ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Old Whiteknights House, Reading University, Reading, England: sedate 19th century Waterhouse family residence

Updated on June 24, 2013
Flag of England
Flag of England | Source
 Old Whiteknights House, Reading University
Old Whiteknights House, Reading University | Source
Alfred Waterhouse, R.A.,(1830-1905)
Alfred Waterhouse, R.A.,(1830-1905) | Source

Family associations

This sedate building at Whiteknights Park, Reading, Berkshire, now belongs to Reading University, as does much of the Park. It is one of the Whiteknights Park (1) structures dating from the 1860s and designed by architect Alfred Waterhouse, R.A., (1830-1905)(2) and, like Foxhill, is linked also with the Waterhouse family.

Interestingly, while Foxhill itself was designed as a residence for the distinguished architect himself, the building, situated in the same, Whiteknights Park, and now known as Old Whitenights House, was a residence of Alfred Waterhouse Senior (3) and his wife Mary Brown Waterhouse.

Features of Old Whiteknights House, executed mainly in red brick, include prominent, pointed gables, and a conspicuous tower above the main entrance.

George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough (1766-1840)
George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough (1766-1840) | Source
Map location of Berkshire, United Kingdom
Map location of Berkshire, United Kingdom | Source

An evolving architectural reputation; and a profligate Marquess

At various levels, the reputation of Alfred Waterhouse has surged and waned over the years. His situation as a prolific 19th century, British architect is unassailable. A number of decades ago his work was regarded by some critics as unfashionable, although in more recent years his work has been more widely recognized once more. For example, I used to have in my possession (and maybe still have) an old guide book in which one of Alfred Waterhouse's many creations is described as an undistinguished, modern building. While this may have arisen from the fact that he was particularly known for Gothic Revival syle and for his use ofred brick — both popular in the Victorian period and therefore, to some critics, possibly less interesting than other styles and vernaculars — it would be hard today to dismiss his work so lightly.

In any case, Old Whiteknights House counts as among the most distinguished of Reading University's buildings.

Today, Old Whiteknights House hosts the Humanities and Social Sciences Graduate School.

June 24, 2013

Notes

(1) The former Whiteknights Estate used to belong to successive Marquesses of Blandford, the title carried by the heir to the Dukedom of Marborough. One of these personages, George Spencer-Churchill (1766-1840; see photo, above, right), who became the 5th Duke of Marlborough, was so accustomed to a hearty life of sumptuous partying on Whiteknights Estate that he became bankrupt and the Estate had to be sold off. Tales linger of furious creditors venting their displeasure at His Grace's profligacy.

(2) Other buildings for which Architect Waterhouse was responsible include the Natural History Museum, London, the Main Quadrangle of Manchester University (formerly Owen's College); Liverpool University, and many others.

(3) Alfred Waterhouse Senior was a prominent personality in his own right, a Lancashire cotton broker, whose family was closely identified with the Quaker movement. (See also: http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=204224 )

Reading University's archives have acquired significant material relevant to various members of the Waterhouse family.

Also worth seeing

In Reading itself, in addition to Foxhill (see above) other noted buildings of University of Reading's Wantage Hall and St Patrick's Hall. Reading Abbey ruins include the Hospitium, formerly housing a College, founded in the 19th century, from which Reading University later emerged. Forbury Gardens are of note, as is Reading Town Hall.

Silchester (distance: 18 kilometres) has historic, Roman remains.

...

How to get there

United Airlines flies from New York Newark Airport to London Heathrow Airport, where car rental is available. Distance from Heathrow Airport to Reading is 49 kilometres. A regular bus link exists between Heathrow Airport and Reading. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)