I’m an American with the average “boy meets girl” story: met an English boy in a tea shop (surprise, surprise) by the beach, fell in love, got married and the rest is history. That boy was from Ludlow, a quiet little medieval market town in the English Countryside just outside of Wales in a county called Shropshire.
The girl was very lucky to have married into a wonderful family, and it all started with these two people:
Okay, so it started a lot further back and involved lots more people, but for the sake of this story–the story of The Laurels (a Victorian house in the English country side) it started here with Sidney and Muriel Bufton. These are my husband’s grandparents, the couple who adopted The Laurels in 1954, about the time they started the company business across the street. They are the “Original Buftons” for the sake of the story.
It’s been in the family ever since, over 60 years. The little boy in blue behind them is my husband and the wee tiny lad in the picture even further back is my son, Orion. If…I mean “when” we get The Laurels back up to her former glory he will be the 4th generation of Bufton to make memories within its walls.
This is the old lady herself:
The Laurels. And that is her sister next door: The Hollies. They have a bit of Gothic Revival in their blood. I haven’t tracked down a specific year yet, but they are on the Survey Ordinance maps from 1891 and we’re finding things like wall tiles that date around that time as well. The site might have had something else on it as well as early as the 1830’s, but we’ll have to dig into it more.
Here she is in 1959:
That’s Aunt Sheila as a little tiny hanging out at the gate. You’ll hear about her throughout the blog, she loves history probably even more than we do, and that is saying something. She’s been a wealth of information regarding what has been where in the home in the past.
The Laurels had a renter for a few years who left her a little… in disrepair (to put it delicately). Since then her 17 rooms, garage and massive gardens have been sitting empty.
Follow us while we trace the history of the people who left their marks on her walls and floor boards, uncover her hidden secrets, learn about building techniques and designer art styles from the Victorian period and make the house a home once again.