Caversham Court, Caversham, Berkshire

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Feature Sets (2)


Of the buildings of Caversham Court only the stables and a garden house remain. The site is now a public garden on the N side of the Thames, just S of St Peter's Caversham, and at the top of a flight of steps is a pair of gateposts with a beast's head corbel built into each.


Anciently on this site stood Caversham Rectory, which together with the Church of St.Peter, was part of the endowment made in the year 1162 by Walter Giffard, first Earl of Buckingham to Notley Abbey. Just before 1800, Caversham Court passed into the hands of the Blackall Simonds brewing family of Ryde. It was rebuilt by Pugin in 1840 and demolished in 1933. For the Domesday history of the manor, see Caversham, St Peter.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration

Corbel tables, corbels

Beast head corbel 1

Beast head corbel of oolitic limestone set into W gatepost. Catlike with deep-set bulging eyes with lids above and below, undrilled pupils, pointed ears, bulging cheeks and a double upper lip with a notch in the centre. The nose is damaged but appears narrow.

h. 0.18 m
max. w. 0.15 m
projection from wall 0.75 m

Beast head corbel 2

Beast head corbel of oolitic limestone set into E gatepost. As (i) except that the stone is badly eroded and there is a large recent loss in the lip area at the bottom. The eyes are lidless and not so deeply set, and the nose is broader.

h. 0.18 m
max. w. 0.16 m
projection from wall 0.70 m


The corbels were first brought to our attention by Prof. Eric Fernie. Similar corbels are found in Reading Museum, in the Forbury Gardens, and in the folly erected in the churchyard of St Laurences's, Reading, and it is presumed that these too came from Reading Abbey.


  • G. Tyack, S. Bradley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire.  New Haven and London 2010, 479-80.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. Harmondsworth, 1966, 110.


Site Location
Caversham Court, Caversham
National Grid Reference
SU 708 748 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Berkshire
now: Reading
now: Oxford
medieval: Salisbury
Type of building/monument
Public park  
Report authors
Ron Baxter 
Visit Date
05 September 1996