St. Mary’s House is the oldest property of the three Abbeyfield houses within the Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead district and is believed to have been built between 1860 and 1875. The house was used as a private residence for many years until falling empty in 1963, and after a brief period when its future was uncertain, it was purchased by the Abbeyfield Society. Members of the congregation from nearby St. Mary’s church formed the nucleus of the house committee and gave the house its new name of St. Mary’s. Links to the Church remain with some of the house committee continuing to be drawn from the congregation and a monthly service being held in the lounge at St. Mary’s House.
Whilst there have been some additions to the house since that time it has maintained a unique atmosphere and still has many original features. There are now five en-suite bed-sitting rooms and one 2-room suite on the ground floor, two 2-room suites on the first floor (serviced by a lift), two bungalows and two self-contained flats. The flats and the bungalows are at the rear of the house with the bungalows having been converted from the original stables. The residents of the flats live independently but have the companionship of the residents of the main house and the attention of the house manager. It is also possible for these residents to arrange to dine with the residents in the main house occasionally (although this is charged separately).
St. Mary’s House is in George Street just minutes away from Hemel Hempstead Old Town. As well as the individual shops that make up the Old High Street, there is the Old Town Hall now used as a theatre and restaurant, St. Mary’s church and Gadebridge park. The Marlowes shopping centre, the town centre and the main bus station are approximately ½ mile away following the Marlowes from the end of the High Street.
The house itself is set back from the road behind a brick wall with shallow steps leading up to the house. There is a large lawn to the front and a series of small courtyards to the rear. Some of the residents have adopted a small area near to their room to grow their own choice of plants and this is welcomed although entirely optional. A large new conservatory has been added to the lounge giving an alternative sitting area which has quickly become the favoured sitting area. There is a small library room on the ground floor containing a selection of books and jigsaws for the residents use.
As at Sibley's Orchard, St. Mary's House has a dedicated House Manager who overseas a team of cooks and other staff. There is a careful hand over between staff to ensure any matters of concern can be dealt with and the overnight staff visit each of the residents during the evening so that anything worrying the residents can be discussed before they settle down for the night.
Members of the house committee visit regularly and family and friends of the residents are encouraged to visit. Abbeyfield is a home for its residents and they are expected to treat it as such.
- St. Mary's House Address
St. Mary's House
9 George Street
House Manager: Paula Toresse
Telephone: 01442 247553
- St. Mary's House Location
We are currently full in two of our houses but we do have the following available:
St. Mary's House
One Room in main house. Please telephone the Deputy House Manager on 01442 247553 or our Senior House Manager on 07398144086 for more details or to arrange a visit.