Two hundred years ago, the aptly named ‘Southern Hill’ that rises steeply from the edge of the river plain south of Reading was part of Whitley and largely farmland. However, its vistas, fresh air and proximity to the town led prominent Victorians to invest in and develop the area and their contributions have shaped it into the ‘village within a town’ that it is today. Schools, the University, hotels and a care home now occupy many of the sites originally owned by the town’s famous industrialists and their elegant homes have been co-opted for community use which gives the area its unique aura of egalitarian refinement.
Celebrated in the annual walking tour of artists’ studios, the creative heart of the district beats stronger than ever and this book brings together 28 artists to respond in their own way and their own medium to the place we call ‘Whiteknights’. And to give context to the artwork, local historians paint a fascinating picture of the Whiteknights estate that became the University campus, the buildings, the streets and the people who lived here. This joint venture from the Whiteknights Studio Trail, celebrating 20 years, and Two Rivers Press, publishing in the area for 25 years, pays tribute to the heritage we are privileged to be part of.
Edited by Jenny Halstead. Paperback, 165 x 240 mm, 48 pages, June 2020.