The Age of Queen Victoria

Castle Bromwich Hall in Queen Victoria's time

and up to the present day

 

(For the earlier history of Castle Bromwich Hall, go back to the Georgians.)

 

 

Since 1767 the Bridgemans had been living at Weston Park in Shropshire, a very much larger and grander house than Castle Bromwich Hall. 

  

However, in 1870 George Bridgeman Viscount Newport moved back. He was the eldest son of the 3rd Earl of Bradford. In 1869 he had married Lady Ida Lumley, the second daughter of the Earl of Scarborough and both of them were to live at Castle Bromwich Hall all their lives. Lady Ida gave birth to seven children here.

 

Many of the Bridgeman family had been involved in politics since the 17th century. Viscount Newport was the Member of Parliament for North Shropshire (Weston Park is in Shropshire) and owned a house in London. The family also visited friends and relations around the country and made visits abroad.

 

And friends and relation and distinguished visitors came to the Hall. Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli stayed with the family on more than one occasion as did the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George V and Queen Mary), Prince and Princess Christian (Queen Victoria's grand-daughter), the Duke and Duchess of Teck (Queen Mary's parents), Prince Arthur (Queen Victoria's son)and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (another son of Queen Victoria and his wife).

 

The Hall had many servants looking after the needs of the family and visitors. The 1891 Census recorded eight members of the family living here with 19 servants also living in the Hall.


Into the 20th Century

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George Bridgeman, Viscount Newport became the 4th Earl of Bradford when his father died in 1898, but he continued to live at Castle Bromwich. He died in London in 1915 and was buried at Weston.

 

Lady Ida stayed at Castle Bromwich Hall after her husband's death; her eldest son, Orlando became the 5th Earl of Bradford and he moved to Weston Park.

 

Lady Ida was well-known around Castle Bromwich village and referred to by local people as Lady Bradford; the Hall was known locally as Lady Bradford's. She lived here for 60 years and was the last of the Bridgemans to live at the Hall. The Countess was often seen around the village and she regularly went to church. Each year the church fete was held in the gardens of the Hall.

 

Lady Bradford continued to receive royal and distinguished visitors and her son, Lord Bradford often came down from Weston Park to receive them. Her close friend Queen Mary visited her more than once. Important visitors to the British Industries Fair were often entertained at the Hall.

 

Lady Bradford died in 1936 and Lord Bradford advertised the Hall either for sale or to let. There was not much interest and Lord Bradford sold off most of the furniture and artworks or took it back to Weston.

 

During the Second World War army troops were billeted here.

 

GEC apprentices at Castle Bromwich Hall
GEC apprentices at Castle Bromwich Hall

After the War the General Electric Company at Witton rented the Hall as accommodation for their apprentices. (GEC made everything electrical from fridges and electric lamps to lifts and tv sets.)

 

There were usually 75 students here aged 18+ working alternately 6 months at Witton and 6 months studying at Birmingham Technical College. GEC laid on a bus service to get them to the factory at Witton.

 

The apprenticeship took 5 years. But engineering was in their blood: the old stable block was full of cars that the apprentices spent their spare time stripping, repairing and rebuilding. 

 

GEC left the Hall by 1960 they left and the empty building gradually began to fall into disrepair.


Castle Bromwich Hall - SOLD

 

In 1969 the Page Johnson building company bought the Hall from the Earl of Bradford to use as offices for a staff of some 70 workers. The Bridgemans had owned the house since 1657, a period of over 300 years. Page Johnson were bought out in 1972 by another building firm, Bovis Homes who owned the Hall until 2001.

 

The Hall was then bought by a number of different companies all of whom fell into difficulties. Once again the Hall was left empty and in danger of deterioration through neglect.

 

The 21st Century

 

 

Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel

 

However, in 2009 the building was bought by developers Linda and Neil Chen. After extensive consultations with English Heritage and the National Trust, the Hall was carefully restored. It opened as Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel in 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weblink

 

 

 

 Find out more about Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel by clicking on the image (left). Their website will open on a new page.

 

 

 

'A History of Castle Bromwich for Young People' written by William Dargue 2016 for the Castle Bromwich Bellringers.

We’ve been ringing here for 500 years and are keen to involve local people in our ancient art. Contact us via our Castle Bromwich Bell Ringers website if you want learn to ring or visit the tower or have one of us talk to your group about the history of Castle Bromwich, our church or bellringing.  Material on this site may be reused only for non-commercial purposes providing appropriate attribution is given (Creative Commons Licence Attribution NonCommercial 4.0) - details on the Contact page.