One of the most prominent and impressive buildings along Hyde End Lane, Hyde End House was build in 1807 and has a long and chequered history. It has been a Grade II listed building since 1952, and was built by a builder from Newbury named Mr Edge.
According to research collected by David Hyde (including from our own ‘Brimpton Story’), the existing building replaced an old one that was destroyed in a fire – though some original parts remain, including the ‘Old Farmhouse’ which dates to Tudor times and has wattle and daub walls. Other elements of the original build, including the former coach house, tack rooms and stalls have now been converted into a separate property. The property also once housed a small chapel.
According to an account by Jeremy Greenaway, whose great aunt lived in Hyde End House between 1895 and 1905, there is a legend that the house was connected with the ‘free trade’ route between the south and east coasts, and was used as a ‘safe house’ for the route.
The Dela Hyde website contains several accounts from the relatives of previous occupants, dating around the early 1900s, including details of what life was like in those days. I can highly recommend this one on Graham Hilary Hyde and this on Frank Hyde
Based on records of Sale Particulars from the Berkshire Record Office, we know that the house was sold in 1917 along with Hyde End Farm, Oak Cottage and the Hyde End Fishery.
After World War II, the house was used as a boarding school for a time, and some memories of this time can be found on the Francis Frith collection website. One story by Paul Alexander, who attended the school between 1947 and 1951, details both the supposed haunting of the house by Anne Hyde and the chickens being raised there by the principal – many of which remained when the building was abandoned in poor condition.
It was in this poor condition that it was found by current Brimpton resident Caro Hacking and her husband, who extensively renovated and improved the house in the 1990s. Now it has new owners, who appear to be keeping it in the style to which it was accustomed.
The below photos were all from David Hyde’s website, many of which come from Jeremy Greenaway.