The never forgotten history of Merryfield Nursing Home

MerryfieldMerryfield Nursing Home, located just off New Yatt Road in Witney, is a beautiful Cotswold stone manor. Its history goes back to 1927 when the manor was constructed for a “Witney blanket” family.

How it all began

Witney has been famous for its iconic woollen blankets since the Middle Ages. The water to make the blankets is taken from the River Windrush, and many believe the secret to the high-quality blankets that Witney produces lies in the water.

The town once boasted five blanket factories, but once the largest factory, Early’s, closed doors in 2002, the industry completely stopped production. One of the blanket factory owners was a gentleman named Sidney Smith.

Smith commissioned the construction of Merryfield House, and he hired renowned architect Oliver Hill to design it. The cost of the construction was approximately £6,000.

The design then

Hill was renowned for his Arts and Crafts-style country house designs. Merryfield was constructed with a magnificent entrance and a projecting three-storey porch with an oval window in the gable. The main doorway had a carved stone panel sculpted by Eric Gill.

The construction began in January 1927 and was completed by September 1927, when Smith married Dorothy Bartlett, allowing the newly married couple to move in.

The design today

Merryfield Nursing Home today is a stunning stone manor with tranquil gardens. The structure consists of two areas, the main house with its spectacular entrance hall with a sweeping staircase leading to the public rooms and ground-floor extension with 19 ensuite rooms.

All the rooms for the residents have French windows. The rooms are connected by a glass and wood corridor, and there is a relaxing and attractive lounge area with an inglenook fireplace that overlooks the well-manicured garden.

We welcome you to visit Merryfield Nursing Home, which has received an “Excellent” rating from the CQC for its exceptional elderly care, and imbibe the rich history of Merryfield and Witney.



The long journey of Bartlett’s Residential Care Home

-QdCt6WEc8ewkmZrBnoPdPbuhtkxCMIVC9FYxmAVk4MBartlett’s today is renowned for personalised elderly care in Buckinghamshire. It is a serene retreat that provides personal care around the clock and fulfils the social and personal needs of the residents. Spread over 17 acres, Bartlett’s started its long journey through different eras in the early 1860s.

The Victorian beginning

Bartlett’s started out as Peverel Court, and was a red brick mansion surrounded by gardens, meadows, paddocks, pleasure grounds and outbuildings. The first tenant of the building was the distinguished co-owner of Bucks and Oxon Bank, John Edward Bartlett.

The Bartlett family took a keen interest in the wellbeing of the locals and was liked by the village. In 1888, double tragedy struck the family, with the youngest daughter passing away, followed by John Bartlett, who was 64 years old. The family moved away in 1902 and the mansion was re-let.

The Edwardian era

The new tenant was a retired churchman, the Reverend Henry Blagdon. During his tenancy, the Peverel Court Football Club and the Stone and Hartwell Cricket Club were part of the mansion’s social life. The family maintained the garden and used the lawn to play croquet.

When the Blagdon family moved on in 1912, Peverel Court welcomed a new tenant, Brigadier General Reginald Stewart Oxley and his wife, Margaret. After an illustrious career in the army, the Brigadier settled down to a peaceful life at Peverel Court, where he and his wife participated in the village activities. By the time the Oxley family moved in 1929, Peverel Court was heavily mortgaged, so the estate sold the house, land and the two cottages opposite the main mansion.

In December 1929, Peverel Court was purchased for £7,000 by Dowager Lady Longford, who lived there with her six children. Lady Longford passed away in 1932, but the family found it difficult to sell the house. One of the cottages, christened Stairways, was purchased by a Methodist missionary.

By the time the Second World War started, Peverel Court had become an office for the London Mutual Insurance Company. It also served as an important centre for wartime community affairs.

After WWII

When WWII came to an end, the London Mutual Insurance Company returned to London and the doors of Peverel Court were shut until the early 1950s. The Health Authority took it over to set up nurses’ homes, doctors’ flats and offices.

After 20 years of housing nurses and doctors, Peverel Court was used by the Stone Church of England Primary School for two years. By this time, the mansion was in disrepair, with holes in the floors and rickety stairs. When the new village school opened in 1971, the house once again fell silent other than hosting occasional functions and dances.

