Crookham House

Crookham House

Crookham is one of the 16 or so manors of Thatcham listed in Domesday. The Lord of the manor both before and after the Norman Conquest was Alwi Ceuresbert (there are variations on the spelling).

The manor became the property of Reading Abbey around 1125 and was sub-let to Fitz Herbert family, one of whom was Lord Chamberlain to King Stephen around 1140. It is likely there was a manor house or some residence present at the time. It is said there were parks as well, including in 1298 Little Park. There was also a chapel connected with the manor by the end of the 13th century. This original manor house was at Manor Ash Moats, about a 1/2 a mile or so to the east of the present Crookham House (now called Pinchington Hall).

Disputes with Reading Abbey arose and the manor fell back, c.1321, into the hands of the King (Edward II) after which it changed hands a few more times but by the 16th century it would appear that the manor house was no longer occupied, indeed it was noted in 1540 that the chapel was being leased to a farmer.

Unfortunately we do not know when this first manor house was built, we do not know the layout or size, we cannot even be sure when it went out of use and we cannot even be sure what all the surrounding earthworks show, some speculate a moat, others fishponds.

It was not until 1764 that things changed. In that year George Amyand, a wealthy merchant, was made a Baronet and he also purchased property in Crookham and built a new manor house called Crookham House. Amyand had already, in 1748, purchased property at Chamberhouse. This new house was built on or close to the present Crokoham House (Pinchington Hall as it is now called).

Crookham House as drawn by Rev V Clementi, c.1845.
Crookham House as drawn by Rev V Clementi, c.1845.

The property passed down and was sold in 1790 to Richard Tull. Chamberhouse was purchased in 1798 by Henry Tull, eventually all ending up in the hands of Albert Richard Tull. It is believed that the Tull family in c.1850 pulled down the house built by Amyand and rebuilt it. This was done in a number of phases.

In 1939 the house became the property of the Great Western Railway (GWR). It later became home to Preparatory School for Carmel College. The building has seen many other owners and uses in the 20th century, for a period it was renamed Crookham Court, a school. Recently Crookham House was purchased by a developer, much of it was pulled down in a new development which saw the main (original) core kept, renovated and renamed Pinchington Hall and the rest of the land became a small residential estate.

This has been a brief look at the history, there is far more detail that can be looked at in Crookham in general, perhaps in a future post.


1Barfield, S. Thatcham, Berks, and its Manors, Oxford: Parker, 1901