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Broadlands

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Broadlands

“Broadlands” is considered one of the finest examples of mid-Georgian architecture in England. It stands serenely in a unique place in British history, having had several distinguished owners and many of its important visitors have helped to shape the course of history.  Its name originates from the Brodelandes estate, which was owned by nearby Romsey Abbey, which had been founded by a daughter of King Edward the Elder (870(899-924) as a Benedictine nunnery in 997. In 1539, the manor was surrendered to King Henry VIII (1491(1509-1547), who separated the Abbey from the house after the Dissolution of the Monasteries and Broadlands was sold to Sir Francis Fleming (1502-1558) in 1547, whose daughter married Edward St. Barbe.  The manor remained the property of the St. Barbe family for the next 117 years.


The arms of the St. Barbe family

Sir John St. Barbe, Bt. (1655-1723) made many improvements to the manor prior to leaving the estate to his nephew – Humphrey Sydenham (1694-1757) in 1723. Sydenham was ruined in the South Sea Bubble incident – where the South Sea Company was granted a monopoly to trade with South America under a treaty with Spain and an economic “bubble” occurred through overheated speculation in the company’s shares, and he sold the estate for £26,500 to Henry Temple, MP, 1st Viscount Palmerston (1673-1757) in 1736. Palmerston began the deformalisation of the gardens between the river and the house and produced the “gentle descent to the river” and to make the house “suitable for a gentleman to live in”.  

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