THE LAURELS, HARVINGTON
Extract from The Bomfords of Worcestershireby Dr Bruce Bomford FRCS, Salford Priors, 1983. The work was published privately and only a few copies were made. Re-published here with permission from Dr Bomford's sons.
In recent years this house was occupied by Jack Bomford, one of the sons of Alfred and Caroline Bomford and he remained there until his death in 1977. Jack and his brother Ben were both born at Netherton in Elmley Castle. Their sister, Kathleen, was married to Dr. Ballinger who practiced at Upton-on-Severn.
Ben Bomford lent me a document showing a plan of the estate surveyed and drawn in the year 1795 by Mr. S. Botham. This shows the House and garden, a nearby Barn, Folds and Messuage with a lower cherry orchard opposite, together with some 107 acres of mixed cultivated land, orchards and meadows.
There is an attached deposition signed by Richard Bullock made on 23rd March, 1874 on the occasion of the purchase of the estate by Benjamin Bomford of Pitchill. Richards Bullock and John his brother before had been tenants of the estate, which was owned by The Venerable and Reverend Robert Bentley Buckle of Upway in the County of Dorset, Clerk to and late Archdeacon of Dorset. The Reverend Joseph Foster of Winterbourne Monkton is also mentioned as a joint lessor.
The said estate was formerly part and parcel of the Copyfold Manor of Harvington in the County of Worcester, and was held for lives by Copy of Court Roll under the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of Worcester. The plan dated 1795 is believed to have come into the possession of Mr. William Alleyne Barker through whose daughters Archdeacon Buckle claims the property and estate on a purchase from a Mr. John Hanbury Beaufoy, a former owner of the estate in the year 1813. Mr. Bullock said he had no personal knowledge of these former owners, but the plan seemed correct so far as the outside boundaries were concerned. But there had been alterations to the internal fences and a part had been sold to the Evesham and Redditch Railway and the names of adjacent owners had changed.
The original document remains in the possession of Mr. Ben Bomford.
After 1874 the farm and house remained in the possession of Benjamin Bomford of Pitchill and on his death the estate passed to his four daughters as their portion, each receiving a quarter.
In 1920 the estate was put up for sale. The Laurels House and adjacent buildings were bought by R. and B. Bomford. The land to the south of the Evesham to Alcester Road was bought by Mr. Coley, and that to the north of the road by Mr. Brashier. The buildings opposite the Laurels were bought by Mr. Stratton and converted by him into a dwelling.
At an earlier date a firm of Evesham Solicitors had lived at The Laurels having moved there from a very substantial residence on the Broadway road, when their business collapsed after a period of living in grand style.
Later the Reverend Garrard, Vicar of Salford Priors rented the house for his family home.
In 1924 Alfred Bomford died at the house and Aunt Caroline and her son Jack lived on there until she married Mr. A.H. Cutler and moved to Cedar Lodge, formerly owned by the Penny Family. Jack lived on at The Laurels and he had an extra room built on to the house.
After Jack died the house and contents were sold. Jean and Anne, his nieces, were the main legatees.