History of Laurel

We are an independent family-owned care home on the edge of the New Forest. Since we are not far short of celebrating 40 years of providing high-quality person-centred care we’d like to share a little of our history.

The home was acquired by Derek and Lena Baughan in July 1982. Known locally as Laurel Bank it had been run as a wine and sherry import business and had originally been part of a larger farm complex. There was a small cottage that stored horse-driven delivery wagons for the sherry import business with a hay loft above to feed the horses. At the back of the house, there were farm buildings which included a sheep dip and pigsties. The house itself had a full-size billiard table on the first floor, an air raid shelter (in-house) and large coal scullery. The home was sympathetically converted to a Residential Care Home while many of the stained glass windows, marble fireplaces and original features were retained.

Derek was a local lad who as a young boy had delivered newspapers to Laurel Bank. His father was a cobbler running a shoe repair business on Salisbury Rd about half a mile from Laurel bank. Lena came over from Ireland during the war and trained as a nurse and stayed in the NHS until retirement. She worked in many local hospitals but towards the end of her career, she was a Night Sister at Fred Woolley House in Chilworth. She brought all her experience in geriatric care to build up the fledgeling care home’s reputation and to train and develop the staff.

Right from start, Patrick Baughan was on hand to help with the building work and general running of the home. Shortly after he was joined by his future wife Bev working in the gardens and home. Sadly, Derek passed away in 1988 while working to build up capacity at the home and his early passing left a massive gap in everyone’s life. 

In the early nineties, the home became a limited company and Laurence and Christopher Baughan came on board as Directors with the former focusing on the commercial aspects of the home. Lena sadly passed in 2000 after suffering from dementia.

In 2005 Patrick and Laurence decided to expand the business and direct it toward nursing care. They hope they’ve stayed true to their parent’s philosophy of running a friendly, family-oriented and professional home.

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