Lady Mary Verney, chatelaine of Claydon House dies aged 90

Lady Mary Verney's funeral will be held on Thursday on the Claydon House Estate
Lady Mary Verney's funeral will be held on Thursday on the Claydon House Estate
  • Lady Mary and Sir Ralf donated Claydon House to the National Trust in 1956
  • Died after ill health at the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted
  • Campaigned for the re-opening of Steeple Claydon Library

Lady Mary Verney, a distinguished pianist and the chatelaine of Claydon House has died aged 90.

The widow of Sir Ralph Bruce Verney, who studied at the Royal College of Music, is the mother of Sir Edmund Verney, 6th Barronet and former High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire.

Sir and Lady Verney donated Claydon House the National Trust in 1956, but the estate is still run by Sir Edmund.

Acclaimed as a fortepianist Lady Mary was the first fortepiano professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

She was also involved in the community, and in 2007 campaigned for the re-opening of the Steeple Claydon village library.

Sir Edmund this week paid tribute to his mother, he said: “She was a lovely lady and she had a great laugh, I think that’s one of the things that most people will remember.

Lady Mary was the first fortepiano professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama

“She had a great spirit and liked to enjoy life.

“She continued playing music as long as she could, music was a central part of her whole life and she was very well thought of in those circles.”

He added: “I think more people will be at the funeral than the church can handle, we will have to project the service outside too.”

Lady Mary’s funeral will be held at All Saints Church in Middle Claydon on Thursday, March 12.

Anyone wishing to donate in her memory is asked to send funds to Help Musicians UK or The Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted.