Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Brocket Hall - Hertfordshire

You can still visit Brocket Hall, but the easiest way is with a golf club in your hand.


Records show that the parkland was first inhabited around 1239 when the first house was built in the area. In 1430 a second home was built. Today there are still seven listed building within the estate, not counting the hall itself.


The estate passed through many hands. In 1746 it was bought by Sir Matthew Lamb and he built his grand house in 1760. We say grand house but in fact this red brick neo-classical house had only two grand features - the main staircase and the saloon. Those two features cost more than the rest of the house put together and were made lavish in order to entertain royalty.


The park was designed and completed in 1760. The most striking feature of the park is the Palladian bridge.


The house stayed in the possession of the Lamb family, through various offshoots, until 1923 when it was bought by Sir Charles Nall-Cain. Ten years later Sir Charles became Baron Brocket. In 1967 it passed into the hands of the 3rd Baron. Lord Charlie Brocket (as he became known) was only 15 at the time and ill-equipped for such a responsibility.


The house had descended into a state of disrepair and the Baron thought himself clever enough to commit an insurance fraud. When this blew up in his face and he began his 5 year prison sentence (of which he served half) he leased the estate out to the Club Corporation of Asia. This saved the house because the CCA effected all the necessary renovations, created two golf courses in the grounds and turned the house into a venue for weddings and corporate events.


  


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