Sale of the Aldermaston Estate in 1893

Since 1066 or even earlier, the whole “estate” was owned by one family, and a total of 34 such  owners or “Lords of the Manor of Aldermaston” is recorded- for more details see The Lords of the Manor of Aldermaston

The whole estate, totalling some 2500 acres, was put up for sale in 1893 on behalf of the owners, the Higford Burr family. There follow excerpts from the magnificent brochure dated Monday, June 26th 1893 which contains many photographs. The auction took place in Tokenhouse Yard, London. and Charles Keyser ultimately purchased it for the sum of £160,000. This remarkable man contributed greatly to the character and appearance of the village to this day.

Finally, in 1939 on the death of Charles Keyser’s widow, the estate was sold in 394 individual lots and so finally passed into the ownership of many individuals. Details can be found at Sale of the Aldermaston Estate in 1939

Pages from the 1893 sale catalogue were photocopied from those in the possession of the late Mrs Pam Gardner.

The ornate front cover of the Sale brochure, showing a view of the Manor House from across the lake.
The introduction from the brochure
A sketch map of the estate in the brochure. Specifically named are: The Hinds Head Hotel, the lodges (Gatehouses), the Almshouses, the village School (now a private school), St Mary's Church and Forster's farm.
The Manor House from the east in 1893
The same view in July 2020. Numerous changes are evident-the following two blown up images illustrate this.
A closeup of the roof and chimneys as they were in 1893
The same view in 2020. Numerous changes compared with the above, 1893 photo are evident. The right-hand chimney stack has actually been rebuilt at right angles to its original position and the "MHB" ( Mary Higford Burr's initials) has disappeared above the window.
Another view from the south-east in 1893
The same view in 2020. Clearly, one major chimney stack has been removed since the 1939 photo..
Peter Oldridge
The middle chimney stack was still there in 1939 but has since been removed as can be seen from the next photo.
This indicates that major reconstruction occurred after 1939
Peter Oldridge
This image from the brochure is a classic early photograph. In those days, everyone had to keep VERY still. because exposures took several seconds The horse is being held absolutely still by the coachman, while the figures in the background (gathering manure for their gardens?) are blurred.
The same view as the above in 2020. Sadly, it is now virtually impossible to photograph this view with no motor traffic in sight!

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