Then & Now

The Stone House – Then & Now

The Stone House – Then & Now

This image of The Stone House, was provided to KHAS from the collection of the late Reg Palmer.

This image shows the garden wall and eastern end of The Stone House. This imposing dwelling was Grade II listed as early as June 1949, which is very early indeed for a listing, presumably reflecting the grandiose nature of the property.

The listing reads “Circa 1750 (1752 on rainwater head), altered 1965. Sandstone; 2 storeys; 5 windows (no glazing bars) the central featured. Central angular bay with moulded stepped parapet; moulded arched doorcase with central keyblock and pilasters of square section with plain abaci. Moulded stone eaves; 2 dormers; old tiles. Nos 64 to 78 (even) form a group”. The term pilasters refers to the ornamental pillars either side of the front door, and their abaci are the slabs atop the pillars.

Interestingly, the listing mentions that The Stone House was altered in 1965. KHAS newsletter number 9 in 1964 recorded simply that “By now, you will know the STONE HOUSE has been bought by Mr. Dudley Taylor for restoration and personal occupation. This is most satisfactory”. Dudley Taylor was a local pharmacist, whose premises included the remaining part of the buildings behind the clock tower which survived the destruction of the blitz on Abbey End. Dudley’s business was evidently a success, so much so that it’s still going strong countrywide today. The company’s website tells us that “Dudley Taylor Pharmacies Ltd is a family owned company with a Pharmacy tradition dating back to 1948 when Mr. Dudley Taylor, a Cornishman purchased his first Pharmacy in Kenilworth, Warwickshire after leaving the RAF.” The Kenilworth Weekly News recalled Dudley’s life most warmly, in commemoration of his passing in 2013.

In the garden wall can be seen a Victorian wall postbox, clearly marked with ‘VR’. A very similar postbox is described in this online virtual museum as “A “Small ‘C’ size” wall box, dating from post 1881, made by W.T. Allen & Co. The royal cipher and crown is at the top; the words ‘POST OFFICE’ are on the hood; the collection plate is mounted on the door in a beading rather than a recess, and there is provision for a ‘NEXT COLLECTION’ tablet in the top right-hand corner of the plate.” The Stone House itself is 18th Century, so either the postbox, the wall itself, or both, were a later addition.

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