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Monday, 22 February 2021 13:32

New Horizons - 1939 to present day


Welcome back. We're down to the last few grains of history in the Dunfield Sandglass.

 From 1939 to 1945 the House was requisitioned by the War Office and the Bromages went to live in Dunfield Cottage at the end of the lane. British officers were garrisoned in the meadow where there was a firing range. Later American officers were housed at Dunfield and there is a rumour that they were possibly Black officers, as racial segregation was much in evidence. Towards the end of the war when D Day was being planned it was general knowledge, but never confirmed, that Winston Churchill came and stayed at Dunfield to attend high-level planning for D Day. General Patton was seen in the area and stayed at Huntington Manor and rumour has it that General Eisenhower attended the meeting. One anecdote is that a canteen of cutlery was bought to present to Churchill and was placed in Dunfield House safe. Upon retrieving it the safe door became immovable and the wall at the back of the House had to be broken down to get to it.

Dunfield was one of the places that would be used for returning injured servicemen of higher ranks. There was a Military Hospital in Kington for the normal foot soldiers. In 1941 James Vincent Bennett Raikes Bromage owned Dunfield House. On the 8th December 1941 - Dunfield House was given to Phyllis Bromage by her husband, James Vincent Bromage as a deed of gift.

  • 30th December 1946 - Mrs Phyllis Bromage, now divorced, sold Dunfield House to Col. Robert Jebb Few of Coneyherst-on-the-Hill, Ewhurst, Surrey for £4,500. According to Irene Watkins of Dunfield Farm, Col. Few was responsible for electricity being installed at Dunfield House and also at Dunfield Farm.
  • 20th July 1950 - R.J.Few took out a mortgage with Edith Ruth Phyllis Pateshall of Allensmore Court, Hereford in the sum of £3,000, which was paid in full by October 1952.
  • 1st July 1958 - R.J.Few as Landlord leased Dunfield to Mis Iris Emily Poole of 24 Bryngwyn Road, Newport, who became his tenant. Col. R.J.Few moved to Bircher Court, Titley.
  •  8th April 1960 - Miss Iris Emily Poole was declared bankrupt at Leominster County Court and Col.R.J.Few would take possession of the House again. The Pooles - mother, two sons and a daughter - had tried to run the house as a Country Guest Hotel but it had proved unfruitful. Miss Iris Poole married Peter Bigg, a farmer at Gladestry. Mrs Poole went to live with her older brother. Iris (the daughter) and Bobby, her younger brother, stayed on in the house for a little while longer.
  •  16th December 1963 - Col. Robert Jebb Few sold Dunfield House to Albert Edward Burns of Portland, Madley, Herefordshire for an amount of £7,500.

 The 1960's

  • 1960 - (Dates still to be established) Mrs Irene Watkins of Dunfield Farm gave the following information: About this time three people came to live at Dunfield House. They were Mrs Frodsham and Mr and Mrs Smith. Mrs Frodsham came from Manchester. Mr Smith was a Wool Grader and Book Dealer at Lyonshall. He stored the books in what is now the Chapel. Mrs Smith and Mrs Frodsham decided to turn Dunfield into a Guest House with the advertising logo 'Guest House with a difference'. Weekly terms for 5 guineas included all modern conveniences, hot and cold water in bedrooms, spring mattresses, electric fires, central heating, excellent cuisine, separate tables and farm produce. For your 5 guineas, you also had a garage for your car, golfing and fishing. Their commitment to customer service included 'your comfort and satisfaction - our first consideration'.
  • 24th September 1965 - Dunfield House was sold by Albert Edward Burns to William Henry Isaac, Arthur Mayne and John Franklin Schofield. The House became the property of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in time to be known as The Community of Christ. It was developed into a Conference Centre for the use of Church members and other organizations. William G. Coates and his wife Mary became the first Managers and moved in on Saturday October 9th. Community of Christ groups start their Dunfield story. Dudley and Walsall Youth Service - first community group.  
  • 1966 Recreation Hall purchased in sections and transported from Wiltshire by Doug Young's coal lorries. Harry Black directed the first Reunion.
  • 1967 The Recreation Hall completed. The first Overseas Youth Service Corps arrived.
  •  1969 Children's Holiday Camps started with children coming from Herefordshire.

