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Broome Park

Broome Park from the air

Front face of Broome Park

Commemoration of Lord Kitchener's residence

Loggia in Italian Garden

Broome Park is thought to be the Tappington Hall of the Ingoldsby Legends by Richard Harris Barham under his pseudonym Thomas Ingoldsby.   The description in the legends "standing among the hanging woods, an antiquated manor house with gabled ends and stone stanchions and tortuous chimneys" seems to describe Broome Park.

The Manor of Broome was in the possession of the Digges family in the 16th century and was left by James Digges to his son Leonard in 1540.

It passed to Sir Basil Dixwell who left it to his nephew Mark Dixwell in 1641.   It passed down through the family until John Diggs had to flee the country in 1641 having been one of the signatories of the death warrant of Charles I.

A second Sir Basil Diggs died without an heir and the estate passed to his cousin Sir George Oxenden of Dene and Wingham.

Broome Park was then owned by Sir Percy Noel Dixwell-Oxenden until 1911 when it was sold to Lord Kitchener of Khartoum who threw himself into the business of arranging extensive alterations and loved to visit Broome Park to escape from thoughts of Egypt and later the rigors of World War I.   One of the alterations was a cupboard built into the panelling of his study in which he could hide whenever he spotted a lady approaching the house, in case she turned out to be another of those suffragettes who besieged him from time to time.   Apart from this he seemed to find peace and quiet in the solitude of his beautiful surroundings.

Great changes were made to the interior of the house.   It was almost completely gutted to make way for fine ceilings, hall fire-places copied from Hatfield House and a new and imposing staircase.   The character and beauty of the Adams drawing-room remained unchanged though it was redecorated.