The fascinating history of how Coley’s estate got it’s motto Tis better to Suffer than to Revenge…
Modern Coley Park has much of it’s foundations in the 1960’s when, in preparation for the development of Reading’s Inner Distribution Road the population of the area to be redeveloped had to be re-housed. Many of these people were moved into council flats and houses built on the Coley Park Estate.
Today, Coley Park covers an area about two square miles and has a population of about 5000 people. It is bordered by the railway to the West, the Holy Brook to the South, Rose Kiln Lane to the East, and Berkley Avenue to the North.
Coley Park does however have a rich history. Originally a big estate, Coley Park was the home of the Vachell Family from 1309 until 1727. The family maxim, Tis better to Suffer than to Revenge, is said to have come from an incident which took place here in the 14th century. John Vachell was in dispute with the Abbot of Reading over rights of way through Vachell’s estate. The Abbot sent a monk to test his rights with a load of corn. In a fit of rage, Vachell killed the poor man. He was excommunicated, heavily fined and given this unusual motto.