15 October, 2007

Photos of the Marches (4)

Lower Brockhampton

Lower Brockhampton, just outside Bromyard in Herefordshire and about a dozen miles from Worcester, is a moated manor house built sometime between 1380 and 1400, in Richard II's reign, by the Domulton family. It stands in an estate of about 1700 acres, a hilly, wooded and incredibly pretty area.

The funny little building on the left is the gatehouse, which dates to about 1530.

Lower Brockhampton looks almost too perfect to be real (but is! ;) The information leaflet says "the building is a south-facing two-bay open hall with a large contemporary east wing. It has been suggested that there was a similar wing on the west side of the hall..." The Great Hall (you're not allowed to take photos inside, unfortunately) dates from the late fourteenth century, with some sixteenth- and seventeenth-century additions, for example the fireplace, chimney, the two bedrooms which are accessed from the Minstrels' Gallery, and the staircase leading to them - originally the upper chamber above the Hall was an undivided area and was reached by an external staircase.

Around 1765, the Barneby family, who had inherited Brockhampton, moved to another house on the estate:

The chapel behind the medieval manor house, which was built around 1180 - Brockhampton is first mentioned in 1166, and presumably an earlier house stood on the site - was abandoned and used as a barn.

More pictures of Lower Brockhampton and its estate:


Susan Higginbotham said...

Doing some serious drooling here . . .

Anonymous said...

How beautiful. I would love to be there right now!

Kathryn Warner said...

I've been wanting to live in that house since I was about 14, when I first saw a picture of it. *Sighs*

Carla said...

How very pretty!
Is the gatehouse on the bridge over the moat, or did there used to be a surrounding wall?

Kathryn Warner said...

Carla: it's gorgeous, isn't it? The gatehouse is built over the bridge - it was intended to be purely decorative, to show the wealth and status of the family, rather than defensive. AFAIK, there's never been a wall, although in the 14th century the moat was more extensive than it is today, and the 'island' where the house stands was bigger. Still, the moat can't have been defensive, either, at least against anyone determined to get in - it was probably intended as a mark of status, like the later gatehouse, or was used to provide fish, or perhaps the 'island' was a place to (sometimes) keep the livestock as protection against predators.