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A Hamish Production © 2016

Website Last Updated - 06 Feb 2016

(from Sept 2006)

In 1767, a major architectural “transformation” was begun by Lancelot “Capability” Brown (1716-1783).  Palmerston’s grandson - Henry Temple, FRS, MP, 2nd Viscount Palmerston, (1739-1802) requested that Brown seize upon the capabilities' of the earlier Tudor and Jacobean manor house and between 1767 and 1780, the “deformalisation” of William Kent (1685-1748) was completed, as well as further landscaping, planting and riverside work, creating one of his greatest masterpieces.  Much of Brown’s designs remain today - and it is a tribute to his foresight, that Broadland’s grounds are so beautiful today.  Broadlands' Archives show that his was the principal influence in planning the project to 'square' the house in new classic Palladian style, to be encased in white brick to give the appearance of stone and to have two noble porticos.  Brown's protégé and son-in-law - Henry Holland (1745-1806) - added the east front portico and domed hall in 1788. Most of the decorative plaster work in the main rooms was designed and executed by Joseph Rose the Elder (1723-1780), described by a contemporary as "the first man in the Kingdom as a plasterer". The stable building, which now houses the Mountbatten Exhibition, has changed little since the end of the 17th Century when the old manor house of the St. Barbe family stood on the site of the present Georgian house.

Lancelot “Capability” Brown

The 18th Century grace of Broadlands' exterior is today complemented by its elegant interior and visitors can see many of the original paintings, furniture, porcelain and magnificent sculpture collected by the Palmerstons. Viscountess Palmerston wrote - “nothing can be more comfortable than this House. It is magnificent when we have company, and when alone it seems to be only a cottage in a beautiful garden".  

The house is largely as the 2nd Viscount Palmerston left it, with only minor improvements being made when The Rt Hon. Sir Henry Temple, KG, GCB, MP, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (1784-1865) – who twice served as Prime Minister between 1855-1858 and 1859-1865.  Following his death, the estate passed to his step-son William Cowper-Temple, 1st Lord Mount Temple (1811-1888), and when he died the estate passed to his great-nephew – The Rt Hon Evelyn Ashley (1836-1907) – the second son of the great philanthropist Sir Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Bt., KG, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury (1801-1885), who had been private secretary to the 3rd Viscount Palmerston.



Pg 2

Henry, 3rd Viscount Palmerston

on the steps of Broadlands

Broadlands 3