Haslams was born in 1838, when two Reading farmers – brothers James and Charles Haslam – teamed up to provide advice to their peers on the valuation of agricultural land in Reading and the surrounding areas that had become subject to compulsory purchase by the Great Western Railway.
The following year, the pair set up offices in Broad Street – now part of the site occupied by John Lewis.
In the late 1890s the founders’ descendant Dryland Haslam was admitted into the partnership, and the firm became ‘Haslam & Son’. Dryland’s brother was responsible for designing the building at 156 Friar Street, where the firm was to be based for more than a century.
Haslams’ portfolio of clients has included a variety of recognisable local names over the years, such as Suttons Seeds, Huntley & Palmers, Heelas Department Store and the University of Reading. Many of these, or their successors, are still represented by the firm to this day.
In 1986 the firm was renamed ‘Haslams Chartered Surveyors’, by which it is still known. In 2007 it moved to its current modern headquarters at County House, Friar Street.
Today, Haslams is one of Reading’s largest – and the oldest – firm of chartered surveyors, serving the Thames Valley, southern England and, increasingly, the rest of the UK.