Reddam House, Berkshire

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Reddam House Berkshire
, ,
RG41 5BG

Coordinates51°24′55″N 0°53′01″W / 51.4154°N 0.8837°W / 51.4154; -0.8837Coordinates: 51°24′55″N 0°53′01″W / 51.4154°N 0.8837°W / 51.4154; -0.8837
TypeIndependent day and boarding school
MottoWe shall give back
Department for Education URN110137 Tables
HeadTammy Howard
Age3 months to 18 years
PatronQueen Elizabeth II

Reddam House Berkshire is a co-educational, independent school in Wokingham, in the English county of Berkshire.[1] Reddam House provides education for boys and girls between the ages of 3 months and 18 years. The school is set in 125 acres of wood and parkland, and is housed in a Victorian mansion, formerly Bearwood. The current Principal is Mrs T A M (Tammy) Howard. The school has around 500 students. The school offers day places as well as weekly and termly boarding for all ages.

School History[edit]

Bear Wood College 02.jpg


Reddam House was founded in 1827 as the Merchant Seamans' Orphanage in the City of London. Its purpose was to care for and educate children whose fathers were lost at sea. In 1862 the school moved into new buildings in Snaresbrook, London, with the support of the Prince Consort, Prince Albert (husband of Queen Victoria) and John Russell, 1st Earl Russell, a British Prime Minister. The school earned the designation "Royal" from Edward VII 1902 and the name was changed to the Royal Merchant Navy School by George V.

In 1921, the school moved to Sindlesham near Wokingham, Berkshire into its present home in a Victorian mansion, Bearwood House.[2]

In 1961, the school began to accept fee-paying students, whereupon it changed its name to Bearwood College. In 1995 the school became co-educational. In 2007 the preparatory school opened.

In 2010 the school was given notice to quit the property following legal action and the allegation that the school was in arrears of rent.[3]

The school was bought by the Reddam House group in 2014 and renamed Reddam House, Berkshire.[4]

School Buildings[edit]

In 1816, John Walter (1776–1847), owner of The Times newspaper, purchased the 5,000-acre (20 km2) estate on which the school is now located. His son, also John Walter (1818–1894), employed architect Robert Kerr to build a mansion in the grounds as his country seat. Erected 1865–74, it is one of the largest Victorian country houses in England. Nikolaus Pevsner described it as "the climax [of country mansions], and in its brazen way one of the major Victorian monuments of England". The bricks used in the building were made from clay extracted from what is now California Country Park, once part of the estate. A dam was constructed around the site and was then flooded to form the 47-acre (19 ha) Longmoor Lake.


Bearwood Sindlesham-geograph-2213389-by-Mick-Crawley.jpg

Reddam House's facilities include a theatre, swimming pool, gymnasium and playing fields. These are used by a wide range of community groups, including the annual Opera at Bearwood. The Victorian mansion is also used for weddings and other public events.

Reddam House on Screen[edit]

The mansion has appeared in a number of television series, including Lord Mountbatten: The Last Viceroy (1986) and as the club 'Brydges', in the 2012 mini-series, Restless. The house also featured in the second episode of the second series of ITV's Endeavour titled 'Nocturne', and in episodes of Midsomer Murders.[citation needed]

Reddam House Group of Schools[edit]

Reddam House Group was founded in 2000 by Graeme Crawford in Cape Town, South Africa. The group’s motto is Tutem te rebore reddam, meaning I will keep you safe by my strength. The motto has its origins in Scottish history, when the first Monarch of Crawford saved King David the First of Scotland from certain death by a stag during a hunting expedition. The Monarch’s Coat-of-Arms included the stag’s head as a symbol of his bravery. On marrying his wife, the Monarch included the fleur-de-lis in his Coat-of-Arms.


  1. ^ "Reddam House Berkshire - An Independent Private School in Wokingham". Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  2. ^ "New Home for Seamen's Children". Arborfield Local History Society. Reading Mercury. 31 January 1920. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Private school in High Court battle over estate". The Daily Telegraph. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  4. ^ Hill, Louise (20 March 2016). "Reddam House, formerly Bearwood College, in Wokingham rated 'excellent' after one term of new leadership". Bracknell News. Retrieved 28 October 2018.

External links[edit]