Michael Hardy Blog, News & Updates

Wokingham and The Walter Family, their influence on our community.

13 June, 2018 by

Walter Cottages - character homes in Wokingham

With all the new build development going on in Wokingham and the surrounding areas, it is such a pleasure when we get to market a beautiful character home, and none are more special than one of the fabulous Walter Cottages. This design comes from the influence of the Walter Family, who were the founders of The Times newspaper and have helped shaped the area as we know it today.

Walter Cottages character homes in Wokingham

John Walter II moved to Sindlesham in 1816, and although his estate started with a ‘modest’ 300 acres of land, when the family estate was eventually sold in the early 1900s, it had grown to nearly 8000 acres spanning across Wokingham, Finchampstead, Sandhurst and Arborfield.

We can see the influence of the Walter Family right across the area, not just in the architecture of many of the buildings and cottages, but their name can also be found in several places such as Walter Road, Walter Infant School and The Walter Arms Public House. As you may have already guessed, Reddam House School was the site where John Walter II built his original house, but it was his son John Walter III who pulled down the old Bearwood House in 1865 and replaced it with the impressive Jacobean style Bearwood Mansion along with its large ornamental lake.

Now called ‘Reddam House’ (an independent day and boarding school), it is still one of the great country houses of England and a wonderful example of Victorian architecture.  The house left the Walter Family in 1910 and since then the building itself has been used as a Convalescent Hospital during WW1 and an orphanage before finally finding purpose as a school in 1921.

Reddam House

John Walter III was a great scholar and politician. He held strong religious views and entirely financed the building of St Paul’s Church in Wokingham, while his campaign for social change inspired the building of Walter Infant School and Finchampstead Church of England Primary.

If we look at Bearwood Recreation Ground we can still imagine the ‘model’ village that he built around this green, which included The Walter Arms, Bearwood Primary School and the many chocolate box ‘Walter’ Cottages that pepper the area.

Chocolate box ‘Walter’ Cottages

When one of these fabulous properties, so steeped in our local history, comes to market, it puts a smile on our faces here at Michael Hardy. We have a lot to thank the Water Family for, they have shaped and influenced this fabulous area that we call home and helped make it a wonderful place to live. If you are considering a move to the local area and would like more information on the properties available for sale or to let then please contact us on Wokingham 0118 977 6776 or Crowthorne 01344 779 999.