Home / Online Exhibitions / The History of St. Andrew's Hall


Alfred Palmer

East Thorpe and
Alfred Waterhouse

The origins of
St. Andrew's

Minute Books
and Reports

Rules for Women's
Halls of Residence

Closure of
St. Andrew's Hall

The Museum of
English Rural Life

A history of St. Andrew's Hall

Produced by The Museum of English Rural Life, based on research by N. Rosalinde Downing, BA, MA


A sketch of St. Andrew's Hall

At the heart of the new Museum of English Rural Life is a building of considerable historic interest - St. Andrew's Hall.

St Andrew's Hall was originally designed by the Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse as a private home for local man Alfred Palmer in 1880. The house was then known as East Thorpe.

Alfred Palmer gave the house to the University to become the first women-only hall of residence in Reading.

This section of the website outlines the history of the building that is now proudly reincarnated as the Museum of English Rural Life.

The History of St. Andrew's Hall is also available to download in Adobe PDF format here. Please note this file is 6.6Mb in size.