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The Historic Environment Record is the primary index about the physical remains of past human activity in the unitary authority of West Berkshire. Not all records are published on the Heritage Gateway. Please read the important guidance on the use of the West Berkshire HER data.

HER Number MWB15684
Record Type Monument
Name Shaw House - Canal
Grid Reference SU 475 681
Map Sheet SU46NE
Parish Shaw-cum-Donnington, West Berkshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap


An 18th century ornamental canal and cascade originally opposite the south front of Shaw House but largely filled in during the later 20th century

Associated Legal Designations or Protected Status

    Other Statuses and Cross-References

    • Berkshire SMR No. (pre 2000): 03467.04.000

    Monument Types

    • ORNAMENTAL CANAL (18th century to Mid 20th century - Present - 1701 AD? to 1970 AD?)
    • CASCADE (18th century to Unknown - 1750 AD)

    Full Description

    An Ornamental Canal and cascade lay opposite the south front of Shaw House. The canal was first recorded on a 1730 map of the manor and was partially levelled during the construction of the A34 in the 1970s <1>.

    The 1730 map of Speen Manor <2> shows two parallel narrow canals laid out at right angles to the south bank of the River Lambourn opposite the south front of the house. In 1733 John Hore, the local canal engineer, was employed by Lord Chandos to enlarge the canals to form a single broad canal with a new wide semi-circular basin scooped out of the north bank of the River with a cascade and complemented by formal tree planting <3>. The semi circular basin and aligned rectangular canal can be seen on the Ordnance Survey Drawing <4> and early Ordnance Survey mapping. On the First Edition Ordnance Survey map <3> the canal is marked as a fishpond.

    These features largely survived until the construction of the adjacent A34 dual carriageway in the 1970s, when the southern end of the canal was filled and levelled <6>. The northern end survives as a slight depression and the cascade can be discerned in the adjacent river bank.

    Sources and further reading

    <01>Rhodes, J, et al. 1998-2000. Shaw House Conservation Plan. p45-6. [Unpublished document / SWB12702]
    <02>Commissioned by the Duke of Chandos. 1729/30. Map of Speen Manor. [Map / SWB12939]
    <03>Andrews, J. c1750. Note book of Joseph Andrews - Plans of Shaw House and Gardens. [Unpublished document / SWB13279]
    <04>Ordnance Survey. 1808. Ordnance Survey Drawing of East Ilsley; BL OSD 158, 2. Two inch to the mile. [Map / SWB147329]
    http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/ordsurvdraw/e/002osd000000002u00011100.html (Accessed 31/07/2014)
    <05>Landmark. 1872-85. Digital Ordnance Survey Mapping Epoch 1, 1:2500. Digital. 1:2500. [Map / SWB14341]
    <06>Ordnance Survey. c. 1960. Ordnance Survey Epoch 5. [Map / SWB14665]
    <07>Historic England (previously English Heritage). 1987. Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England. Shaw House. [Unpublished document / SWB12616]
    <08>Latham, S. 2003. Shaw House, Newbury, Berkshire - The Gardens: Historical Analysis and Survey Report. p22-4. [Unpublished document / SWB14268]
    <09>Latham, S. 2003. Shaw House, Newbury, Berkshire - The Gardens: Historical Analysis and Survey Report. Illustrations. Illusts 2, 18. [Unpublished document / SWB14269]

    Related Monuments

    MWB15774Shaw House (Park) (Landscape)
    MWB20918Bridge over River Lambourn, Shaw House park (Monument)
    MWB21243Site of boat house on River Lambourn, Shaw House park (Monument)

    Associated Excavations and Fieldwork

    EWB740An Archaeological Investigation of Shaw House & Gardens, Shaw-cum-Donnington, Berkshire 2003