The estate of Inglewood was owned by the Blandy family from c1592, eventually, in the 18th century, passing from John Blandy to his daughter
Elizabeth, wife of William Shaw. Elizabeth died in 1758, and it appears that the estate passed to her second son Blandy Shaw, who died without issue in 1782. Blandy Shaw's brother
William also died childless in 1784, and Inglewood was in the hands of his widow Anne.
The following year, 1825, Anne Shaw had the property insured with the Royal Exchange Insurance Company in London. The property included "her mansion house,
brick and tiled, situate at Inglewood aforesaid (£2,000); furniture included and a mangle therein (£1,500); plate in the same (£300); on her coach house and stables, brick and tiled
Anne Shaw continued to live at Inglewood after her husband's death for a further 42 years. She died in 1826, and left the Inglewood estate to Charles, Thomas
Edward and Eleanor, the children of Colonel Charles Bevan. The link between Anne Shaw and the Bevan family is not yet firmly established.
Three years later, in 1828, the Bevan family advertised the sale of "Inglewood Mansion and Estate" in the Reading Mercury and Oxford Gazete of 21st October
1828. The advertisement includes the following description of the house:
"The Capital Family Mansion, the approach to which is by a grove of stately elms, environed by a lawn, flower garden, orchard and kitchen garden, capital stall
stabling for twelve horses, standing for four carriages; piggery, dove and poultry-houses, detached farm-yard, barn and cow-house, about 34 acres of rich meadow land,
surrounding the Mansion."
The mansion contains ..."a noble hall, drawing room, dining room and library, and an oak staircase leading to the five principal bedrooms", a variety of
servants' accommodation, together with the kitchen larder and store-house. It is clear that this was a substantial house and property.
It was sold to Thomas Dunn
for £26,000. Thomas Dunn senior (1729-1818) had made a significant fortune in Canada in the 1760s, when he established for himself the trading lease to the King's posts, guaranteeing him a monopoly of the fur trade and the fisheries throughout the crown's domain. At some time between the date of purchase (1829) and 1863, the house was significantly extended. The eldest son Thomas junior was born in London in 1785, and later served in the British army, eventually retiring inn 1841. He died at Inglewood in November 1851, aged 66 years, leaving the Inglewood estate to his younger brother (later Major General) William Dunn.
William Dunn and his wife Margaret moved from Shinfield to stay at Denford Park until Inglewood was ready for their occupation, possibly 1856. It is probably at this time that the 18th century Inglewood House was greatly extended. (Besides Inglewood and Wallingtons, the Dunn family also associated with Denford Park, Titcombe Manor, Standen Manor and Elcot Park.)
In 1859 the Dunn family purchased the neighbouring house of Wallingtons, so that from then until 1892 both houses belonged to the same family. William Dunn
died in 1863 and Margaret occupied Inglewood until her death in 1890 (or 1888?) She was a great local benefactor, and initiated the building in Kintbury High Street of "spacious public
baths and wash houses" at a cost of nearly £4,000. (In 1890 these were converted into a laundry). She also left a Charity (which still exists today) to help apprentices start their
On Margaret Dunn's death in 1890, Inglewood passed to her eldest son William Huw Dunn. He arranged for major work to be done at Wallingtons, and took up
residence there in 1892.
Inglewood was put up for sale, and bought in 1893 by the Walmesley
family. In 1893 Inglewood was bought by Humphrey Jeffreys Walmesley (1846-1919). H J Walmesley made considerable alterations to the house, the most significant of which was to add a chapel which he had removed in its entirety from his previous home in Lancashire. He was also responsible to the erection of the various imposing brick and iron gateways which still grace the estate. Not satisfied with these changes, he considerably increased the size of the estate by acquiring Hungerford Park, Avington manor, Radley and many other properties.
A small album of poems written by members of the Walmesley family (presented to "Violet, With love and best wishes from Spratts" on 2 Nov 1899 was kindly donated to the HHA Archives (Nov 2013) by Mrs D Clark.
On 10 April 1912 there was a major fire
in the basement, and the staff rushed to remove valuable works of art to the lawns whilst the fire was extinguished. It was a source of great pride to the local fire brigade that the new Hungerford steam-propelled "Dreadnought" engine arrived well in advance of the Newbury fire crew, which was still horse-drawn!
The event was described in the Newbury Weekly News of 11
"An alarming outbreak of fire occurred yesterday (Wednesday) at Inglewood. but thanks to the prompt arrival of the Hungerford Brigade, the flames were confined to the
basement of the building, the mansion and its valuable contents being saved. But so serious did affairs look at one time, that the priceless collection of pictures, bronzes, china and the
valuable library, were hurriedly removed from the mansion by many willing helpers. In the space of a few minutes, in the grounds in front of the mansion, there were piles of valuable
paintings, including examples of Vandyke. Sir Peter Lely. Whistler, engravings by Morland. family portraits, and pictures by Italian and French masters: the lawns were littered with
pieces of antique furniture, delicate china ornaments of Sevres, Dresden. Worcester and Royal Derby, and piles of books including very valuable Bibles, folio editions of Shakespeare and
other scarce editions. The cellar where the fire occurred is immediately under the dining room where lunch was being laid at the time. The fire is believed to have occurred through an
electrical fault. In the basement was a lot of inflammable materials, including packing cases filled with straw and shavings which had been used for Charles's wedding presents [he had
married on 1 January 1912], and it was these cases getting well alight which caused the fire to obtain such a quick hold. It is feared that a great deal of damage has been done to the
stock of choice wines, many of the bottles being broken."
In December 1919 Humphrey Walmesley died, the estate passing to Major Charles Talbot Walmesley (1881-1960). Both had taken an active part
in local affairs, and gradually built up the Inglewood estate. By the time they sold it in 1928, it comprised 4,200 acres (including Inglewood and Hungerford Park, two smaller residences and eleven farms).