A Delightful Day Out…
This summer why not visit Browsholme Hall, Lancashire’s oldest ancestral home, where you can meander through the elegant, landscaped gardens or take a tour of this historic family home
Across the seasons Browsholme Hall always looks stunning, no more so than in the summertime when the gardens are glorious and in full bloom.
Set in the heart of the Ribble Valley, Browsholme Hall is a Grade I listed historic house that was built in 1507. Fifteen generations of the Parker family have lived at Browsholme since it was built and with astute planning, the current custodians Robert and Amanda Parker along with the next generation – their daughter Eleanor and son Roland – have brought the hall well and truly into the 21st century.
Throughout June, July, August and September, the historic hall, gardens, woodland walks and the delightful tea room are open to the public every Tuesday and Wednesday.
This summer visitors can view a new eye-catching art installation – the Standing Horse, which is a focal point in the Edwardian Garden. Made of corten steel, it has been created by sculptor Chris Smith from Preston. Elsewhere stone sculptures of local red sandstone by Sarah Smith blend into the natural garden landscape.
The restoration of the landscape garden with origins to the Rev William Giplin, the 18th century proponent of the romantic and picturesque, is a current focus for the household. Undertaken by the family and Browsholme’s skilled team of gardeners, work actually started on an earlier ‘wilderness’ garden, which was formed in 1707 to mark the Act of the Union. The garden was originally designed and planted in geometric quadrants representing the Union Jack and this has been replicated using exotic and indigenous plants.
However, this Jubilee year it has been the creation of a ‘woodland garden’, which will eventually extend to 10 acres, that is central to the hall’s celebrations. Under the Queen’s Jubilee ‘Green Canopy’ project, the hall has chosen a selection of beautiful trees and shrubs, including rhododendron, magnolia, cherry and acers for spring and autumn colour. In April, 40 couples getting married at Browsholme this year took part in the first tree-planting ceremony: “It was a wonderful occasion to help them plant their tree and then perhaps see them again over the years as it grows towards maturity,” explains Eleanor.
Over 10 years Browsholme Hall has become one of the region’s most popular and prestigious wedding venues, giving couples an amazing choice of beautiful locations for couples to say, ‘I do’.
All equally romantic, there is the Lily Pond with an oak pavilion, the elegant Italian Steps – a favourite location next to the East Wing of the hall or the 200-year-old ‘Lonesome Pine’ in the woodland garden for those couples seeking the ultimate eco-friendly wedding. And if the weather becomes inclement, there is still the wonderful Tithe Barn to move an outside ceremony indoors at short notice.
For wedding guest accommodation – as well as being popular with visitors spending shorts breaks in the Ribble Valley, there are two cosy cottages plus the Woodland Glade, where there are 10 glamping lodges which are in great demand throughout the year. This is perhaps not surprising, as the Parker family work alongside the Forest of Bowland’s Sustainable Tourism initiative, within stunning countryside for both walkers and cyclists visiting the area.
Across all areas, Browsholme takes sustainability very seriously and as such, the tea room sources all main ingredients from local suppliers and these form the basis of a local menu, with as many ingredients as possible sourced locally and all dishes home-made.
The Parker family have brought the hall and estate back from the dilapidation of the 1970s, foremost to a family home but also a visitor attraction with a warm welcome. Behind the scenes at the hall, there is a 21-strong team including volunteers, who have worked to make Browsholme and its grounds a successful enterprise for the community, visitors and wedding couples to appreciate and enjoy.
So, to celebrate the recent Platinum Jubilee, Browsholme was one of a number of significant Lancashire landmarks to light a beacon on 2nd June – the family made this a community event inviting local people and staff, to be part of this unique and historic occasion.
To find out more about Browsholme Hall and events coming up follow them on social media or go to the website: browsholme.com
Clitheroe Road, Cow Ark, Clitheroe BB7 3DE