Caversham 100 Years of History Video

A video showing Caversham over 100 years morphing old photographs into their current equivalents with an amazing look at how Caversham and Reading have changed. The current photos were taken and the video was put together by Chris Walton of Waltons Jewellers, Caversham.

Caversham 100 Years On

The Caversham 100 Years On project was launched jointly by CADRA, Friends of Caversham Court Gardens, the Rotary Club of Caversham and Reading Borough Council. The plan was to mark the centenary of the boundary change in 1911 by celebrating Caversham’s rich local heritage. The project included events, exhibitions and a framework to support other organisations and individuals who wished to add their own activities to the programme. A grant was awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

During 2012 the focus moved towards providing a lasting legacy with new publications and the installation of a Heritage Map by Caversham Library.

The information gathered during the Caversham 100 Years On Project, on a wide range of sources of images and information, can be found here: Local History Resources.

Caversham Heritage Map Leaflet

Printed copies of the illustrated leaflet to accompany the Heritage Map are now available from Caversham Library, price 50p.

An online version: can be viewed here This file is in PDF format and will open in a new window

Emmer Green History

The most accessible sources of information are: 

the bookEmmer Green Past and Present, (reprinted in 2022 and available from Fourbears bookshop),

the leaflet (Click on the individual pages below) produced for the Millennium Exhibition .

and the Emmer Green section of the book of exhibitions produced for Caversham 100 Years On (available in local libraries). There is also a short section in the Caversham Heritage Map leaflet. Later in 2023 the archive of the Emmer Green Residents Association will be available in the Royal Berkshire Archives.

Click to read the individual pages


Caversham Court Gardens

A short film produced for 'The Friends of Caversham Court Gardens' and Reading Culture Live to help promote these glorious public gardens on the banks of the River Thames in Caversham.

A Guide to the Gardens

Written by the Friends of Caversham Court Gardens and published by Two Rivers Press December 2012, the richly illustrated guide covers the history of the houses that stood on the site, the families who lived there and the development of the gardens through the ages. Priced at £5, it will be on sale at Friends' events, at local bookshops, and through Two Rivers Press.

A new leaflet describing the important trees in Caversham Court Gardens will also be available at Friends' events; details of upcoming events can be found on the Friends' website

Listed Buildings

Historic England Lists grades buildings for their special architectural or historical interest as: Grade I - Buildings of exceptional interest, Grade II* - Particularly important buildings of more than special interest, Grade II - Nationally important and of special interest.

There are 78 listed buildings in Caversham, of which only one is Grade I - a large barn at Chazey Court Farm in The Warren, which is currently considered to be at risk.
There are three listed Grade II* - Chazey Farmhouse, St Peter's Church and Old Grove House in Surley Row.

You can view the: schedule of all listed properties in Caversham (See Historic England for the most up to date details).

Locally Listed Buildings - Reading Borough Council lists other buildings, not listed by Historic England, which are locally important and are subject to more detailed planning control.

Our Planning section has information about listed building Planning Regulations.

Chazey Court Barn

The only Grade I listed building north of the river (one of only six in Reading), this large, impressively constructed barn has been very little altered since its original construction. Analysis of the timber dates it around 1611.

Oxford Archaeology carried out a study in 2003  . 
The barn is in a worrying condition and has been on the English Heritage at risk register since 2006.

You can view: a schedule of all listed properties in Caversham

View Island

View Island is four acre haven created for nature, wildlife and peace. It opened as a public nature park in June 2000, after being cleared and enhanced over two years by Adrian Lawson (then at Reading Borough Council), with volunteer help and the Environment Agency.

It lies on the north bank of the Thames immediately below the weir behind Caversham lock, and is accessed along the path going from the weir to Lower Caversham, next to Hills Meadow. have published an interesting article about View Island.

Caversham Road History and Architecture Video

A tour of the streets around Caversham Road, Reading, exploring the area's rich history and Victorian architecture. Produced for Heritage Open Days 2020 by the Bell Tower Community Association.

Attwells Drinking Fountain on Thames Promenade

Attwells Drinking Fountain on Thames Promenade, unveiled in 1908, was erected in memory of Frank Attwells, Mayor and local businessman. He founded a musical instrument manufacturers and piano dealers in 1866, and in 1887 took over the Royal County Theatre, both on Friar Street. He died in August 1892 while Mayor of Reading. His wife Georgina provided money in her will for a fountain to be erected in his memory. Originally it was placed closer to the main road and the old Caversham Bridge Hotel.

It has been nominated for Local Listing and CADRA has written in support. 

Reading Museum

Reading Museum holds a varied collection of material found in or associated with Caversham; photographs, postcards and paintings show Caversham in the past, whilst objects provide tangible evidence for life from prehistoric to modern times.

Highlights of the collection include:

  • Palaeolithic handaxes from gravel pits in Caversham;
  • the remains of a Roman lead baptismal font;
  • a newel post from Caversham Court dated 1638;
  • the wooden gavel of Caversham Urban District Council;
  • the silver gilt key made for the 1926 opening of Caversham Bridge by the Prince of Wales*.

Daily life is represented by a servant's call board, fishmonger's price labels from J. Eighteens of Caversham, a brown paper bag from the Reading and Caversham Laundry Co Ltd and a flagon from J.Cheadle, Botanical Brewer of Caversham.

*View a British Pathe video of the Prince of Wales opening the new Caversham Bridge during an industrial visit to Reading in 1926.

Local Heritage Exhibition

The booklet containing the material from all the heritage exhibitions is available from Reading Library and Caversham Library.

Reading’s Industrial Sites

This interesting Pamphlet published by the Berkshire Industrial Archaeology Group  has a selection of Reading's old industrial sites, several are north of the River Thames. Herbert Engineering in Wolsey Road is mentioned.

Reading Bridge 1923

Reading Bridge was opened on 3 October 1923. It is a remarkable example of modern bridge construction in reinforced concrete, simple yet striking in appearance and set off by Portland stone parapets and an elegant line of lamps. Reading Bridge had the longest single span in the UK until 1928. Many other bridges of this period are Grade II or II* listed.

To celebrate the bridge's centenary and provide a record of its historical importance, CADRA developed the Reading Bridge Booklet, telling the story of its construction with fascinating photos from the time. A hard copy is available for £3.99 from Fourbears Bookshop, Caversham.