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Erleigh Court
Sonning, Berkshire

Erleigh Court was the manor house of Earley St. Bartholomew, named after the ancient chapel which was established there sometime in the early 13th century. Although, six hundred years later, it was being used as a stable!

There was a house on the site by at least 1220 and, in the medieval period, it was owned by the D'Earleys, the Warings and then the Fettiplaces. William Fettiplace (d.1528) may have been the builder of the original Tudor house, though his main residence was at Childrey Manor and he has a fine memorial brass in the church there.

In 1708, the house was sold to Sir Owen Buckingham, the Lord Mayor of London who made a fortune establishing a sail-cloth factory in Reading. Perhaps he added the Georgian bay windows, the pediment and the porch. His son an namesake was killed in a duel against Richard Aldworth at Stanlake Park (Hurst) in 1720. Erleigh Court passed to the Manley family and then blind Sir John Powell Pryce who was tricked into selling the property to John Bagnall in 1766. Pryce later died in a debtors prison in 1777.

Bagnall's daughter and heiress married the famous politician, Lord Stowell, who eventually died at the court in 1836 and was buried in Sonning Church. Their daughter, Maria Anne, and her husband, Viscount Sidmouth, inherited the estate, but they resided elsewhere and the house was let to tenants.

By 1932, the Court stood empty. It was purchased by a property developer and demolished three years later. It had stood in the area of Sidmouth Grange Close.

Erleigh Court no longer stands.
 

    Nash Ford Publishing 2004. All Rights Reserved.