Auction of the Humpreys’ Estate

8th August 1925

This was the year of big change in the village. The Humphrey’s estate was put up for auction on Saturday 8th August by the auctioneers Simmons and Sons. The auction was held at the Great Western Hotel in Reading.

The catalogue gives much information about the village at that time. The first lot consisted of the Manor House, described as Jacobean and let to the Misses Fry, 9 cottages, farm buildings on three sites (Frogalley, Skeleton Farm and Alden Farm) and 648 acres of land. The cottages were rented out from 1/- per week for the one roomed brick and slated bungalow cottage at Frogalley Farm, to the most expensive at 5/- per week. The present day Alden Farm House is built on the site of Skeleton Farm which was adjacent to Alden Farm. Three of the cottages, situated at the corner of Stream Road and Church Street were a “modern” block of brick and tiled cottages containing three bedrooms, sitting room, kitchen and scullery. These have now been pulled down and three modern houses erected. Opposite them was an older block of three brick, stone and tiled cottages each containing three rooms. They are now a single house known as “The Crossings”. Next door was a brick, stone and thatched cottage containing three rooms, “Well Cottage”. This is at present being renovated. The whole Lot was sold for £9,000.

Lot 2, Middle Farm, consisted of “a picturesque brick and half-timbered house”, which was destroyed in the fire, two three bedroomed cottages, Fieldside Cottage and Pentrose and 147 acres of land. This Lot was sold for £2,700.

Lot 3, Butler’s Farm of 150 acres and 5 cottages. Two of the cottages are now known as “Church Corner Cottages”. The other three were older cottages in Pound Lane opposite Middle Farm, and were probably destroyed in the fire. This went for £2,000.

There were then five relatively small lots of land. Lot 9, was described as a “Valuable Corner Site” on the corner of Chilton Road and the A417. It was let as allotments at rent that totalled £7 per annum. It was sold for £140 to Mr. Summersby who kept the George & Dragon. Only the frontage to Chilton Road has been developed for building.

Lot 10, described as “an attractive Small Holding” with 2 brick and tiled cottages, now called “Springside Cottage” and “Old Stream Cottage”. One was let to Mr. Thornhill at 3/- per week and the other to Mr. Rowland at 2/6 per week. It was sold for £345.

Lot 11 was bounded by Stream Road, Post Office path, High Street and Church Street. It was described as a “well watered Meadowland with a good stream running through the centre, forming a desirable site for the erection of one or more houses. It also contained “a temporary timber-built Parish Room occupying about 20 poles of ground”. In fact only one house was built soon after, other development did not occur until the 1950’s. It sold for £150.

Lot 12 was “Stocks” in Stream Road. Mr. H. Slade bought it for £150. Lot 13 consisted of two brick half timbered and thatch cottages in Church Street, opposite the Church, which were sold for £150. They have now disappeared.

The map which accompanied the sale catalogue also showed that Prospect Farm was then known as Angers Farm.