The Gables now Bayford House
The Gables 1902-1939
George Elms (1849 -1916), local builder, built The Gables in 1902, evidenced by the inscription embedded over the front porch
George owned the freehold until his death in 1916. A codicil to his will tells us how he bequeathed the property:
‘Whereas by my said will I have given and devised to my son Jesse Elam Elms his heirs and assigns my freehold messuage with the outbuildings and land belonging to or held therewith situate and known as The Gables Stockcross near Newbury and in the occupation of Mr E Bressey. Now I hereby revoke such devise and I give and devise the said messuage and hereditaments unto and to the use of my *Trustees their heirs and assigns upon trust to permit my son Jesse Elam Elms to receive the net rents and profits thereof during his life and from and after his decease upon such of the children of Jesse Elam Elms as shall be living at the time of his death and being male attain the age of twenty one years or being female shall attain that age or marry under that age in equal shares and if there be no such child then upon trust to convey the said messuage and hereditaments to my son Harry Elms in fee simple if he be living at the death of such child or of the said Jesse Elam Elms whichever shall last happen and if he be then dead then upon trust for my grandson Harry Elms son of my said son Harry Elms to be conveyed to him on attaining the age of twenty one years.’
*His trustees were his widow Ellen Florence Elms of Rookwood, Albert Road, Caversham and his son Harry Elms of 21 Frampton Road Little Heath, Potters Bar Hertfordshire a commercial clerk and Frederick William Dormer of 1 Kidmore Road, Caversham assistant magistrate clerk
Jesse Elms was unmarried and had no children. His brother Harry Elms died in Little Heath, Hertfordshire in 1928. When Jesse died in 1940 (in Archway Hospital, Highgate) The Gables was put up for sale and its name changed to Bayford House.
Tenants of The Gables in the Elms family era as found in trade directories and census returns:
1904 – 1907 Mr & Mrs Percy Sharpe
1909 Capt & Lady Jane Trotter
1910 - 1936 Edward Bressey & family
Long term resident Edward Bressey was a retired jeweller (pawn broker) from London. The family are in the 1911 census at The Gables. His daughters Florence and Violet were both married at St John’s Church. Edward died in 1936 and is buried in the churchyard. His wife Dora died less than a year later in 1937 and is buried with her husband
1937 - 1938 Unconfirmed -possible unlet
The Gables Lodge
1937-1939 Mrs Hunter, a member of Stockcross Mothers Union, left in 1939 for Scotland.
The sale particulars from 1939 gives a detailed description of the property as it stood in 1939.
Sale particulars for The Gables at Stockcross
Original held at BRO ref D/EX 898/2/505
AW Neate & Sons
The Gable Stockcross, Nr Newbury
About 8 acres. 10 bedrooms: bathroom: 3 reception rooms: Halls: cloakroom: complete domestic offices: entrance lodge: garages & stabling; modern drainage; oxcetylene gaslighting: hot water services (electric mains pass the property); own water supply etc:
To be let or sold
Fine situated gabled residence, erected in 1902 of brick, partly tile hung and with tiled roof and occupying an exceptional situation over 400 feet above sea level, surrounded by a well known estate and on the outskirts of a charming village, within a few miles of the old market town of Newbury. The house faces south and stands well away and completely screened from a very quiet side road from which it is approached by a winding carriage rive between laurels and flowering shrubs and guarded at entrance by a lodge.
The buildings: at the drive entrance is a well built block of brick and tiled buildings comprising garages & stabling for 4 cars and 4 horses, harness room, loft open shed. The grounds are inexpensive to maintain but are exceptionally charming. In front of the house is a large lawn with room for 2 tennis courts, flower garden beds and borders etc: good kitchen garden with fruit trees, shrubberies, avenue walk, heated greenhouse paddock etc. The whole is very well timbered with ornamental trees and extends to an area of about 8 acres.
Rent unfurnished £123 per annum
Price F/H £2750
The accommodation comprises:
Entrance porch, entrance lobby with oak panelled walls, moulded ceiling and tiled floor.