 The 1970's

  • 1971 27th April, Bill & Mary, their son Christopher and daughter Sue lived in the House until a cottage was prepared for them. They had previously lived in what is now the office, dining room 2 and 3 and the pantry at different times from 1965-71.
  • 1975 Outdoor Swimming Pool is completed on the site of the cottage gardens.
  • Mews (Stables) upgrade - showers, toilets and 3 bedrooms.

The 1980's

  • 1980 2nd August, Dunfield House Dedication Service held.
  •  1982/33 Contract for major Stables conversion given to Ernist Deacon, a local firm from Kington.
  •  1985 Work on Stables completed. Recreation Hall granted Permanent Building Status             

 The 1990's

  • 1994 Indoor Swimming Pool opened. Fred Crane appointed Manager of Dunfield.
  • 1995 Bill and Mary Coates retire after 30 years service. Community of Christ retreats started.
  •  1997 First Adult Rally held at Dunfield.
  •  1998 Adventure Playground built.
  •  1999 Legal structure of the board revised. The Dunfield Charity and Dunfield House Limited commenced trading on 1st April.

The 2000's

 During this period of time; the glass window is created in the chapel, the first Eurotribe is held, Fred and Helen Crane move back to Leicester, while Barbera Woodhouse manages Dunfield on an interim period, and then in 2005,  Sue and Paul Norton are appointed the new Managers of Dunfield.

Final development of the Stables building and installation of a state of the art Biomass Boiler are just a couple of the projects, amongst many, Sue and Paul have undertaken whilst managing Dunfield. Their dedication and hard work over the years has seen Dunfield thrive. Adults and children alike are experiencing the joy of coming to Dunfield, year after year.

Sue and Paul have now gracefully retired and once again Dunfield is passed-on to new hands. Those  competent hands belong to Alison and Daniel (with their two young boys, Owen and Adam) who are the new managers of Dunfield as of 2021.

I hope you've enjoyed our distilled embrace of Dunfield's diverse history and survival, it's undeniable rise to present day glory and it's passionate declaration of 'how good the world can be'  that is imprinted in everything it does.

Thank you for your company. The last grain of sand has fallen. It's 2021 and time to turn the Sandglass over, let the grains fall again, head for the future... and start a new history.







Published in Blog
Friday, 14 June 2019 16:15

Welcome to Lisa, Trudie, Lesley & Phil

Hey there Humans,

Fudge here. Sorry, I’ve not been blogging for a while, but a feline’s work is never done it seems!

I’ve had groups coming to stay and then going home again, groups coming to stay and going home again, groups…. Well, you get the picture.

Add to that not one but four new members of staff have arrived since I was last blogging – the photo shows me reviewing the new Assistant Manager, Lisa. She’s not bad, gives me Dreamies, (I’ve discovered I just LOVE Dreamies) and fuss and as you know if you been here - I do like everyone fussing over me.

Then there’s the lovely Trudi who has joined the cleaning/laundry team. Always has a smile and lifts everybody’s day. Lesley who makes yummy food in the kitchen and Phil who is great, he can do anything!

Sue, Paul and Mike are still here working hard – not as hard as me obviously but yes, still keeping Dunfield as lovely as it always is.

Over the next few months, I will be showing some highlights of how purr-fect it is to stay here at Dunfield, so you can see how paw-some this place is.

If you’ve been here before then you will REMEMBER just how beautiful Dunfield is and because I am in charge, I look forward to seeing you and if it is to be your first visit, keep an eye out for me  - just don’t forget the Dreamies!

So, bye for now and soft paws,


Published in Blog