Thursday, August 8, 2019

Brodsworth Hall

Our next stop, now venturing into South Yorkshire, was Brodsworth Hall and Gardens, another English Heritage property. Brodsworth is notable for being a Victorian (and later) English country villa that has remained mostly unchanged since its building in the early 1860s. If you want to see a real Downton Abbey, this is a good bet. The lands had been the property of various Yorkshire worthies, with a Georgian house, for ages, but was acquired late in the 18th century by Peter Thellusson, a Swiss banker. For reasons that remain a mystery, to me, Thellusson left a will whose vast fortune skipped three generations (yes, it was challenged), finally divided by a pair of great grandsons in the mid-19th. The old Georgian house was pulled down, and a new Italianate hall was built in just two years and then stocked with fine furnishings, art, and the rest, all 30 rooms of it. The latter Thellussons were also into yachts, building the two largest then in existence in the later 1800s. Then the 20th century happened, recessions, wars, depressions, death-taxes, etc., and the lone surviving Thellusson descendant, by marriage, Silvia Grant-Dalton, spent the last 57 years of her life in the house, with minimal help, closing down rooms, dealing with a leaking roof, and also with land subsidence occasioned in part by the family's selling mineral rights to the local coal companies. The house and garden, now a mess, came to English Heritage in 1990. It was decided to leave the house and furnishings as found (though stabilizing the leaks, etc.), but to restore the garden to its Victorian glory. All that said, I'll let the pix speak mostly for themselves.

Entry hall

Lots of 19th century Italian sculpture

Bathroom humor set-up...

Victorian toilet seat covers!

As rooms were shut down, they accumulated the disused...which is much of
Brodsworth's interest...only a bit of which is shown here

More bathroom humor...

Family and guests, silver wedding anniversary, 1910

What you can't see is that it's thread-bare...

Guest rooms


Victorian taco shell molds 

No one left to ring

View from the gardens

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