Entrance hall with tiled floor , moulded ceilings and pencilled dado
Dining room about 20’ x 16’ x 10’ with panelled dado, oak block floor and handsome fireplace.
Drawing room about 21’ x 20’ x 10’ with oak block floor
Study about 15’ x 14’ x 10’ with oak block floor, firelace with carved mantel.
Cloakroom with lavatory basin (H&C) and door to garden
Pantry with copper sink (H&C) and cupboards
Kitchen with range and cupboards
Scullery with small range, cupboard and sink (H&C), 2 excellent white tiled larders with marble shelves
Backyard with coalhouse, boot room WC etc
Approached by a wide oak principal staircase and secondary staircase to spacious landing with door to small sun parlour.
Bedroom 1(s) 17’x6’x15’ with fireplace
Bedroom 2 (e) 16’x14’ with fireplace
Bedroom 3 (s) 17’x14’6 with Fireplace and small dressing room off
Bedroom 4 17’x13’ with fireplace
Bedroom 5 12’6x 8’ with fireplace and large cupboard
House maids pantry with sink (H&C) separate WC
Bedroom 6 11’6x11’6 with fireplace and cupboards
Bedroom 7 17’6 x 14’ with fireplace
Bedroom 8 17’6 x 15’ 6 with Fireplace and dressing room about 15’ x 8’6
Adjoining maids bedrooms 9,10,11 12’x12’: 13’.6 x12’
Bayford House 1939 - 1979
Britain declared war on Germany on 3rd September 1939
A Register of all UK residents was taken on 29 September 1939. The information was used to produce identity cards and to issue ration books once rationing was introduced in January 1940.
The Stockcross register includes details of residents at Bayford House, no longer The Gables.
From 1940 – 1947 local trade directories state that Norman Bruce Ramsey was living there. He was a Lt Colonel with an impressive army career.
Local residents remember Americans being billeted at Bayford House during WW2 implying that the house was requisitioned by the government for war use. Lt Colonel Ramsey may have been the senior officer stationed there. In 1947 Mrs Ramsey was advertising dogs for sale from Bayford House.
Sir Richard Sutton’s Settled Estates acquired Bayford House but we cannot confirm whether this was before the war or after. However once purchased they held the freehold until 1979 when the Estate sold it.
Residents of Bayford House during the era of the Sutton estates as found in trade directories, voters’ lists and newspaper articles:
1950 Col A N Bankier
1951 Albert & Margaret Bankier: Norman & Mabel Wild: Evelyn Forsyth-Forrest
1952 _72 Peter Weatherby & family
Thank you to Thelma Atkins for her memories of the Weatherbys during this time
‘My parents, Ellen & Frank Wood, moved from Marsh Benham where my father worked in the Benham Valance market garden to Bayford Lodge in 1953/54 when I was seven. I can remember going to meet Captain and the Hon Mary Weatherby prior to moving to Bayford Lodge.
Two huge Labradors and numerous Corgis came rushing out of the back door barking and all I did was cuddle them which impressed Mrs Weatherby. She used to take me with her to kennels in Wantage when the Corgis were in season and always had me laughing as she used different voices for them. She had two sisters, Helen Ward and Hon Margaret Sligh who frequently stayed for weekends. My father was the only gardener there, and my mother was their cook. I often spent an evening at Bayford House if my parents wanted to go out, Mrs Sligh especially would play cards with me. Mr & Mrs Weatherby had two children, Juliet and Simon. Juliet was a Russian interpreter married a Romanian basketball player Nye Cucos. Simon went to university in the USA. He married and had two children. He unfortunately died from kidney failure despite Juliet giving him one if her kidneys. Mrs Weatherby's family were the Viscounts of Bangor, the ancestral home Castle Ward in Bangor, Northern Ireland. She was a great Point to Point rider and won many races but suffered chronic back problems from her many falls. One of her great horses was called Nicholas Nickleby. and she had a huge silver cup in one of the dining room windows. Mr Weatherby's firm ran the The Jockey Club.
