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Wednesday, 30 December 2020 15:33

Unquiet Slumbers.....part one 1900 - 1933

UNQUIET SLUMBERS

PART ONE - 1900 to 1933

Welcome back, travellers. The glass is fatter.

We have now reached the year 1900, and the beginning of a century that encapsulates the excellence and brutality of mankind. Throughout this period, Dunfield re-establishes herself with renovation, innovation, and even a dose of wartime intrigue. But most of all, after an unsettling period in the early part of the century, Dunfield House will finally discover her true calling. Let's discover more!

In the year 1900, a Mr Godfrey Biggs became tenant of Dunfield up until 1909, when Major. Charles E.E. Halstead JP and his two daughters, Evelyn S. and Mary become the new tenants. In 1913, Kelly's Dictionary lists Henry Arthur Hugh Miles as a principal landowner and in 1914 he becomes the owner of Dunfield with the Major and his daughters remaining as tenants.  However, on the 28th of September 1922, the Major and his family suddenly up and leave Dunfield. Before his hasty departure, an auction is held at the house where he sells off, amongst other things, his surplus furniture, hunting gear, luggage carts, outdoor equipment, garden effects and various other household items.

So, as we know, up to now the house has thrived with a mixture of various tenants. However, with the Major gone, a grim interruption in Dunfield's calendar awaits. Inexplicably, after the departure of the fleeing Major... the house falls silent. A rare cessation occurs in her existence; no resident claims Dunfield House for seven years! A cloak of solitude envelopes her and one can barely imagine what becomes of a charismatic house like Dunfield without the presence of human voices within and the grounds left to thrive wild.

This is not a pleasant tranquillity. The heart of the house is in restless slumber. Her doors closed on empty rooms and a numbed silence in the air.

For seven, long, years, she remains undisturbed. Hot suns and bladed frosts begin to rupture her frame. For now, she is paused in time. A defiant lull. She is not resting or sleeping... she is waiting. And in 1929... her wait ends.

On the 10th October 1929, Dunfield House is purchased by Phyllis Bromage, wife of James Vincent Bennett Raikes Bromage of Thorpe Hall, Barnard Castle, Yorkshire... for the grand sum of £3,450!

The property consisted of "A Mansion House called Dunfield, with gardens, stables, outbuildings, grounds, two lodges and pieces of land thereunto adjoining or belonging site in the Township of Lower Harpton and Parish of Old Radnor in the County of Hereford". There is a possibility that James Vincent Bromage may have retired from the Indian Civil Service.

On the 29th November 1929, a mortgage in the amount of £3,500 is taken out by Phyllis Bromage.

On the 25th September 1933, supplies of water from Hollywell and Bradnor are disconnected to Dunfield House by Phyllis Bromage. However, special measures were taken to ensure that sufficient water flowed into the pool areas to maintain the fish and allow the Bromage boys to spend their leisurely, Summer afternoons punting on the lake.

Dunfield House starts to take shape again... but ominous clouds lie ahead as the rise of war begins.

Join us next time, when World War II intrigue unfolds at Dunfield House!

 

Published in Blog
Monday, 29 June 2020 13:45

SANCTUM

 

SANCTUM

 

Welcome back, curious friends – there is a little more sand in the glass. As we move into the 17th century, the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st comes to an end with her death in 1603. As for Dunfield – or Downfield as it is known at this particular time in history – new tenants arrive as the Bull family take up occupancy.

Records are vague around this time and we know very few details about the family. However, what we do know is that George Bull went on to become the Bishop of St David’s and would live in Brecon at the Bishop’s Palace. Also, the Rev. D.J. Bull, a member of the same family, became the rector of Presteigne. The Bull family- and Dunfield- survived one of the most turbulent and wretched passengers of history ever recorded. As Queen Elizabeth 1st dies, a sinister and malicious beast appears and creeps over the land, it has no pity and swathes a path across England – it is the plague! 

As if the reap of the plague is not enough, in 1642, the English Civil War breaks out. The conflict between Charles 1st and parliament over Irish insurrection sees nine, long, blood-soaked years of conflict between Roundheads and Cavaliers. England is no longer such a green and pleasant land. With ravenous disease and the tumult of war dominating this era, Dunfield tucked under the apron of Bradnor Hill, remains relatively unscathed and immune from the brutality and confusion that slowly suffocates the country. Dunfield, in her uncorrupted sanctuary, lets the pale horse of destruction ride by.

 

Published in Blog
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 16:51

Hosting events at Dunfield House

Finding a venue able to fulfil the needs for your event is only the beginning of the long winding journey, but don’t be fazed; nothing else can beat the feeling of success, putting your feet up after the event has finished, no matter how smoothly it may or may not have gone – all the challenges on the way will be worth it!

 

Dunfield House is the home to a bounty of events from Yoga retreats to school residentials. If you’re looking to expand, we could offer you the facilities to take your event to the next level. If you’re a first timer we have the expertise to advise, consult and encourage your event to flourish and become the talking point for months after.

 

Perhaps you have a well-established event that’s looking for a new venue; Dunfield House would be able to help you out with our Year-on-Year booking*, meaning if you book with us, you are offered the same dates (or very close to those dates – especially around bank holidays) the following year. This service takes a whole lot of stress out of securing a venue for your next occasion!

