Morland House - vicarage, private house, children's home, village surgery.
Photos of the outside in 1994 with the 1850 datestone. Now (2018) the doctors' surgery. Also a photo from 1910 when Rev Curry was the vicar. Photos of doctors and staff taken outside the Church Rd surgery in 1977 and 1988 (now 112, Church Rd).
The site for this and the Church had previously been one of the farmland holdings owned by the Whalley Smythe Gardiner family, extending from Church Road to London Road and bounded on the west by Holloway Road. It was put up for sale by auction in February 1846 as part of some 129 acres of farmland, but did not sell. By the time these unsold lots came up for auction again in June 1846, some of the land fronting Church Road had been sold and this became the terrace of houses there now.
The house was designed by E B Lamb and built between 1850 and 1851 for the prospective curate, Edward Elton who would not accept the position without a suitable house being made available (the Parsonage in High Street was not considered suitable. The building cost the diocese almost all of the £1,000 funds which it had available (see 'The Most Difficult Village', pp. 22-23).
Rev. Maurice Bell, favoured a smaller property for his family and the current vicarage on London Road was built early in the 1920s. But this was soon the vicar’s residence again when Rev. Sidney Groves was appointed in 1927 and found the new vicarage too small. After Rev. John Bowles had left Wheatley in 1933, the next incumbent did not need the larger house, which was put up for sale and bought by Mr and Mrs Fane. They renamed it Morland House after her maiden name and her connections to the family brewery. Later, it was sold to Oxfordshire County Council, used by the army for a while at the beginning of the Second World War before it became initially a short stay children’s home, and then in 1965/66 it became a longer stay children's home with Len and Jean Hill, (Len as head of home, and Jean as matron). They had moved to Morland House from Stratton Audley bringing the children that they were caring for, with them. Roy Duckmanton became Len's deputy in 1970 and later the head of home living at Morland House with his wife Freda and their children after Len and Jean Hill moved on to work for social services in Bucks. Morland House became Wheatley's medical centre and surgery in 1990s. Len and Jean Hill now (2020) live in Great Milton and Freda Duckmanton still lives nearby. There is a Facebook page on Morland House with lots of names of children who were there. In the early 1990s, the Wheatley medical practice bought it, and it has been the local surgery ever since.
Cutting from Oxford Star 2 December 1976 regarding 26 children from the Morland House Children's Home and another similar Home going to see Father Christmas in Debenhams. Not shown here, but available in WVA, is a newspaper article from the Oxford Mail dated 29 October 1973 which describes how 18 children from the Children's Home were evacuated from their coach when it caught fire - there were no casualties.
Separate memories from John Schnelling