Douglas House School

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Douglas House School opened in 1948 in the Old Vicarage (1), Malvern, which later became the Osborne Hotel. The Principal was Mrs Owen-Williams, daughter of John William Edward James Douglas, 16th of Tilquhillie; there were then 12 pupils.  Madeline Owen-Williams is said to have used her own funds to establish the school, but there is some evidence to suggest that a contribution may have been made by the Chermside Trust(2).

By 1950 numbers had grown to 37 and the school moved to 'Prior's Mount' in Priory Road, an imposing Victorian residence, which during WWII had been a mess for officers of HMS Duke.

By 1953, with 80 pupils, the school was recognised by the Ministry of Education, and in 1959 it became a Public School under the Chairmanship of Lady Lechmere.

In 1960 the former Dalvington Hotel in Priory Road was purchased to cater for 36 boarders.

The above information was sourced by Malvern Museum from an article by Mrs Owen-Williams in the 1960 school magazine.

We could not find a house named Dalvington in Priory Road but, if it still exists, it may be the property now known as Dalvey House.

In 1911 Dalvington was a lodging house; one of the people in residence there was Henry Hamilton Dwyer, a medical practitioner, born Dublin about 1857.

'Prior's Mount, 35 Priory Road, lay just below St Edmunds Hall, having a similar facade to Tibbington House.

Visiting in 1905 was Rev Arthur Durrant who was vicar of Leverstock Green, Hemel Hempstead.

After WWII Prior's Mount was occupied by Douglas House School, which was chiefly a day school for girls aged between 10 and 18 years, but was there also a boys' preparatory department? I am informed that it was never a prep school for boys but it did have two boarding houses, Dalvington and Winstanley.

Douglas House closed in 1970 and was acquired by Malvern College under whose ownership Prior's Mount was demolished in order to build the Lindsay Arts Centre, named after former headmaster (1953-1971) Donald Dunrod Lindsay CBE, who was chairman of the Headmasters' Conference in 1968.  Malvern College has tennis courts at 'Douglas House'.

The Times, July 9, 1966
1Simon Douglas-Pennant, 7th Baron Penrhyn of Llandygai lived at The Old Vicarage, Castlemorton, Malvern, Worcestershire, as did 'Lady Penrhyn', his wife, the former Josephine Upcott who was Head Mistress at Sunnyside Preparatory School in Barbourne Terrance, Worcester and a director til 2015 of The Downs School, Colwall.  How the house passed to this family is unknown to me. Or is this a different vicarage?
2.  Lieutenant General Sir Herbert Charles Chermside GCMG CB, Governor of Queensland 1902-04, married Clementina Maria Stenbock (whose maiden name was de Reuter) at Knaresborough, Yorkshire West Riding on 24th September 1925. She was the second daughter of Paul Julius de Reuter, who founded Reuters Agency and had been previously married to Count Otto Stenbock. Madeline's mother was Baroness Olga Edith Reuter, Clementina's neice.

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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024