ST MUNGHO’S 1867-1904

The house was sold at auction 16 April 1867 for £3,500 plus 50 guineas for fittings, to Dr Archibald Weir. The notice in the Worcestershire Chronicle of 27 Mar 1867 records ‘on the Second Floor, 3 servants bedrooms and space for 3 more; on the First Floor, 5 Best Bedrooms, two Dressing Rooms and Bathroom; on the Ground Floor, Drawing Room, Dining & Breakfast Rooms, Library and a Large Room, Cloak Room, Lavatory & WC; and on the Basement, Housekeeper’s Room, Servants’ Hall, Butler’s Pantry, Kitchen, ample Offices and Cellarage’. (This layout has remained largely unchanged though the top floor now has 4 rooms.)

Weir had various work done, the details of which are lost, but the surviving example is the datestone on the north face which has ‘AW 1867’ on it. He renamed the house ‘St Mungho’s’, – OS Map of 1881 shows this name. Architectural carving appears to have been undertaken by William Forsyth, with whom Elmslie had worked on Great Malvern Station, 1860-2 and the Worcester City and County bank in 1861-2. Forsyth’s surviving account books do not start until December 1867, but in January 1868 he records that bills for carving a fireplace and for painting and decorating parts of the house including the drawing room, staircase and nursery had been settled.

Weir added the single-storey billiard room on the north side of the house and Forsyth’s account book records payments in 1884/5 for work carving a ‘Chimney piece for Billiard Room … bosses, spandrills [sic] etc.’. The entrance to this is a grand stone archway at the end of the hall corridor – the tiled area near it could suggest this was the original north entrance but it is just as likely, given the style of the carving, that this is not Elmslie’s work but Weir’s, and that this corridor originally finished in a small store room. The wooden screen in the archway has some of its original stained glass.

An early picture of Malvern (undated but approx. 1865-70) shows the house had a round ‘porthole’ style of window for the top bedroom on the east front, whereas by 1922 it has two separate windows. It is not known when this change took place, but Fanny Weir’s diary records a terrific gale in 1868 which damaged the round nursery window, so maybe it was replaced shortly after.