Bramley Meade was built on the proceeds of the textile industry. One hundred years ago it was up for sale. It gained prominence as a maternity home but, a century later, history is repeating itself .
One hundred years ago, in February 1919, the sale of country estates gained momentum, with the latest property added to the auction catalogues being Bramley Meade at Whalley in Lancashire.
The mansion of “modern architectural design” contained five entertaining rooms, a noble staircase and eight principal bedrooms. In addition to the house, the auction scheduled for April 1919, would also include the entire contents, including furniture “made from the best selected timbers by Harrison of Burnley.” There was also a 30 H.P. Daimler Landaulette up for grabs as well.
Bramley Meade was built in 1882, in the style of Italian Renaissance, for textile manufacturer Richard Thompson, proprietor of Britannia and Alma Mills in Padham, and was one of a number of prestigious residences built north of Whalley in the late 19th century.
Richard Thompson died in 1913 and the mansion eventually passed, in 1919, to Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Alfred Dixon, Royal Field Artillery, who died in 1925.
Passing to Thomas Allan Collinge, a Burnley manufacturer, Bramley Meade was bought by Lancashire County Council to become a maternity home for the Clitheroe borough and rural districts in 1946. However, it stood empty for several years before finally opening in 1951 and operated until 1992. After that time, the property was converted back into a family residence.
A century after that sale notice appeared, Bramley Meade Hall is back on the market, now with the addition of an indoor heated swimming pool. Although the asking price has been kept a secret, it is understood from Athertons that it will be in the millions of pounds.