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Home to Paybacks & Puritans

  • Coley Park was a large country estate south-west of Reading.
  • It was bought by the Vachell family in 1309. They lived there for over 400 years.
  • In the 14th century, the Abbot of Reading claimed his servants were allowed to carry goods across Coley Park.
  • John Vachell was very angry and killed one of the Abbey's men when he tried to do this. Afterwards he was very sorry. His family then used the motto, "Better to Suffer than to Revenge".
  • The house in the picture was built in Tudor times, down by the Holy Brook. The round dovecote (top left) still stands.
  • Thomas Vachell was an important local Protestant in Tudor times.
  • During the Civil War, the famous Parliamentarian, John Hampden, lived there. He was married to Lady Vachell. From Coley's gatehouse, She watched the Parliamentary guns besieging Reading.
  • In the late 18th century, this house was pulled down and a new one built on higher ground.
  • This is now a hospital and houses have been built all over the grounds.
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