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Spooky Moated House is No More

  • Southcote Manor was built in the 15th century, just west of Reading. It was a moated manor house, with a great hall, a defensive watch-tower (left) and a guardhouse.
  • The Blagrave family bought the house in the 1590s. John Blagrave, the famous mathematician, rebuilt the great hall as a fine mansion (right) in the early 17th century. Southcote was then just a small hamlet.
  • During the Civil War, Daniel Blagrave let the Earl of Essex, John Hampden and the other leaders of the Parliamentary army set up their headquarters there. They were besieging nearby Reading. Soldiers were camped in all the fields around.
  • Daniel signed King Charles I's death warrant. He was a 'regicide'. When Charles II returned, he had to flee abroad.
  • In 1892, it was done-up and had several rooms added, including a ballroom. It became well-known for its many ghosts. Spooky!
  • However, by 1921, it was decided to pull the whole place down. The gatehouse also went in the 1960s.
  • Today only the empty moat survives. A block of flats has been built in the middle.
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