The Vale School bought the house in 1987 and converted it into a school. The school catered to 160 pupils, and even had tennis courts, a science block and a large sports hall. However, with dwindling student numbers, the Vale School closed in the summer of 1995 and put the house up for sale.

A new beginning

In the late 1990s, the house was purchased by Peverel Court Care and was completely refurbished to transform it into a comfortable and enchanting residential home. It was renamed Bartlett’s to honour the first Victorian tenant. Bartlett’s Residential Care Home is renowned for its exceptional elderly care and stunning views of the Chilterns.

The long journey of Peverel Court has now come to an end. Bartlett’s is a safe and secure retreat for the elderly. They receive comprehensive care, and we go beyond the call of duty to accommodate our residents’ needs and desires. We always welcome visitors to come and spend time in the lush surroundings, and with our residents, who love to greet visitors and discuss the rich history of Bartlett’s.


Peverel Court Care introduces touchscreen technology to benefit residents

touching tabletPeverel Court Care is proud to inform you that we have introduced Apple TV in our homes in addition to the longstanding iPads. There is a scientific reason for introducing touchscreen technology in our homes. Research shows that this technology can greatly improve the quality of life of older people, particularly those diagnosed with dementia.

What do researchers say?

Researchers from the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester have discovered that introducing and getting residents to use touchscreen technology in care homes is beneficial. The key is making sure the introduction is done properly.

Care home staff require the right training and support in this technology to spread the benefits among the residents. Some of the benefits include:

  • Music apps and games such as Pictionary can help care staff calm and reassure residents and also keep them engaged. These apps can be used in group settings to bring residents together to enjoy themselves and have fun.
  • Care and activities can be customised to meet the needs of the resident.
  • Touchscreen technology fosters greater interaction between staff and residents. It encourages staff to increase the number of residents in each activity without feeling overwhelmed or burdened.
  • The technology lets residents stay in touch with their family and relatives.
  • Staff can use touchscreen technology to involve family members in the care plan of the residents.
  • The technology can trigger positive memories and facilitate conversations between residents as well as staff and residents.

Peverel Court Care aims to deliver exceptional elderly care. Our staff receive superior training that allows them to provide person-specific elderly care to enhance the lives of our residents. The touchscreen technology in our homes helps us customise our activities to improve the quality of life of our residents through increased interaction, better communication and greater inclusion.


Guide to choosing a care home in association with Peverel Court Care – Part 2

Care homeBefore you start your search for the right care home for your loved one, you need to carefully assess the older person’s care needs. Understanding the needs of your relative will help you make an informed choice.

Assessing the needs of your relative

You can call up the social services department of your local council and get a free care assessment. This assessment will allow you to decide whether the older person requires residential care, nursing care or support in their home to meet their needs.

The assessor will take into consideration the following to figure out what is right for your loved one:

  • The person’s general health and disabilities.
  • The current living arrangements.
  • The help they are currently getting and whether it can be sustained.
  • How the person would like to be supported.
  • Any concerns the older person has.
  • The opinions of the community nurse or GP.
  • The older person’s religious, social and emotional needs.

Financial assessment is a must

Once your loved one finishes the care assessment, make sure you get a financial assessment carried out. This will give a clear picture about your relative’s financial health and help you understand how much the person can contribute to the cost of the care home.

This is also the right time to find out how much the local council is willing to pay towards a care home. Remember, if your loved one’s savings run out, you may have to turn to the council to keep the senior in the care home. Most councils have an upper limit when it comes to paying for a care home. Seniors with capital assets under £23,250 qualify for some council help.

Once you find the care home that you think is perfect for your loved one, drop in unannounced after the initial visit to assess the quality of life the residents enjoy. Also, don’t be embarrassed to ask questions. The level of the care and your loved one’s safety are paramount, and you should never compromise on both.

We welcome you to visit our care homes any time to check how Peverel Court Care provides personalised and exceptional elderly care at each home. We offer residential care and nursing care, depending on the needs of our residents.


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