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Historic mansion opened up for Marlow Society heritage open day

James Hockaday

A chance to explore a Victorian mansion and to discover the history of Marlow was enjoyed by hundreds of residents on Saturday.

Every year the Marlow Society runs a heritage open day in the town, as part of an initiative by English Heritage which sees historic buildings opened to the public across the country.

This year, more than 200 visitors flocked to New Court, a mansion built in the heart of Marlow in 1876 as a private home.

The house was given to the Urban District Council of Marlow after the death of owner Nesta Liston.

The council passed its housing stock to Red Kite Community Housing which turned it into a retirement home.

Now private developers Lennox Estates owns the site and plans to develop it into luxury flats.

Heritage day organiser Geoff Wood said the day was a chance for residents to say farewell and to learn more about it.

“I think there’s a level of disappointment in the town of the way the house has been passed to a private developer,” the 68-year-old said.

“Personally I think it’s the way of the world, I’m not surprised that a developer was interested.”

Exhibitions were set up inside including one on the history of New Court and one by the Marlow Museum, with topics including the Marlow Railway, the town’s role in the English civil and the First World War.

Marlow Archaeology also had a display showing its work.

In the ground’s gardens, families were also entertained by a performance by the Marlow Ukulele Band.

“I wish we had more houses like this open,” said Pat Hope, who has lived in Marlow for eight years.

“It’s absolutely fantastic.”

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