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Lady in waiting; Homes & gardens.


EMILY Foley was the daughter of a Duke who married a wealthy squire to become Lady of the Manor of Great Malvern - and she never let anyone forget it.

A stickler for pomp and circumstance, she demanded lavish displays of blatant forelock tugging.

Even when dining alone, she reputedly insisted on being attended by a butler and four footmen.

Under-performers would hear of her displeasure.

The builders who constructed a "spa" house she owned in Guarlford Road, Malvern, in 1800 doubtless ensured that it met her rigid standards of approval.

After all when Lady Foley arrived to visit, from her Herefordshire family seat in Stoke Edith Park, she expected to be greeted on Great Malvern's boundary by a civic deputation with a band in tow.

More than two centuries on Laburnum House, one of the rare Georgian properties in a largely Victorian spa town, no longer belongs to the Foley Estate.

But its Grade II Listing and extensive renovation and restoration by its present owners, ensures that it would meet Lady Emily's exacting standards for keeping up appearances.

The five-bedroom three storey house, with its adjacent single-storey 21ft long studio and new brick-built garage is on the market at a pounds 675,000 guide price, through Knight Frank's Worcester office (Tel: 01905 723438).

Its original six-panel double front door, specifically mentioned in the listing, opens into a lobby whose glazed double doors lead into a drawing room with a classic moulded surround open fireplace.

A late Georgian fire grate is still intact in the adjoining sitting room's fireplace, which is flanked by fitted alcove cupboards and shelves.

A guest cloakroom, extensively fitted kitchen, with a Belfast sink, and a utility room with fitted floor units, all radiate off a rear central hallway.

The elegant dining room, with square-arched kitchen access, opens into a large conservatory.

This, in turn, opens on to a paved terrace and a lawned rear garden flanked by deep borders and mature maple, walnut, eucalyptus and holly trees. A namesake laburnum is at the front of the house, behind the low brick wall and wrought iron fence.


REGAL: Laburnum House in Guarlford Road, Malvern and the stately-looking dining room
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Dec 16, 2007
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