Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Wadwick was part of the Dunley Estate which Sir Alfred Herbert, my step-grandfather, owned near Whitchurch.
Although I had no knowledge of it, being only one, the family lived there for a few months in 1946 between Litchfield Manor and Danegate. Some photos from that time can be seen here
After Sir Alfred died in 1957 ‘Granny’ (Lady Herbert, nee Nina Arundel, later Pugh) moved Dunley Manor to Wadwick House, which had become the 'dower house". The rest of the Dunley Estate was sold to Sir Brian Mountain of Eagle Star.
She took with her as her housekeeper, the strict Scotswoman from Dunley, Mackenzie, and some other servants, but I best remember the two cheerful Sicilian nurses, Maria and Concita, who looked after her for many years when she was bedridden by a stroke. She was a Christian Scientist and declined to see doctors.
My mother Annette used to drive to see her from Stocks every week, and I used to go along too and play in the garden or around the house, which is bigger than it looks in photos as it stretches back a long way. There was a baby grand piano which my mother used to play (and which came to Stocks after Granny died and which Piers now has). I used to be fascinated by a plaque on her writing desk which thanked Sir Alfred Herbert from the government for the gift of ‘One Spitfire Fighter’ during the war.
Sadly, Granny died without really regaining her faculties. We sold the house in the early 1970s for £10,000! Rather sad as it’s a perfect country pad and now with the M3 nearby, not so far from London - but it seemed a lot of money then…
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