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Wednesday, 30 December 2020 15:33

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


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