This Grade-I house, built in 1507, is the working family home of the Parkers. When you visit you’ll get the opportunity to look at antique furniture and paintings in their original setting.
Browsholme Hall (pronounced “Brusom”) claims to be the oldest surviving family-owned home in Lancashire. It was built in 1507 for Thomas Parker; the current owner of the house, Robert Parker, inherited the Hall in 1975. Robert and his wife, Amanda, still live in the house and invite people to visit the Grade-I listed building. Rooms include a hall which has barely changed since 1805, lined with objects from the English Civil War and even before, including a peg tankard that has been in the family for over 500 years. Each room has furniture, artwork and historical objects, such as paintings by James Northcote, Bronze Age swords, Roman glass and even a fragment of a Zeppelin, but the refreshing thing about Browsholme is that many of these rooms are still used regularly by the family, such as the regency dining room with 18-foot table, and the oak-panelled drawing room, which they use every day.
However, the interiors are not the only place to visit. When Robert Parker inherited the Hall, many of the gardens were overgrown and their features had been lost. Since then, he has focused on restoring the grounds to their former beauty and the natural landscaping that had been developed in the style of Capability Brown. There’s a Long Terrace and Parterre, as well as a ‘Wilderness’, which was a formal garden planted with shrubs and trees to let visitors be close to nature. It was originally designed in the shape of a Union Jack to commemorate the 1707 Act of Union, and is currently being re-developed and re-imagined for the modern visitor. But you’re looking for something a little less tame and more akin to the wilderness, there’s a small forest in the grounds and with a 3-acre lake, which is a haven for wildlife.
To prolong your visit, you can take tea in the 18th century Tithe Barn, or stay in one of the 10 self-catered micro-lodges in the Woodland Glade.
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