Reading St. Mary, Berkshire
The moated Southcote House was originally the site of a medieval fortified manor house. Only the late 15th century guardhouse, complete with vaulted well, survived a rebuilding in the early 17th century.
Anthony Blagrave had just purchased the property and renamed it Southcote Lodge. The house was leased out to various members of the family, notably John Blagrave, the famous mathematician, who is buried beneath a notable monument in St. Laurence's Church in Reading, and his nephew, Daniel, who signed Charles I's death warrant. During the Siege of Reading, Daniel allowed the Earl of Essex to make his headquarters in the house. Cromwell, Hampden & Blake are said to have held a Council of War there in the old oak panelled room.
The house was much modernized in the Victorian era, when its distinctive tower was added. Early this century, however, it fell into disrepair and became unoccupied. The whole site was flattened in 1921. The moat gatehouse survived well into the 60s though.
The place was
always, popularly, said to be haunted.
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