 

Having accommodation and catering services available here is a weight off most shoulders when juggling an event plan. It can also allow yourself to broaden your audience; people may be willing to travel if they have a place to stay locally, and you can’t be more local than on the premises! Filling your guests time wouldn’t be a worry either, with great local walks, a swimming pool, and a huge handful of activity space to keep them keen in-between your structured sessions.

 

If you are looking for a venue for the day, Dunfield House shouldn’t be ruled out! Between November to March we can offer one-day events to include catering if you wish. We have areas ideal for talks, workshops and activities; please don’t hesitate to get in contact to find out more about ‘day event’ opportunities.

 

To find out more about what we have to offer, expanding an event, or have any questions about Dunfield House, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

*Year-on-Year booking – To find out more information and terms for our ‘Year-on-Year’ booking opportunity feel free to get in touch. 

Published in Blog

We have had two great volunteers here this Summer, Nick and Korinne! When having the chance to do so, Korinne has been sharing her story through her blog. It's worth keeping an eye on this for new stories, and definitely worth a read! - https://morethanatouristblog.wordpress.com/ 

Below is her comprehensive ranking of Dunfield puddings! I had to share it on here because I think it's great!! however I would like to add, Dunfield's cookies should definitely reached top #3!!! 


 

If you have ever spent time at Dunfield House, you know that mealtime is an integral part of every day. Everyone has their favourite meals, but more important are the pudding. (And by pudding I mean dessert). When I first got to Dunfield, I was enthralled by the various sweet treats at the end of each meal and since then I have developed an opinion about the best of the best puddings. For your benefit and enjoyment I have decided to share my rankings with you.

#10 – Arctic Roll

While these ice cream treats are a favourite of kids that come to visit Dunfield, there’s just something about the cake roll part of it that I personally don’t love. On a hot day (lol) they would probably be nice!

#9 – Chocolate Chip Cookies

Don’t get me wrong, chocolate chip cookies are one of my favourite treats, but with all the other amazing options, it gets stuck in the #9 spot!

#8 – Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Sauce

I know, I know, there might be a riot that this pudding is so far down my list. But, what can I say? *Shrugs Shoulders*

#7 – Jam Sponge and Custard

Jam sponge and custard is a pudding that has really grown on me since I have been at Dunfield House. Coming from the land of corn syrup (America), jam sponge and custard seemed super bland. However, my taste buds have adapted and now this British delicacy is climbing the ranks of my favourites.

#6 – Apple Crumble (and custard)

I am all for anything with crumble and custard being mixed – that’s all I have to say. The apple part is just a bonus.

#5 – Chocolate Brownie and Ice Cream

The Dunfield House brownies are some of the best in the world and you can quote me on that. That’s all there is to be said.

#4 – Lemon Cheesecake

I have only had the lemon cheesecake a few times, but it earned the #4 spot fairly quickly. There’s nothing like the crisp flavour of lemon in the summer months.

#3 – Banoffee Pie

Anyone that has had the sweet toffee and banana pudding cannot dispute the bronze medal being awarded to Banoffee Pie. (Unless they think it should be higher on the list.)

#2 – Flapjacks

I anticipate a lot of push back on the decision to award flapjacks the #2 spot. For many, they aren’t necessarily considered pudding. But, when the oaty, sweet goodness of the flapjack is put in front of me, I just can’t resist.

AAANNNNNNDDDDD

#1 – Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky toffee pudding is amazing in many ways, but it’s truly the toffee sauce that is poured on top that puts this dessert way out of the league of any of the others. Honestly, STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING WILL ALWAYS BE THE BEST DUNFIELD PUDDING AND I REFUSE TO HEAR ANY ARGUMENTS ABOUT IT.

Thank you for taking your time to read this ranking of my favourite Dunfield Puddings. Stick around to soon read about my favourite U.K. chocolate and also more important things like talking about Summer Camp and Primitive Camp!

Please feel free to leave comments and discuss with me my rankings unless you’re going to suggest that sticky toffee pudding shouldn’t be #1.

 

 

Published in Blog
Friday, 07 July 2017 12:28

We even accommodate the prickly!

Last week we were lucky enough to host a school of explorers. Whilst walking the stream below our campfire a little hoglet was spotted. The poor prickly didn’t seem to be enjoying the stream as much as the guests, so they called for help! Their teacher arrived with a small box, and tissues to keep the hog warm and dry. As recommended by our vet we had a quick trip down to the practice to leave the hoglet in expert hands and on the road to recovery. 

 

After the lucky find it came to us that we must have other hedgehogs nearby and perhaps we could help them out too. So we put a bit of food out for them in our garden, not expecting to spot anything straight away but it seemed to be just what they needed! A few hours passed until we spotted some hedgehog’s hoovering up the food and potter on their way to find their next grub.

 

Our natural surroundings provide a lot of habitat for hedgehogs to thrive. We don’t use pesticides on the grounds either. We’re not too keen on slugs but the hedgehogs love them, so the more we can provide for them the happier they can be!

 

So on your next visit to Dunfield keep your eyes peeled, you might meet some of our locals! 

 

Published in Blog