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Shaw House

An important example of an early symmetrical H-plan Elizabethan mansion.

Church Road, Shaw, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 2DR

Shaw House gates

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History

Accessibility
  • Large font signs and leaflets
  • Accessible parking
  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
  • Accessible toilets
  • Guide dogs welcome
Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

The story of Shaw House begins with the Dolman family, and their ambitions to move from industry into the realms of the landed gentry. They are thought to have originally come from Pocklington in Yorkshire, settling in Newbury in the 15th century. Here their fortune was made in the cloth industry, a highly prosperous profession of the period. Thomas Dolman was keen to establish his family’s position within the landed classes both by purchasing property and building a new house to show off his status. This move into property and land was well-timed as it coincided with the beginning of a decline in the cloth industry in England. Contemporary documents refer to the clothiers of Newbury retiring to their country estates “causing persons to live idly”.

In 1554 Dolman bought the manor house at Shaw and most of its land2 from the Crown for the sum of £600. When he died in 1575 the manors of Shaw and Speen were left to his second son, also called Thomas. His eldest son, John had already received a manor to the north-west of Newbury at the time of his marriage, but he successfully contested the will and consequently acquired Shaw. However, in 1577 Thomas Dolman II bought out the rights to Shaw from his elder brother and within four years he had completed his new manor house at Shaw.

Accessibility
  • Large font signs and leaflets
  • Accessible parking
  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
  • Accessible toilets
  • Guide dogs welcome
Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

Shaw House garden

Read the full history here...

Thomas Dolman II (1543-1622) was thirty-five when he inherited the Manor of Shaw. At this time, the grandest houses were built by royalty, aristocrats and great statesmen, but not far behind them was a new class of successful self-made men...