History

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Maxwell Workman

Sir Charles Prevost built the house in 1907 when he married. The wood above the house was called Yercombe so he named the house Yercombe Cottage. Water had to be pumped into the house from two deep wells, which were sunk just above the driveway to the south of the house. They have since been filled when the house was put on to mains supply.

In 1939, when Sir Charles died, Herbert Maxwell Workman bought the house and the adjacent field, called Hank Ridden. In the fifties he added to the property by buying Yercombe Wood from the Prevost Trustees.

Maxwell Workman, whose family owned Cam (flour) Mill, was one of four children. He was educated at Canford School and subsequently his father made sure that he had practical training in all aspects of the milling trade. His mother was very interested in the welfare of old people in the days when the state was not so closely concerned in the Welfare Services and it is likely that Maxwell Workman’s interest in the elderly and disabled was, in part, a result of this.
He was a local magistrate and served on the Dursley bench. When he moved to Stinchcombe he participated in local events and gave generously to local causes and to individuals in need. One of his hobbies was the landscaping of the grounds around Yercombe Lodge and he extended the lawns towards Wotton gate, where formerly there had been dense woodland. In these areas he also did considerable planting.

In the later years of his life he devoted much time to the planning for the future use of his home, of which he was very proud. His idea was for a centre for the disabled and elderly of Gloucestershire.
He replaced the veranda on the south side of the house with a garden room (which now forms part of the day centre rooms)and in his lifetime he gave many parties for pensioners and others, enabling them to share the glorious views through the large picture windows.

Maxwell Workman initially set up the charitable trust in 1965, known then as The Yercombe Trust for Charitable Purposes. Unfortunately he died in 1972 before his plans for Yercombe had been finalised, but the trustees whom he appointed have continued his work and they have fulfilled and continued to go forward to complete the generous aims of the home’s founder. The trust was renamed in 1972 and became Yercombe (Gloucestershire) Trust and is still known as this today.

Maxwell Workman always delighted at the ever changing panoramic views from the house and believed that as many people as possible should be able to enjoy it. The present facilities within the house are far beyond Mr Workman’s original vision.

Yercombe Lodge was opened as a short stay home and day centre on 3rd September 1976  by His Grace, Colonel, The Duke of Beaufort. The short stay home was open for 6 months of the year from April to September and was seen as a holiday home. The day centre was open 3 days per week.

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