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Bromham Hall - Bromham, Bedfordshire, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Dragontree
N 52° 08.998 W 000° 30.915
30U E 669995 N 5780629
Quick Description: This old manor house lies in a secluded estate in Bromham Park.
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/30/2008 2:17:03 PM
Waymark Code: WM4363
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Saddlesore1000
Views: 73

Long Description:
The house lies in magnificent parkland in a valley next to the River Great Ouse. The land around here regularly floods with heavy rain. It is a building originating from the 16th century consisting of brick covered with plaster with a tile roof.

The architecture of Bromham Hall is in various styles. Having had the doorway restored meticulously in 1868 by command of the late Lord Dynevor it was revealed to be a very ancient part of the building. There are numerous, small rooms in the residence, an old, oak, crafted staircase and 17th century oak panelling. When the Trevors purchased the estate in 1710 the old dovecote was demolished. Bromham Park was modelled by the Trevor family as Lord Trevor incorporated deer and got rid of the rabbit warren. Then promptly got rid of the deer when one frightened his wife.

The old drive from the ford at Clapham down what is now Lower Farm Road ceased to be used in favour of the new drive leading to Village Road. The old gate posts can still be seen standing in the fields as reminders of this alterative driveway. Originally the new drive was lined with Elm trees and ended with the Lodge at the bottom of the hill, near the bridge. The old iron railings between the churchyard and the Hall created an air of grandeur and manorial presence over the estate but these were removed for the war effort in 1940.

Bromham Hall is a famous house used in the Bleak House film of 1983. The entrance was used in the title role with carriages driving through the park just like it used to be.

Bedfordshire County Council describes the Hall:

'Bromham Hall is the manor house of Bromham Manor and thus had the same ownership, at least from medieval times including the Dyve family (who enlarged it), the Trevors, Rices and Wingfields. The property was valued in 1927 under the 1925 Rating Valuation Act at which time it was owned and occupied by Richard Skinner who had recently bought it. The valuer found that the property was entered by a "Poor Pass[age]" Hall with a dining room facing east and measuring 23 by 27 feet. There was also a smoking room (13 feet by 21), a "flower room" and two drawing rooms measuring 16½ by 20 and 22½ by 19 feet respectively. Seven steps led up to the first floor and a bedroom measuring 13½ by 26 feet, a further three steps leading to another bedroom measuring 15 feet by 14 and a bath room. A further three steps led to a study measuring 23 feet by 11 with a bay of 13 by 3 feet. Again three steps led up to a "tiny place" measuring 7½ feet square. A dressing room measuring 12 feet by 20 lay at the top of the usual three steps and then five more steps led up to a "platform" measuring 12 feet by 8 feet.

Leading from the hall was a cellar and, again on the ground floor, a kitchen measuring 17 feet square, a scullery ("poor"), an old butler's pantry, boot room, wc and coal store, all "little used". The ground floor also contained a breakfast room measuring 18 feet by 17 with a stone floor, a "big store place", a servants' hall, scullery ("big"), larder ("big and cool") and another, smaller larder.

Another exit from the hall, up "v. small poor stairs" led to a landing with a wc and cupboard, a small study and a bedroom measuring 18 feet by 17 from which down two steps and along a "tiny pass[age]" lay a bedroom measuring 19 feet by 15. two steps then led down to a bedroom measuring 16 feet by 17 and a cupboard. A 12 by 17½ and a smaller bedroom also lay on this floor along with a bathroom ("fair"). An attic floor lay above with 7 attic bedrooms which had a "slope but not bad" and a set of back stairs downwards to a separate landing with two or three "derelict" rooms and a bathroom ("good") and two further bedrooms.

The grounds exceeded 14 acres and contained a loose box with two stalls, five further loose boxes, a harness room with four rooms over and two large coach houses. There was also a garage for 3 cars, a 2 stall stable and 2 hen houses. There was a walled-in kitchen garden with a potting shed and lean-to, a heated peach house measuring 46 feet by 12 and a vine and flower house 74 feet by 14½ .The grounds also contained a fruit or store room ("big with glass side"), another potting shed and heated glass house measuring 9 feet by 30, with an apple room, onion room and stoke hole, outside lay a vegetable garden. There were also large store rooms, a workshop, a 3 bay open wood shed, a mess room, an old dairy, a gas engine, dynamo and battery house, three little hovels and a "rough orchard".

Two cottages stood in the grounds, one a bungalow occupied by Thomas Stanford comprising three rooms and a scullery, the other a cottage occupied by Frederick Lord with a living room, kitchen and three bedrooms upstairs - all "quite good". These houses had shared use of a washhouse and laundry and water had to be fetched from a pump.

Overall the valuer noted: "V. nice picturesque old House. Repairs v. heavy. Damp in some rooms especially Din[ing] & Draw[ing] R[oo]ms. Approach being spoilt by Building in old Park now sold off".

The Hall was listed by the Department of Environment in 1952 at which time it was considered to have late medieval origins, enlarged in the 17th century, with new windows in the 18th and other additions later. The walls were of coursed limestone rubble and the roof of old clay tiles. The listing report noted, as can be seen from the 1927 valuation, that the plan was complex.'

Steve Humm has some further information:
'Evidence of occupation from the Roman period has been found in the area including pottery, bones and a stone figure that is preserved as part of Bromham Hall. Traces of circular huts mixed with Roman remains would suggest a Romano/British population was thriving in the area. Bromham is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Bruneham and later as Brimeham. The manor was then in the possession of Hugh De Beauchamp, a prominent local landowner, who held at least 44 lordships within Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Almost certainly these lands were given to De Beauchamp for services to William of Normandy during the conquest of 1066. The Manor consisted of 6 hides of land including a mill valued at 20 shillings.'

The photos are provided by John Whyte who kindly took them to our requirements.
Earliest Recorded Date of Construction: 1/1/1500

Additional Dates of Construction:
Late medieval origins, enlarged in the 17th century, with new windows in the 18th and other additions later.

Architectural Period/Style: Tudor

Type of Building e.g. Country House, Stately Home, Manor:
Manor House

Interesting Historical Facts or Connections:
In the 1620s Charles I was reputed to have stayed here as the house was then owned by a renowned Royalist, Sir Lewis Dyve.

Main Material of Construction: Brick and Tile

Private/Public Access: Private

Related Website: [Web Link]


Architect (if known): Not listed

Landscape Designer (if known): Not listed

Listed Building Status (if applicable): Not listed

Admission Fee (if applicable): Not Listed

Opening Hours (if applicable): Not listed

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