Lavender House

  • 16 Jan 2012
  • Historical Studies
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Lavender House, a pleasant late 18th century residence, was a stucco building with an ornamental wrought iron balcony, overlooking Barbourne Brook. It has only recently been destroyed. There used to be a bridge immediately opposite Lavender House, which led across the fields to the main road.

The house and road were named after the Lavender family, one of them being Governor of the County Gaol. The family is remembered for the two benevolent ladies, Miss Jane Lavender and her sister, Mrs. Mary Gutch.
The family had been Worcester bankers, partners in the firm of Farley, Lavender, Owen and Gutch, who carried on business at the Cross, in premises now occupied by the Westminster Bank. The Bank came to grief, long after the family had ceased to have connection, at the close of the 1950's and an excited crowd gathered in front of the Bank, reading and discussing the notice of suspension of business posted in the window.

Miss Lavender was most distressed by the untoward event, particularly as her deceased father's name appeared on many of the bank notes issued by the firm, which were still in circulation at the date of the failure. In vindicating his memory, it is believed she provided funds for honouring all such notes. In 1862, the sisters built and endowed a church for the new ecclesiastical parish formed from the part of Barbourne lying north of St. George's and dedicated to St. Stephen. Mr.Preedy, the builder of St. Mary's was the architect. It contains good windows and carvings.