Monday, 25 February 2013

Sandwell Hall Staffordshire

The ‘new’ Sandwell Hall was (re)built from 1703 by the master builder William Smith of Warwick. He was the brother of the prolific master builder Francis who had recently completed Dudmaston Hall, a structurally similar building to Sandwell. The approach to the house was along a long straight driveway from the east across the open parkland. To the North was woodland also with a pond and to the west a substantial lake which still exists. The South entrance front shown here extended double width to the east at single level height after building work in 1840. The porch was added earlier in the C19th. The east front had twin double height bays which would have been an impressive sight to approaching visitors. By the early C19th the whole building had been stuccoed in white as was fashionable at the time. The hall’s latter years from around 1850 saw it used as religious school, mental asylum, borstal institution, and periodically, unoccupied. It was demolished in 1928. The site of the house is north of Sandwell Priory ruins, east of the M5 and north of Sandwell Park Golf Club.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Bitteswell Hall Leicestershire

Bitteswell Hall near Lutterworth, Leicestershire  was built in 1838 for William Corbet Smith, Esq. a Captain in the 1st Regiment of Dragoons, and was the centre of a 600 acre estate. It was in a simple stuccoed classical style incorporating plain double height pilasters .There were also additional outbuildings and a stable block with a clock tower. William retained the hall until he died in 1847.

The hall was next  occupied by Robert Fellowes Esq. Of Shottesham Park, Norfolk. He began a large family there and is recorded as having 10 servants in 1861. He returned to Shotesham Park at some point where his death was recorded in 1915 at an incredible 98 years old.


By 1886 the hall was the home of David Bromilow the High Sheriff of Leicestershire. He is known to have been a wealthy man and there are records of him purchasing the Marlborough Gems, a collection of works in Cameo and Intaglio formed by George, 3rd Duke of Marlborough. He bought them in 1875 at a staggering cost of £35,000. David had only one daughter who took possession of the house and (Gems) on his death in 1898.

The hall was demolished in 1928.