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
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
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.