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The Sword-Point Wedding
Places to Go

St. Mary's Church, ReadingThe Child family’s old Abbey Brewery in Abingdon, where our story starts out, used to occupy the long gallery of the old Abbey’s exchequer building in Abbey Close (open to the public). Benjamin’s family presumably lived somewhere nearby. The Brewery later came into the hands of the Morland family, a name which, until recently, was still associated with modern day brewing in the town.

We move on, like Benjamin, to Reading where the beautiful chequerboard Church of St. Mary, stands in the centre of the town between Broad Street, Minster Street and the Butts. Calcot Park lies to the west of the town, down Castle Street and along the A4 (Bath Road) towards Theale. It stands north of the road in the parish of Tilehurst. The park is now Calcot Park Golf Course, and the house, once the Club House, hasnow been converted into private apartments. At the right time of year it can be seen through the trees. Unfortunately, this beautiful red brick mansion was built for John Blagrave soon after Benjamin sold him the estate. Presumably, after the latter’s ultimate exploits there, the old house wasn’t fit to live in.

Prospect Park is also on the north side of the Bath Road, somewhat before you reach Calcot. Take Liebenrood Road north from the mini-roundabout. The house is approached from the park entrance, on the left, not far along it. Left derelict for many years, the majestic mansion is now fully restored to its former glory as part of a well-known restaurant chain. So, obviously, anyone can walk up to it, and anyone visiting the restaurant can have a look around inside. Here, in an alcove in the main dining area, you will find a wonderful memorial statue to Frances, sculpted by Marcus Cornish. She stands with sword in hand ready to take on all prospective husbands. It was commissioned by the Reading Civic Society to commemorate their part in the house’s restoration.

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