Bishopswood House in Walford was until fairly recently called The Coppice or Coppice Vicarage, and was built in 1844 for John Partridge, a past High Sheriff of Monmouthshire when the parish of Bishopswood was created by combining Walford with Ruardean over the border in Gloucestershire. John funded the building of the church for the new parish.

Initially The Coppice was used as a vicarage until it was sold to Colonel Harry McCalmont

Colonel Harry Leslie Blundell McCalmont

In the late 18th century the house was owned by Colonel Harry Leslie Blundell McCalmont who came from an Irish family, and his ancestors were involved in Demerara British Guiana where their sugar plantations were worked by slaves. When slavery was abolished, the family was given compensation for the loss of their slaves.

Harry McCalmont’s Military Career

Harry went to Eton College, then aged just 20 he gained a commission in the 6th Regiment of Foot; he later transferred to the Scots Guards.
He became Colonel of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment before retiring from the Regular Army in 1889, but then the Boer War broke out and he and his battalion went to South Africa – on his return home he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in recognition of his war service.

Harry McCalmont Spends His Inheritence

Harry became an Conservative MP for Newmarket in 1895, and was extremely wealthy thanks to being bequeathed a vast amount of money by his great uncle, and he was able to indulge in his passion for horse racing. He bought many racehorses, and won the Triple Crown with his prize horse, Isinglass, and also had a positive fleet of yachts built to his own specification – one of these eventually was used by the Spanish royal family. As well as buying horses and yachts like they were going out of fashion, and of course the house in Walford, Harry also bought a house in St. James’s Square in London and the Cheveley Park estate near Newmarket which he proceeded to tear down before building a massive mansion, and he did a fair job of spending much of the fortune left to him!
As far as I can tell, Harry never lived at Bishopswood House (still known as The Coppice) himself, but let it out until in 1898 when he put it up for sale by auction; the reserve price wasn’t reached, and the house was later sold privately to Sir George Bullough. Sir George was also keenly interested in the owning and breeding of racehorses, and one of his horses won the Grand National in 1917. He also had great success on the flat, including the Ascot Gold Cup. He was given the knighthood for transforming one of his boats into a hospital for use during the Boer War.
Harry McCalmont died at his London house of heart failure.

 
During the early 20th century, The Coppice was renamed Bishopswood House and was bought by Robert Holme Storey.

 

1851 – The Coppice Household

William W. Wait 40 Incumbent of All Saints Church in Walford b. Bristol
Lucy Wait 42 Wife b. Hitchin, Hertfordshire
William Wait 5 Son b. Canada
John Wait 4 Son b. Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Robert Wait 3 Son b. Gloucestershire
Lewis Wait 3 Son b. Walford, Herefordshire
Rebecca Gardner 50 Housekeeper b. Northleach, Gloucestershire
Emma Jaynes 45 Nurse b. Monmouth
Mary Miller 22 Housemaid b. Coleford, Gloucestershire
William Williams 22 Groom b. Walford, Herefordshire

1861 – Coppice Vicarage Household

Thomas H. Edwards 38 Perpetual Curate of Bishopswood b. Shropshire
Harriett Edwards 40 Wife b. Dudley, Worcestershire
Edith Edwards 9 Daughter b. Benthall, Shropshire
Henry Edwards 7 Son b. Herefordshire
Harriett 5 Daughter b. Herefordshire
Charles 3 Son b. Walford, Herefordshire
Emma M. Edwards 38 Sister in Law, Solicitor’s Wife b. Guildford, Surrey
Emily Baron 33 Governess b. London, Middlesex
Harriett Stranford 35 Cook b. Herefordshire
Elizabeth Gwilliam 17 Housemaid b. Walford, Herefordshire

1871 – Coppice Vicarage Household

Thomas H. Edwards 49 Vicar of Bishopswood b. Shropshire
Mary A. Edwards 29 Second Wife b. India
Edith Edwards 19 Daughter b. Benthall, Shropshire
Charles Edwards 13 Son b. Walford, Herefordshire
Ethel Edwards 1 Daughter b. Walford, Herefordshire
Anne Thomas 31 Cook b. Radnor, Wales
Mary A. Bigg 16 Nurse b. Walford, Herefordshire
Mary Worthing 14 Housemaid b. Gloucestershire

1881 – The Coppice Vicarage Household

Charles Constance 46 Vicar of Bishopswood b. Norfolk
Phebe Constance 34 Wife b. Huddersfield, Yorkshire
Anne E. Watts 18 Cook b. Norfolk
Elizabeth Mally 16 Parlour Maid b. Elton, Herefordshire

1901 – The Coppice Household

William O.N. Shaw 54 JP Living on own means b. Cheshire
Marie O. Shaw 39 Wife b. France
Henry O.N. Shaw 11 Son b. Cheshire
Corvine O.E. Shaw 9 Daughter b. Cheshire
John R.N. Shaw 7 Son b. Cheshire
Charles Moth 41 Cook b. West Cowes, Isle of Wight
Tom Wood 20 Footman b. Bridstow, Herefordshire
Mary J. Matthews 49 Nurse b. Totnes, Devon
Jessie Morley 21 Nursemaid b. Birmingham, Warwickshire
Susan Sallaize 28 Lady’s Maid b. Guernsey
Clara A. Morris 30 Housemaid b. Gloucester
Elsie Lewis 18 Under Housemaid b. Crow Hill, Herefordshire
Lizzie Shills 21 Kitchenmaid b. Eastington, Gloucestershire

1911 – The Coppice Household

Robert Holme Storey 38 Barrister at Law b. Grange, Westmoreland
Beatrice Maud Storey 27 Wife b. Woolton, Lancashire
Thomas William Storey 1 Son b. London
Mary Jane Jones 57 Cook b. Bangor, Caernarvenshire
Mary Elizabeth Heroll (?) 27 Lady’s Maid b. Newstead, Nottinghamshire
George Ernest August Ludwig Reinhault 43 Butler b. Germany, German Citizen
Mary Younie 27 Laundress b. Elgin
Katharine Jones 24 Parlour Maid b. Denbyshire
Annie Williams 24 Housemaid b. Llangollen, Denbyshire
Beatrice Annie Jones 18 Housemaid b. Walford, Herefordshire
Margaret Pollitt 47 Nurse B. Redcliffe,Lancashire
Mary Kettle 21 Kitchen Maid b. Winsford, Cheshire
Annie Jones 23 Scullery Maid b. Denbyshire
Margaret Ellen Hughes 17 Laundry Maid b. Anglesey, North Wales
Hannah Griffiths 16 Housemaid b. Denbyshire