Welcome to my page on the history of Redlands and Whiteknights areas of Reading in Berkshire, England. Although I have now moved from Reading after 40 years and now live in seclusion in Wiltshire, I will occasionally update this site.
The areas in question lie to the south of Reading and border Wokingham Borough (part of Whiteknights being in Wokingham) to the East, whilst to the west and south it is bordered by what was known as the "Whiteley Manor Park" (what is today Whitley), and to the north by the town centre and to the east by what would have been the Manor of Maiden Erleigh and to the north-east by that of Woodley (the manor of Bulmershe Court)
In 2012 after forty years in the University area of Reading, I left to start a new life in Wiltshire. I will continue to occasionally update and add to the Redlands Histories website. Meanwhile I am writing for a website I am building on North Whiltshire Histories. Previoulsy I had lived in Redlands permanently since 1975, and previously to that had lived here as a student from 1968-1972. Since that time I have seen many changes and developments. Yet considering the pace of (often unwelcome) change in the world, Redlands has retained much of its charm and character, despite the onslaught of horrendous parking, and congested roads, and anti-social behaviour.
The University Park has changed immensely however with a huge increase in building since 1975. However, this has been offset minimally by some tree planting. Although some aspects of its history (notably the lake, three of the grand houses by Waterhouse, of the 19th. century developments, and some aspects of the gardens by the Englefields and by Blandford) mercifully remain.
The part of Redlands on the long ridge of Southern Hill is called on the ordnance survey map The Mount (not to be confused with the charming square nearby called The Mount) is a conservation area. And a walk around it will tell you immediately why: a unique residential area of immense historical charm, architectural richness, which beqeueths a tranquil and almost stately aura to the pedestrian. Tree lined roads add an almost rural ambience to it.
The index at the top of the page will give you a guide to the aspects of history which I have covered so far. If you would like to contribute to development of this history I look forward to hearing from you.
My main activity in local history writing and research is now concerned with North Wiltshire and its history. And outline of subjects I am writing about can be found here: North Wilts Histories