History

Wasing Estate has been in the Mount Family since 1759. It has seen extraordinary change from the early years of the industrial revolution through to modern times, and now the owners are restoring the Estate with the key aim of bringing Wasing back to the centre of the community.

The Knights Hospitallers were the first known owners of the Estate. By 1535 it had transferred to the Master and scholars of Salisbury College, however on the dissolution of the monasteries in 1542, lands at Wasing were gifted to the Forster family. The Estate then changed hands a number of times until 1759, when John Mount, a successful stationer providing maps to a growing empire, purchased Wasing’s 660 acres of land, buildings and trees for around £13,000.

The original construction of the present house of Wasing Place appears to have commenced in 1772 and was finally completed in 1775 at a total cost of £7,500. Wasing grew greatly in size over the subsequent 150 years, with many cottages in particular being constructed as their date stones testify in the mid-1800s. The Mount family soon became part of the county ‘squirearchy’ providing soldiers, bishops and MPs for Newbury, a role they seemed to job-share with the Benyons from Englefield.

In the Second World War, Wasing Place was requisitioned by the Great Western Railway Company and, whilst still in their care in February 1945, suffered a devastating fire leaving only the main walls of the house still standing. Wasing Place was rebuilt in its present form during 1956 and 1957, but was a much reduced size from the original.

As with many landed estates, the post war period was far from easy and in 1948 significant parts of the Estate were sold, mostly land to the East of Thatcham. Following the death of Sir William Mount in 1993 and Lady Mount in 1994, the Estate passed to their eldest of three daughters, Lady Cecilia Dugdale, and is now held in a family trust.