Inglewood House lies between Hungerford and Kintbury. The fine mansion is thought to have been built at the end of the 18th century, with further extensions between 1829 and 1863.
Summary of Ownership:
c1592 - 1758 Blandy family
1758 - 1826 Shaw family
1826 - 1828 Bevan family
1828 - 1893 Dunn family
1893 - 1928 Walmesley family
1928 - 1972 De La Salle brothers
1972 - 2004 Inglewood Health Hydro
2006 - Audley
- Inglewood Retirement Village (Audley) (computer generated image), Sep 2012
- Inglewood House, 1903
- Fire at Inglewood House, 10.4.1912 (Albert Parsons)
- Fire at Inglewood House, 10 Apr 1912. (Albert Parsons) (Thanks to Robert James)
- Sale Particulars of the 1928 sale of Inglewood Estate. 4,225 acres, 47 lots. (Click to see full pdf)
- Report in The Catholic News of the opening of the De La Salle Brothers juniorate, Oct 1929
Blandy family, c1592-1758:
The estate of Inglewood was owned by the Blandy family from c1592. It is thought they were involved in the wool trade in the Newbury area.
Eventually, in the 18th century, the estate passed from John Blandy to his daughter Elizabeth, wife of William Shaw.
Shaw family, 1758-1826:
Elizabeth died in 1758, and it appears that the estate passed to her second son Blandy Shaw, who died without issue in 1782.
Brian Bouchard kindly sent (Jan 2017) a link to the Chancery case Merewether v Shaw which has much more information about Blandy Shaw.
Blandy Shaw's brother William also died childless in 1784, and Inglewood was in the hands of his widow Anne.
The following year, 1785, Anne Shaw had the property insured with the Royal Exchange Insurance Company in London. The property included "her mansion house, brick and tiled, situate at Inglewood aforesaid (£2,000); furniture included and a mangle therein (£1,500); plate in the same (£300); on her coach house and stables, brick and tiled (£500)".
Anne Shaw continued to live at Inglewood after her husband's death for a further 42 years. She died in in her town house, 5 Wimpole Street, on 10 Feb 1826, and was interred in a vault at Kintbury Parish Church. (Cheshunt House descended to Charles Mayo on her death. Ashley House freehold plus a copyhold estate in Epsom passed with the Wimpole Street property as a legacy to Elizabeth Skynner Barnes, a friend who was also a distant relative.)
She left the Inglewood estate to Charles, Thomas, Edward and Eleanor, the children of Colonel Charles Bevan.
The Bevan family, 1826-1828:
Brian Bouchard contacted the Virtual Museum (Jun 2014) regarding the link betwen Anne Shaw and the Bevan family:
"Lt Col Charles Bevan, "Wellington's Scapegoat", committed suicide on 8 July 1811. He was a nephew of Charles Bevan, brother of his father Thomas, of Epsom.
On the elder Charles' death, by Will dated 16 March 1796, he had left "...to nephew Charles Bevan, his silver gilded cup; to his 'much esteemed friend' Mrs Ann Shaw, a set of Japanned dressing boxes, a set of brown and gold dressing boxes, a set of black and gold quadrille boxes, a pair of green and gold china jars, a pair of candle enamelled cups and covers and one silver filigree chain." – as shown by a transcript at http://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/Research/Libr/MIs/SHN/02.htm
Archie Hunter in the book "Wellington's Scapegoat" reports that the widowed Mrs Shaw was a cousin on [Col.] Charles side."
Three years later, in 1828, the Bevan family advertised the sale of "Inglewood Mansion and Estate" in the Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazete of 21st October 1828. The advertisement includes the following description of the house:
"The Capital Family Mansion, the approach to which is by a grove of stately elms, environed by a lawn, flower garden, orchard and kitchen garden, capital stall stabling for twelve horses, standing for four carriages; piggery, dove and poultry-houses, detached farm-yard, barn and cow-house, about 34 acres of rich meadow land, surrounding the Mansion."
The mansion contains ..."a noble hall, drawing room, dining room and library, and an oak staircase leading to the five principal bedrooms", a variety of servants' accommodation, together with the kitchen larder and store-house. It is clear that this was a substantial house and property.
Further Shaw family links were sent by Brian Bouchard (Jan 2017): "More to the point, perhaps, is the ‘common ancestor’, Joseph Ayliffe, Soap Maker, of Bread Street Hill, London. A daughter Anna Dorothea became Mrs Peter Prevost. Their daughter Ann Prevost married Thomas Bevan to become the mother of Charles Bevan, born 4/10/1778, ‘Wellington’s scapegoat’.
John Rily, the younger, also a Soap Maker on Bread Street Hill, had married Elizabeth Ayliff(e), another daughter of Joseph Ayliffe, at St Martin's in the Fields, Westminster on 16 January 1734.
Their daughter Ann Rily , baptised 6 August 1741, wed William Shaw at St James, Westminster, 19 May 1779, to become his second wife. Widowed Mrs Ann Shaw succeeded to Inglewood House and left the estate to children of Col. Charles Bevan by her Will."
