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The West Berkshire Historic Environment Record (HER) is the primary index of the physical remains of past human activity in the unitary authority of West Berkshire Council. Limited elements of the West Berkshire HER are available online via the Heritage Gateway, therefore it is not suitable for use in desk-based studies associated with development, planning and land-use changes, and does not meet the requirements of paragraph 194 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2021: 56). Please read the important guidance on the use of the West Berkshire HER data. For these purposes and all other commercial enquiries, please contact the Archaeology team and complete our online HER enquiry form.

This site is designated as being of national importance and is afforded additional protection. Consult West Berkshire Council's Archaeology team if more information or advice is needed.

HER Number MWB16161
Record Type Building
Name Litten House, Newtown Road, Newbury (The Litten)

Grid Reference SU 469 666
Map Sheet SU46NE
Parish Newbury, West Berkshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap


Grade II listed mid 19th century building on the site of an earlier one, used as St Bartholomew's School until 1885 and then for various other purposes

Associated Legal Designations or Protected Status

  • Listed Building (II) 1290308: THE LITTEN
  • Conservation Area: Newbury Town Centre

Monument Type(s):

  • GRAMMAR SCHOOL (Victorian to Late 19th century - 1849 AD to 1885 AD)
  • HOTEL (Early 20th century - 1924 AD to 1924 AD)
  • PRIVATE SCHOOL (Early to Mid 20th century to Mid 20th century - 1930 AD? to 1949 AD?)

Full Description

Listing Description: Circa 1884, part of the St Bartholomew's School foundation, later used as an hotel. Two-and-a-half storeys. Double fronted with 3 windows. Double-pile plan. Slate roof with coped gables and moulded gable-stacks. Brick with ashlar dressings. Coped, gabled dormers to end bays. Recessed sash windows with hoodmoulds; 1st floor outer windows of 3 lights; splayed bay, 4-light, windows to ground floor. Portico with arched doorway with square hoodmould; stepped pediment flanked by pinnacles. Forms part of the Newbury Commercial School with adjoining Litten Chapel (qv).

The listed building description date of c1884 <1> seems to have misinterpreted the date of the new grammar school's construction - other sources put this at pre 1849, making the house of mid 19th century origin. It adjoins the Grade I listed and scheduled Litten Chapel, used for educational purposes from the later 16th century. A new grammar school was built in Enborne Road in 1885; by 1924 the Litten House is described as being a hotel <2>. In the 1930s-1940s it was a private school 'for the daughters of gentlemen' <5>.

A photographic survey of the building was conducted as part of a Historic Building Record carried out by Wessex Archaeology ahead of the conversion of the building to residential apartments. Research conducted as part of the record remarked that the building was built as a purpose-built master's house for the adjacent grammar school. Photographs of the cellar show four recesses beneath the bay windows and chimney stacks of the building and provide evidence of late 19th century construction techniques <9>.

Sources and further reading

<01>Department of the Environment. 1974-2000?. DOE List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. [Unpublished document / SWB10006]
<02>Page and Ditchfield (eds). 1924. Victoria County History (VCH) Berks IV 1924. Vol 4. p132. [Monograph / SWB10281]
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/berks/vol4 (Accessed 24/09/2015)
<03>Berkshire Archaeological Society. 1935. Berkshire Archaeological Journal 1935 39. 39. In ADS Journals. 10.5284/1000017. p38 in St Bartholomew's Hospital, Newbury. [Article in serial / SWB12128]
http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archives/view/berks_bas_2007/journal.cfm?volume=39 (Accessed 27/07/2016)
<04>The Borough Museum, Newbury. 1973. Newbury Buildings Past and Present. p11-12. [Monograph / SWB12937]
<05>Kelly's Directories Ltd. 1936. Kelly's Directory of Newbury 1936. Advertisement 27, p43. [Monograph / SWB147474]
<06>Pevsner, N. 1966. The Buildings of England (Berkshire). p183. [Monograph / SWB10024]
<07>Tyack, G, Bradley, S and Pevsner, N. 2010. The Buildings of England (Berkshire). p400. [Monograph / SWB147855]
<08>Davis, Cornelius. 1849. Davis' Ten Miles round Newbury, 1849. Ref No 4, 'The Litten'. [Map / SWB13949]
<09>Wessex Archaeology. 2016. The Litten and Litten Chapel, Newtown Road, Newbury - Historic Building Record Report. 114941.02. 2017 WBC Network. [Unpublished document / SWB149300]
<10>Landmark. 1880-81. Digital OS Mapping Epoch 1, 1:500 - Newbury Town Plan. Digital. 1:500. Marked 'Master's Residence'. [Map / SWB146990]
<11>Willis, John. 1768. Willis' Map of the Country ten miles round Newbury, with a plan of the Town of Newbury and of Speenhamland, 1768. 2 inch to mile?. Town Map No 3 'The Free School'. [Map / SWB8040]
https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary/50263734041 (Accessed 16/09/2021)
<12>Keevil Heritage Consultancy. 2009. The Litten, Newbury, West Berkshire: Archaeological Impact Appraisal of Proposed Development. 2012 WBC Network. [Unpublished document / SWB150209]

Related Monuments

MWB19313Building behind 13-15 St Bartholomew's Hospital Almshouses, Newtown Road, Newbury (Building)
MWB3456St Bartholomew's Grammar School (Wormestall's Chantry) (Monument)
MWB3454Litten Chapel, Newtown Road, Newbury (Building)
MWB3457The Litten Cemetery, Newbury (Monument)

Associated Excavations and Fieldwork

EWB1590The Litten and Litten Chapel, Newtown Road, Newbury - Historic Building Record (Ref: 114941.02)
EWB1940The Litten, Newbury: Heritage Impact Assessment