Aldermaston Manor House 1851- exterior

This is probably the fourth Aldermaston  Manor House, built in 1851 by Mr Daniel Higford Burr.  He was riding by and spotted the chimneys from the previous, 1636 house which had burned down some years earlier. He decided to build a new house, but incorporated many features which had survived the fire, including the medieval chimneys (see below) and various items from the interior including a staircase with wooden statues. The following is a view taken in 2009 from the south-west.

More details can be found on this website in the post  Aldermaston Court – architectural historians’ comments on the building

To magnify the images below, scroll down to where they’re repeated and click on them.

Here is an aerial view taken in 2004 from the other side. It shows part of the grounds, including a splendid avenue behind the buildings, which dates from the previous house.

Mary Higford Burr was very involved in the design of their new house and her initials are to be found in various places, such as spelling them in the brickwork as the next photo shows.

When he took over the estate in 1898, Charles Edward Keyser made many changes and also incorporated his initials in many forms, including casting them into the lead work of the gutters.

Mr Keyser also embedded a plaque showing both his (with thee palm tree on the left) and Higford Burr’s coats of arms. An acknowledgement of his predecessor’s achievements? More details on the families’coats of arms can be found on this website under  Heraldry: Mike Wall Running along the bottom is the Keyser family motto,  which translates as “we are protected by Providence”.

Features in the grounds include this house for hanging venison.

A Plaque has survived at the foot of a now giant Cedar of Lebanon, commemorating the naval officer who brought the seed back from Mount Lebanon in 1864.

However, the most astonishing features of the “latest” 1851 Manor House are assuredly its chimneys. These were first built atop the 1370 Manor House and then predated those of Hampton Court by some 140 years. They were subsequently removed, brick by brick, and rebuilt onto the next house in 1636. When this burned down in 1843, they survived and were once again painstakingly transferred to grace the next building in 1851. Each chimney-stack is unique and the variety of the handmade bricks is breathtaking. These chimneys have graced Aldermaston’s skyline for some 650 years and arguably rank as its greatest treasure.

Sadly, several times in its lifetime the latest Manor House has fallen into decay and by the 1980’s it was in a sorry state. Fortunately, the Blue Circle company purchased it and carried out truly massive restoration works which rescued the building and its interior treasures. Many details can be found in the book “The Manor Reborn” by Peter Pugh Associates, first published in 1988.

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