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Brief History of Broadoaks Country House

During the 19th Century due to the abundance of local slate and much writing about the area, many rich families contracted local builders to build summerhouses. The arrival of steam was the main factor for many of the summer mansions to be built such as Broadoaks.

Broadoaks was built in 1836 by Col John Hutchinson of Bury. The property consisted of 21 acres, 2 roods & 30 perches.

Inherited by nephew Henry Ormerod Hutchinson (father of Geoffrey Clegg Hutchinson – Baron Ilford)

Sold to Mr William Grimble Groves for £3,500 on 11th August 1899.

Let to Mr C H Slingsby in 1900. He gave the house a new lease of life by building the music room in 1904 with its acoustic barrel-vaulted ceiling and delicate plaster relief work designed by William Morris. The original Bechstein Grand Piano that was commissioned for the room still sits in its place.

Electric Light was installed in February 1927 at a cost of £61.00.

Inherited by Henry Leigh Groves son of W G Groves, who died on 24th June 1927.

Sold to Miss Jessica Goiges Ferreria on 25th November 1952 for £4,000

She then sold to Mr Basil Ross Sinnott on the 31st December 1954 for £4,600, what a new year party they must have had that year!!!

Sold to Charles Trevor & Joan Pavelyn on 30th July 1990. They turned it into a hotel

Tracey Robinson & Jo Harbottle bought it from them in October 2007 (for a tad more than £325,000 !!); at this point is was a little tired and very frayed about the edges (aren’t we all!) .

The music room is now host to some new faces; have a look at the beautiful black and white portraits hanging around the room, meet Joe Scullin and Mary Toohey 1936 on their wedding day in Liverpool (Grandparents of Tracey Robinson) Granddad Joe was a keen piano player and loved to sing, it is such a shame that he didn’t make it to Broadoaks before it became part of the family.

Also meet Eric and Rita Brown on their wedding day in Blackpool (Grandparents of Jo Harbottle). Eric went to war the week after his wedding and didn’t come home for 5 years as he was taken POW in Singapore.  Thankfully for Eric (and Jo’s mum) it was a happy ending …

William Morris and Broadoaks

The Mortal Man has no doubt been host to some interesting meetings over its long history but none more so than the chance meeting between Mr Slingsby and William Morris.

When on a fishing trip to the Lakes; William Morris and Ford Madox Brown stopped in at Troutbeck church to visit Edward Burne-Jones from the Morris Company who was completing the stained-glass window at Jesus Church.

Morris and Maddox Brown added their own touches to the window making it the truly unusual and spectacular window it is today. Probably thirsty from their endeavors, Morris called in at The Mortal Man and met Mr Slingsby where, after a few jars, he was commissioned to decorate the Music Room that Mr. Hodges was planning to create; it’s not often a drunken plan turns out so well!

The famous “Morris “design in our music room

Guess how many hours the ornate plaster work took to paint? if you are within 5 hrs. we will buy you a drink, if not then you buy us one!

Point of interest:

We think the big Sequoia tree was brought to the grounds by the original owner Col John Hutchinson back in 1836 perhaps after one of his military trips abroad? Sequoia Trees are part of the Redwood family normally found in Canada.

Also, as you look down the drive, look carefully to the left and you will see the stump of a tree that fell in the storms of 2006. The branch that is growing up from it clearly thinks that it is a tree …. how sweet.