He gave a lovely speech at our wedding in 1967 and gave me a beautiful sapphire brooch as a wedding present and an inlaid cigarette box to my husband. When our daughter was christened, he gave her a lovely coral necklace. As there were stables attached to the Lodge, and a huge paddock, I was able to keep horses and still have a beautiful old hunting saddle that Mrs Weatherby gave me. It must be at least 80 years old now (I am nearly 70) and still in fantastic condition. The farmer, Mr Goodenough would come and cut the paddock, and give me bales of hay and straw.
I loved the house so much and I was very sad when my parents moved to Bray.
Before moving to North Devon around 10 years ago I got in touch with the owners of the much changed Bayford Lodge, where my family had lived, and asked if I could come and take photographs of the exterior. They kindly let us into the house and showed us around. I was able to let them take copies of the house as it was, with the stables, garage and loft that had been incorporated into the house. The garage and one set of stables had been converted into lovely large family room, my old tack room was a utility room and the second set of stables was now their kitchen. They asked what the two grills were that had been left - they were metal breathing grills for the stables and had been painted white. The old loft - scene of a couple of teenage parties and a rotten apple throwing between the Spence boys and myself (my riding jacket was never the same again) were now bedrooms for the children but the doorway had been kept. It was a joy to walk around and see what had been a happy home for me was once again a happy family home. They were fascinated to hear that our bathroom was on the landing with a sliding door across, and that our loo was still outside. Unfortunately, the fireplace in what was our dining room had gone, it had had a cross burnt into it rather off centre by the Americans billeted at Bayford during the war.’
1973 Unconfirmed -possibly empty
1974 Ian Jones a businessman whose dealings made the newspapers
Bayford House 1979 – Date
Sir Richard Sutton Settled Estates put the house on the market in 1979 for £90000.
Guest House Plan
Extract from The Reading Evening Post 21st November 1979
‘Newbury district councillors are being asked for planning permission to open a guest house for the elderly at Bayford House, Stockcross by Dr J Murrow of Heathlands Riding Establishment, Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham
By the early 1980s planning permission had been granted and Bayford House became a private guest house for the elderly run by Major and Mrs Anthea Watson.
In 1987 Bayford House became Dalecare
Extract from The Reading Evening Post Saturday 27th October 1987 'Bayford House is an imposing detached country house set in 7 acres of parkland and gardens and was sold for a sum in the region £425000. It has been run by Major and Mrs Watson for the last 41/2 years. The home is currently registered for eleven beds but planning permission has been given for a 30 bed nursing home extension. The freehold has been purchased by Dalecare Ltd.'
Extract from The Door (Oxford Diocese) Newspaper No 5 September 1989
The Newbury Dalecare: Stockcross Newbury Berkshire Box (0488 38632)
The nursing home with the country hotel atmosphere.
Associated Nursing Services plc, one of the major providers of health care for the elderly in the UK offer at the Newbury Dalecare Nursing Home in Stockcross:
- High standard of individually orientated nursing care in the most modern relaxed surroundings
- Medical cover provided by the local GP and services of a physiotherapist, chiropodist and hairdresser are all readily available
- We provide a varied menu and all dietary needs can be catered for
- Most rooms are single but we do have some rooms available for sharing. All rooms are decorated to hotel standards and are linked to a nurse call system, have TV points and ensuite facilities
- We appreciate that our home becomes the patients home so we provide ample space in the bedrooms for the individuals to introduce their personal possessions.
- Day care facilities available – full details on request
- Visitors are always welcome and are not restricted to any times
- Should you require a convalescent stay post hospital discharge or just to provide a break for the people who look after you all year round, or a long term stay contact Alan Boyd (manager)
In 1995 Newdale Court was added and opened by Lord Palumbo.
The Stockcross nursing home became part of the BUPA group in the early 2000s and it has now reverted to the name Bayford House.