|HCC Site ID:||1421||Parish:||Broughton|
|Designations:||House LB II*||Area:||8 ha|
|Access:||No Public Access||Ownership:||Private|
Location and Site
On the eastern outskirts of Broughton Village, across the Wallop Brook, a tributary of the River Test.
The early history of the house is linked with the Steele family who had lived in the area since at least the early part of the 17th century. The original William Steele was a local carpenter who is credited with building ‘Grandfathers’ in nearby Rookery Lane.
In 1749, four generations on, William Steele bought and converted Pigeon House Farm, just north of the Wallop Brook, into a fine Georgian House known as Broughton House. The family were active Baptists and Anne Steele was a well respected hymn writer and poet. From family correspondence we learn that ‘…a terrace walk looking down on the garden and shrubbery, bordered by an avenue of noble firs afforded her much enjoyment’. A picture taken in 1856 shows Broughton House to be two stories plus an attic, with dormer windows and a single storey extension on the side. Mr. J Edwards, a keen gardener who bought the property in 1868 was said to have encouraged family life in the village by promoting ‘…reading, concerts and a flower show’
By the 1870’s the farming activities had moved elsewhere and the pigeon house, which had given the farm its original name, was pulled down. The OS map of 1871 more clearly shows the layout of the estate with the carriageway from the village bridging the Wallop Brook, whilst a second entrance from Rookery Lane is by a ford. There is a circular driveway in front of the house.
An estate agents brochure prepared in 1924/5 described not only the house but also the gardens in great detail with pictorial views. At that time the immediate estate comprised 26 acres plus a further 32 acres of arable land
The present owners (2006) have been in occupation since 1964. The estate now comprises 20 acres comprising most of land described in the sales brochure of 1924 but individual properties retained at the time such as Gardener’s Cottage and Meadows Cottages (now renamed Waterside Cottage) are privately owned. The view from the terraced walk over the Wallop Brook remains largely unchanged whilst the lawned area to the rear of the house has a thatched summer house. The walled garden is no longer productive and the present owner is of the opinion that this was originally a building as foundations have been identified in the inner area. Next to this stands the disused ‘old granary’ raised on staddle stones. This has been moved from the back of the estate to a more prominent position close to the site of the original pigeon loft. The house has changed gradually over the past century taking on a more symmetrical style whilst reverting to its original Georgian façade.
An early Georgian House on the edge of Broughton Village. Originally a farm it now consists of a parkland of 20 acres sitting astride the Wallop Brook. During the 20th century various workers’ cottages have been sold but the former walled garden and granary on staddle stones remain whilst the House has been restored in a Georgian manner.
HGT Research: July 2006