The Dunn family, 1828-1893:
It was sold to Thomas Dunn for £26,000. Thomas Dunn senior (1729-1818) had made a significant fortune in Canada in the 1760s, when he established for himself the trading lease to the King's posts, guaranteeing him a monopoly of the fur trade and the fisheries throughout the crown's domain. At some time between the date of purchase (1829) and 1863, the house was significantly extended. The eldest son Thomas junior was born in London in 1785, and later served in the British army, eventually retiring inn 1841. He died at Inglewood in November 1851, aged 66 years, leaving the Inglewood estate to his younger brother (later Major General) William Dunn.
William Dunn and his wife Margaret moved from Shinfield to stay at Denford Park until Inglewood was ready for their occupation, possibly 1856. It is probably at this time that the 18th century Inglewood House was greatly extended. (Besides Inglewood and Wallingtons, the Dunn family also associated with Denford Park, Titcombe Manor, Standen Manor and Elcot Park.)
In 1859 the Dunn family purchased the neighbouring house of Wallingtons, so that from then until 1892 both houses belonged to the same family. William Dunn died in 1863 and Margaret occupied Inglewood until her death in 1890 (or 1888?) She was a great local benefactor, and initiated the building in Kintbury High Street of "spacious public baths and wash houses" at a cost of nearly £4,000. (In 1890 these were converted into a laundry). She also left a Charity (which still exists today) to help apprentices start their careers.
On Margaret Dunn's death in 1890, Inglewood passed to her eldest son William Huw Dunn. He arranged for major work to be done at Wallingtons, and took up residence there in 1892.
The Walmesley family, 1893-1923:
Inglewood was put up for sale, and bought in 1893 by the Walmesley family. In 1893 Inglewood was bought by Humphrey Jeffreys Walmesley (1846-1919). H J Walmesley made considerable alterations to the house, the most significant of which was to add a chapel which he had removed in its entirety from his previous home in Lancashire. He was also responsible to the erection of the various imposing brick and iron gateways which still grace the estate. Not satisfied with these changes, he considerably increased the size of the estate by acquiring Hungerford Park, Avington manor, Radley and many other properties.
A small album of poems written by members of the Walmesley family (presented to "Violet, With love and best wishes from Spratts" on 2 Nov 1899 was kindly donated to the HHA Archives (Nov 2013) by Mrs D Clark.
On 10 April 1912 there was a major fire in the basement, and the staff rushed to remove valuable works of art to the lawns whilst the fire was extinguished. It was a source of great pride to the local fire brigade that the new Hungerford steam-propelled "Dreadnought" engine arrived well in advance of the Newbury fire crew, which was still horse-drawn!
The event was described in the Newbury Weekly News of 11 April 1912:
"An alarming outbreak of fire occurred yesterday (Wednesday) at Inglewood. but thanks to the prompt arrival of the Hungerford Brigade, the flames were confined to the basement of the building, the mansion and its valuable contents being saved. But so serious did affairs look at one time, that the priceless collection of pictures, bronzes, china and the valuable library, were hurriedly removed from the mansion by many willing helpers. In the space of a few minutes, in the grounds in front of the mansion, there were piles of valuable paintings, including examples of Vandyke. Sir Peter Lely. Whistler, engravings by Morland. family portraits, and pictures by Italian and French masters: the lawns were littered with pieces of antique furniture, delicate china ornaments of Sevres, Dresden. Worcester and Royal Derby, and piles of books including very valuable Bibles, folio editions of Shakespeare and other scarce editions.
The cellar where the fire occurred is immediately under the dining room where lunch was being laid at the time. The fire is believed to have occurred through an electrical fault. In the basement was a lot of inflammable materials, including packing cases filled with straw and shavings which had been used for Charles's wedding presents [he had married on 1 January 1912], and it was these cases getting well alight which caused the fire to obtain such a quick hold. It is feared that a great deal of damage has been done to the stock of choice wines, many of the bottles being broken."
In December 1919 Humphrey Walmesley died, 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. By the time they sold it in 1928, it comprised 4,200 acres (including Inglewood and Hungerford Park, two smaller residences and eleven farms).
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!
De La Salle brothers, 1928-1972:
Inglewood House itself was bought prior to auction in November 1928 for £7,000 for use by the Catholic De La Salle brothers, as a training centre for young men entering the Order. It was known as St John's College.
In 1971 heavy expenses caused the de la Salle brothers to sell Inglewood (and move to nearby Wallingtons which they already owned).
Inglewood Health Hydro, 1972-2006:
The sale was completed in the summer of 1972 - to Mr Nicolian, who originally planned to use the premises as a nursing home - but plans soon changed, and a consortium of businessmen transformed it into Inglewood Health Hydro.
In 1981 a consortium headed by Jonathan Aitken bought Inglewood Health Hydro, and it changed hands again in 1998 when it was taken over by Grosvenor Spas Ltd., a national chain of health clubs.
