History of the Shaw House
Shaw House was completed in 1581 by Thomas Dolman, a member of a successful family who had made their fortune from the cloth industry in Newbury. This impressive manor has witnessed centuries of political and social tension and evidence exists for its contribution to some of the most notable events in English history.
The striking nature of its architecture established the Dolmans’ position as pre-eminent in Newbury and the surrounding area. The Dolman family have been significant to the development of Shaw House; in all it was passed down through six generations between 1554 and 1728. During this time visitors to Shaw included several kings and queens on their royal progresses around the country as well as courtiers travelling from London to Bath.
It then became the setting for part of the Second Battle of Newbury in 1644, acting as headquarters for Charles I, while hand-to-hand battle was fought in the gardens between his army and that of the Parliamentarians.
Over the succeeding centuries Shaw House has been the country retreat of a Duke, the residence of an 18th century investor who had interests in the West Indian sugar plantations, and the home of a large Victorian family. At the outbreak of World War II the house was requisitioned by the War Office as accommodation for troops. Following the bombing of Newbury Senior Council schools in 1943 it took on its final role as a school for many generations of Newbury children. Having stood empty for over a decade a major restoration programme has rescued it from near dereliction and left it refurbished for the benefit of the community.
By Venia, Eurospeak