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Merlewood, a handsome Victorian house, is situated on 23 acres of grounds in Virginia Water, overlooking the Surrey Hills.

Virginia Water, Surrey
It was originally built in 1856 for Thomas Lawrence, a leather merchant based in London. Following financial difficulties the house was sold in 1861 to the Count and Countess de Morella who installed various tenants over the years. It has a rich history, still evident in the elegant features and comfortable surroundings we see today.

In 1933 the house was purchased by Sir Thomas and Lady Smith. It saw many high profile guests, survived WW11 bombings and was very much a part of the social life in Virginia Water.

In 1948 the mansion was conveyed to the Distressed Gentlefolk’s Aid Association set up by Elizabeth Finn. It became the first home in what would become a portfolio of residential care homes run by Elizabeth Finn Homes.

Today, our gracious Merlewood home offers 53 ensuite bedrooms providing nursing or personal care to the highest standards.

Comfort, quality and outstanding care with an extensive range of amenities and care options.

Care Services

  • Residential Care
  • Nursing Care
  • Short Stay/Respite Care
  • End of Life Care
  • 24 Hour Care
  • Rehabilitation


  • Restaurant-style dining
  • Fully-licensed bar
  • Library
  • Lounges
  • Hairdressing
  • Physiotherapy Room
  • Landscaped gardens
  • Ensuite facilities
  • Fully assisted bathrooms
  • Full wheelchair access
  • Free Wifi
  • Wheelchair adapted vehicle

Our standard of care

Our aim is to provide joy, compassion and the highest levels of care. At all times our residents are supported by caring and committed staff, connected to their communities and families. We are driven by a philosophy of exceptional care for the individual, it guides everything we do, every day.

Accommodation at Merlewood

Additional buildings have been added to the original Merlewood house and the elegant surrounding and modern facilities provide a welcoming and homely environment.

Our large open-plan dining room, complete with licensed bar and cinema room, is the hub of the home, whilst our drawing room, other smaller lounge areas and library provide quiet environments to sit, chat and enjoy the company of fellow residents. Our outside areas are beautifully landscaped with level wheelchair access and wonderful views.

All 53 rooms are ensuite and equipped with fully assisted bathrooms and are wheelchair accessible. Light, spacious and airy, the rooms have direct access onto the patio area.

We have a spacious physiotherapy room and fully equipped hairdressing salon to cater to all our resident’s needs.

Our dedicated care team at Merlewood

Headed up by General Manager Debbie Vellender, our philosophy of excellent care for the individual guides everything we do, every day. We inspire and motivate our staff to be the best they can be and this shows in the standard of care provided. From our award-winning chef to our activity leader, everyone works together to provide a warm, home from home environment with a high level of commitment for each individual.

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