December 1919 Humphrey Walmesley died, and the estate passing to Major Charles Talbot Walmesley (1881-1960). Both had taken an active part in local affairs, and gradually built up the Inglewood estate, until by the time they sold it in 1928 it comprised 4,225 acres.

The 1928 sale:

In 1928 Colonel Walmesley decided to sell the estate, and it was advertised for sale. The entire estate was sold in 47 lots, and included Inglewood Park (123 acres), Kintbury Farm (87 acres), Hungerford Park (394 acres), Sadlers Farm (266 acres), Totterdown House (64 acres), Anvills Farm (653 acres), Sanham Green Farm (270 acres), Coldharbour and Little Templeton Farms (287 acres), Templeton (166 acres), Inlease Farm (154 acres), Avington Manor Farm (561 acres), and Radley Farm (645 acres) - 4,225 acres in all. There was extensive fishing, many other properties and woodland. The full Sale Particulars run to over 60 pages!

The sale particulars describe Templeton as follows:

"That Delightful Country Family Residence known as "Templeton", occupying a choice situation, 350 feet above sea level, 1½ miles from Kintbury Station and a mile from the village.

The residence is attractive, being brick-built, the upper part hung with tiles and it is part creeper-clad, surrounded by a Park, is approached through two Carriage Drives, and contains:-

On the Ground Floor:
Enclosed Glazed Porch
Lounge Hall, about 25ft 6in by 18ft 10in exclusive of bay window, pillars and beams support the ceiling. It has a Devon grate and carved wood chimney-piece, and is also heated by radiator. The walls partly wainscotted with old oak.
Drawing Room, about 23ft by 17ft. It has Adam style chimney-piece, an oak beam and pair of casements opening to Grounds. Radiator. South aspect.
Morning Room, 18ft 8in by 16ft. South aspect.
Dining Room, about 24ft 6in exclusive of bay window and large inglenook by 18ft 6in. The inglenook and chimney-opiece are of oak. The aspects are West and North. Service door.
School or Smoking Room, about 16ft 6in by 13ft, with hob grate.
Large Cloakroom, Lavatory with hot and cold supplies. W C, Silver Safe.
A baize-covered door shuts off the
Domestic Offices, which comprise Butler's Pantry, Servants' Hall, Kitchen, Larder, Scullery, and Servants' W C.
Principal and Secondary Staircase lead to

The First Floor, which is heated by radiators.
No 1 Bedroom, is a lofty half-timbered room measuring about 24ft by 17ft, with inner door to
Bathroom, which is well fitted up and contains towel airer.
No 2 Bedroom, about 18ft 6in by 12ft, fitted with oak wardrobe cupboards.
No 3 Bedroom, about 20ft by 15ft
No 4 Bedroom, about 16ft by 14ft 4in
Large well-fitted Bathroom.
2 W C's
No 5 Bedroom, about 15ft 6in by 13ft 3in, containing wardrobe cupboard.
No 6 Bedroom, about 18ft by 16ft exclusive of bay window, also containing cupboards.
Well-fitted Housemaid's Room, with hot and cold supplies and waste.
No 7 Bedroom, about 15ft 8in by 13ft 2in.
No 8 Bedroom, about 15ft 6in by 12ft 2in.

On the Second Floor:
Landing, heated by radiator.
Six more good bedrooms, several containing wardrobe cupboards.
Linen Cupboard. Maid's hot and cold supplies and waste.
Store Room.

In Basement:
Game and General Larders.
Wine Cellar and Stoke House.

Excellent Modern Sanitation with good fall.
The Water Supply is by gravitation from Spring and Reservoir in Wood No 706 on Plan and also by the Estate Ram.
Electric Light generated on the premises from Hornsby engine.
Complete Central Heating from Stoke House by means of radiators.

The Buildings comprise Paved Yard, Wood and Coal Houses, Engine House
Two garages, Harness Room, two Living Rooms for Chauffeur, Granary, four Loose Boxes, Cattle Shed and Piggeries.

A Pair of First-Class Well-built modern cottages.

Delightful old grounds, including Large Croquet Lawn surrounded by Yes and other Hedges and dwarf flint walls; Lawns, lovely Rose Garden, Thatched Summer House, Tennis Lawn, Rose-covered Pergola. Flower, Peach and Nectarine Houses, Brich Krame, Potting House. Large Fruit and Kitchen Garden. orchard.

Surrounding the above are well-timbered park and picturesque woodlands and other lands, the whole being about 165a 3r 17p.

At the time of the sale, "the residence, cottages, buildings and lands are let on lease to Bernard N Fraser Esq, together with right of water supply from Reservoir as shown in Wood numbered 706 on plan, for 14 years from 29 September 1923, with option to terminate on either side at the expiration of the first seven years, at £300 per annum, the Lessor being under obligation to compensate the Tenant at end of Lease for Tenant's Fixtures and Fittings taken over by him which the Tenant does not wish to remove. Vacant possession can therefore be obtained on 29th September 1930."

Research by the HHA (Fae Morgan in 1998) led to Mr. Mundell at Templeton Nurseries. He spoke of Miss Fraser, from Kintbury, who had lived in the house as a child.

The Fraser family - father, mother, and three children, moved to the house which was rented to them in 1923. They moved out seven years later because Mr. Fraser disliked the constant sound of the bells from Inglewood House which at that time was a Seminary for Carmelite priests (they have since moved to St. Cassian House, Kintbury).

Miss Fraser remembered the house and the extensive grounds, with three tennis courts. The grounds were planted with broadleaf trees, some of which were immature. She talked climbing trees, playing tennis and romping in the grounds.

Indoor staff consisted of a cook, a kitchen maid, a housemaid and a "tweeny". The present loose boxes of the stud are sited on two of the tennis courts.

The family departed in the early thirties. At one time it was converted into flats, after which it fell into disrepair and was eventually demolished sometime after 1959 (see Mrs Goddard's letter).

The area of Templeton House is now the estate office for Avington Estate, and the site of Templeton Stud Farm.

In late 2011 the stud was renamed Trinity House Stud (www.trinityparkstud.co.uk).

See also:

- Sale Particulars of 1928 Inglewood Estate

- Hungerford Park

- Inglewood House

References:

<01> Money, W. 1882-5. WALTER MONEY COLLECTION READING REFERENCE LIBRARY (PAMPHLETS). p165 The Knight Hospitallers at Templeton. [Unpublished document / SWB11287]
<02> Newbury District Field Club. 1886-95. TRANS NEWBURY DISTRICT FIELD CLUB 1886-95 VOL 4. P189. [Article in serial / SWB10455]
<03> Ordnance Survey. 1960s-70s. Ordnance Survey Field Investigators Comments. F1 JP 24-SEP-63. [Personal observation / SWB14640]
<04> Ordnance Survey. c. 1960. Ordnance Survey Epoch 5. [Map / SWB14665]
<05> Kintbury Volunteer Group. 2004. Kintbury through the ages. p61. [Monograph / SWB14205]