The Brocket Babies
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Brocket Hall is one of Englandís finest stately homes with a long and intriguing history.
Situated in 543 acres of mature parkland, affording stunning views over the Broadwater Lake.
The Brocket Hall which is known today, was built by renowned architect James Paine for the owner, Sir Mathew Lamb in 1760. However, the Hall stands on the site of two predecessors, the original of which was built in 1239.
Sir Matthew's son became the first Lord Melbourne, largely through the efforts of his wife who was a mistress of the Prince Regent, later George IV, who was a frequent visitor to Brocket Hall. The Prince gave his mistress a gift of a Reynolds painting which hangs in the ballroom and created the Chinese suite of rooms - known as the Prince Regent Suite - which are still used by residential guests today.
Romantic liaisons were abundant at Brocket Hall. The wife of the second Lord Melbourne had a great passion for the poet Lord Byron and is said to have fallen from her horse at the shock of seeing his funeral cortege passing the Brocket estate; she had by all accounts, not known of his death until that moment.
The second Lord Melbourne proved to be more of an individual, going on to become Queen Victoria's first Prime Minister, with whom he struck up a close friendship. Victoria herself was another monarch who often stayed at the Hall. On the death of Melbourne in 1848, the Hall passed to his sister who was to marry Lord Palmerston. Palmerston went on to become Prime Minister and was to die in somewhat bizarre circumstances at Brocket Hall, allegedly involved with a chambermaid at the time. More recently Baroness Thatcher spent time at the Hall where she wrote her memoirs.
In the 18th Century, the concept of hotels didn't really exist and large houses were built not only for the family to live in, but also to give them facilities for meeting and entertaining.
It is fitting that Brocket Hall today should once again be used for this original purpose, giving the opportunity for the Brocket Babies to revisit their place of birth.