A further change came in October 2001 when it was bought by Purdew Health Farm Group. In 200 it looked as though it would undergo substantial £16 million renovation. However, these changes never took place, and in February 2004 it was suddenly announced that the Health Hydro was to close. The staff were given one month's notice, and the contents were sold by auction in April 2004. See "78 jobs axed as health spa closes", NWN 5 Feb 2004.
(With thanks to Brother Anthony Porter)
In 2006 Inglewood House was purchased by Raven Audley Court for "a retirement country house and village". Planning permission was eventually achieved, and site clearance began in April 2007. In the summer of 2009 permission was granted to demolish the rest of Inglewood House on condition that it was rebuilt (albeit in modern materials) so that its appearance was unchanged.
The economic recession caused little progress on the site through 2010 and 2011, but building work restarted in 2012, with show homes open in October 2012.
The facade replication of the old mansion was carried out by Stone Edge (a historical building conservation and restoration company).
The Pugin Chapel:
Soon after Humphrey Jeffreys Walmesley bought Inglewood in 1893, he decided to create a private chapel attached to the house. The Walmesley's were a Lancastrian Catholic family, and they decided to transport a chapel that the family had previously owned at Westwood House near Wigan (since demolished). It had been designed by the architect Edward Welby Pugin (1834-75), son of the even better known Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852) who designed elements of the Houses of Parliament among many other buildings.
In 2006, during the initial works associated with the re-development by Audley, the Chapel was visited by English Heritage for consideration of Listing. The following is derived from the official report at the time. In the end the chapel was not Listed.
The Pugin Society has suggested that the chapel had been built (in Westwood House) in 1873 and the building is certainly discussed in The Builder of that year. Curiously a date stone on the south gable end of the chapel in 2006 appeared to read 1856. The chapel remained at Westwood House until 1905 when Colonel Walmesley arranged for the building to be carefully taken down and transported by canal to Inglewood for re-erection. This included relocation of all the original fixtures and fittings.
The chapel was designed in the Gothic style and is brick built with stone dressings. It has a steeply pitched slate roof and moulded eaves. The building was oriented north-south with the single external entrance located off-centre in the east elevation. This has stepped moulded jambs and a canopied niche containing a carved alabaster scene which is believed to be a C15 Nottinghamshire example.
The exterior was stucco rendered, incised to give the appearance of coursed masonry, with the quoins constructed in tile and rendered to suggest banded rustication at the corners of the building. This treatment served to blend the chapel with the adjacent house, and additional early C20 architectural flourishes could be seen in the east elevation where a decorative balustrade at eaves level terminated in pedestals surmounted by urns. Historic photographs indicate that the windows had tracery and stained glass. A small vestry projected from the west elevation. Elements incorporated into the exterior included a weathered C15 relief of the Annunciation in alabaster.
By 2006 the chapel had been subject to considerable stripping out, such that much of the Pugin scheme has been removed. The painted ribs to the nave ceiling and painted panels and ribs to the chancel survived as does the highly colourful tiled floor to the sanctuary. The tiles were by Minton and were decorated with fleur-de-lys and floral motifs. There was also an elaborate metalwork rood screen in blue and gold incorporating the family coat of arms which is by Hardman & Co of Birmingham. Some label stops, decorated with coats-of-arms, survived as did a small area of decorative wooden panelling in the west vestry. A commemorative plaque to Colonel Charles Walmesley, who brought the chapel to Berkshire, was located on the west wall, and the date '1905' and the family coat of arms were above the east door. A further doorway connecting the chapel with the adjoining house had been inserted in the north wall and had a timber frame with a simple stained glass overlight. All the windows internally were boarded up.
Historic photographs indicate that the chapel was very richly decorated internally with fixtures and fittings that were largely of the original Pugin scheme. These included stained glass depicting the name saints of the Walmesley family, and a carved altar and reredos in alabaster and marble located at the south end of the building. The chapel walls were part covered in carved wooden panelling. All of these features were believed to have been removed in 2006.
The Virtual Museum understands that much of the interior was taken to a private house in Ham, and was later moved again. There is a suggestion that the altar and screen were donated to the Diocese of Portsmouth, and that the stained glass was given to the De La Salle Brothers. Further information is being sought.
- "Inglewood - The Story of a Berkshire Mansion", by Brother Victor Feehan, FSC, MA, published in 1995 by De La Salle Publications, 140 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 7BP, 01865 311332. ISBN 0 9521398 2 0
- "Inglewood House, Kintbury - A History", by Brother Anthony Porter, 2010.
- Album (2 Nov 1899) containing about 10 handwritten poems by Walmesley sisters (kindly sent by Dulcie Clark, Helston Cornwall, Mar 2014) [HHA Archives K]
- Inglewood [HHA Archive A33]
 Brian Bouchard contacted to say that Anne Shaw was a daughter of John Riley, the younger, of Epsom in Surrey. See Surrey History Centre ref "SHCOL-895" online. The union of William Shaw of Cheshunt and Elizabeth Blandy of Inglewood was a "Fleet marriage" on 12 March 1720. William Shaw of the next generation married Ann Riley at St James Westminster 19 May 1779.