Situated in Brimpton Common, Blacknest Lodge dates back to 1903, though there have been buildings on the site for a lot longer – John Arundell purchased much of the land in Brimpton Common back in 1839 and this included the house at Blacknest. Supposedly the cellar underneath the lodge dates back to Georgian times, and the occupants at the time (the Goddards) had lived there from the mid 1700s.
The Lodge was built by a Mr P Dollar, whose initial can be seen on various parts of the building. In its heyday, the property was said to include “Tennis, croquet and other lawns, Rose garden, Summer House, herbaceous borders, shrubberies, rose pergola, Large walled Kitchen and Fruit Garden with a range of glass houses including tomato house, vinery, greenhouses and a fern house”.
Since the time of this photo, the building has gone through many different uses – notably in the 1940s it was the headquarters for the Enborne Valley Reservoir Scheme; After that it was used for various purposes, mostly by the AWE. At present, it houses the Government’s Seismological Centre, which is used to detect seismic activity around the world.