Longparish Village Handbook (1999 edition)
<< Previous Page
Next Page >>

The camp remained until 1985 when the buildings were demolished, and the land is now used for training exercises. A book in the church records the way the village, both men and women, mobilised to help the war effort. This included the Home Guard and an active Observer Corps, which scanned the skies from a post at the top of Southside Hill.

In the early 20th century both the major estates changed hands. Major-General Guy Payan Dawnay bought Longparish House and the sporting estate and farms which went with it in 1919, and it remained in the family until 1989. During the Second World War the house was occupied by the Bank of England. Kit Dawnay became a Colonel in the Coldstream Guards and served as Aide-de-Camp to Field Marshal Montgomery. It was a great day when Monty came to inspect the Longparish Home Guard. In 1989 most of the estate was sold to Mr Roger Smee, chairman of Reading Football Club. He carried out major renovations to the house, but never lived in it. Mr Robin Kelton, whose father spent much of his childhood at Longparish House, bought the estate in 1993. He has since renovated the house and most of the cottages, including Firgo Farmhouse. In an effort to rebuild the estate, he has also bought back substantial areas of land which had been sold.

The Middleton Estate was bought in 1925 by Captain Arnold Wills, whose main residence was Thornby Hall in Northamptonshire. He used it for shooting and fishing a few weeks a year until he came to live there after it was recovered from the Royal Air Force in 1955. His grandson, Captain Andrew Wills, took over the estate in 1965, and his great grandson, Richard, moved into the house in 1997.

The mills in the village were once of economic importance, as the Domesday entry shows. The Forton mill was a fulling mill for cloth. More recently a mill at Forton drove the Estate Sawmill, and although half the Turbine was removed by order of the Water Board, it still provides enough electricity to light one bulb at Middleton House. Upper Mill in East Aston was a working flour mill until about 1906 and was then used to supply electricity to Longparish House and the Mill. It ran a sawbench until the 1950s. Recently with much hard work Rupert Dawnay has restored the machinery, and it ran again in March 1998. Lower Mill was connected with brewing, and was linked with the Malthouse. In 1921 Lord Marchamley converted the mill into a large house built round the old mill room.

Contact and Search


Menu design based on one copyright © Stu Nicholls

This site uses CSS. To see it at its best, you should use a browser that understands them. See, for example, www.mozilla.com