DiCamillo Companion

Brampton Bryan Hall (The Hall) (Brampton Bryan Castle) (Brompton Brian Castle)

  • Earlier Houses: The 14th century three-story Brampton Bryan Castle, built of Caen stone from Normandy, was mostly destroyed during the English Civil War. The Grade I-listed ruin, which feature a pair of embattled round towers, was used in the filming of the 1992 Merchant Ivory film "Howards End."

    Built / Designed For: Edward Harley

    House & Family History: Brampton Bryan Hall is a 17th century brick house with sandstone dressings and a hipped Welsh slate roof that was built to replace the earlier Brampton Bryan Castle, which was ruined during the Civil War. Both houses were seats of the Harley family, after whom Harley Street in London was named (the family developed this part of London in the 18th century).

    Collections: In the early 18th century Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer (1661-1724), sponsor of the careers of Alexander Pope, John Gay, and Jonathan Swift, and member of the Scriblerus Club, formed one of the most magnificent collection of books and prints in the country at Brampton Bryan. Known as the Harleian Miscellany, the library ultimately led to his bankruptcy, but succeeded in preserving an unparalleled collection of Anglo-Saxon, Middle English, and Renaissance literature, as well as loose poems, ballads, and illuminated manuscripts from France, Italy, and Germany from the early Middle Ages to the Renaissance (the miscellany was collated and edited by Samuel Johnson between 1744 and 1753). Harley's collection, together with that of his son, Edward Harley, the 2nd Earl, was sold from Wimpole Hall (the 2nd Earl's seat) to Parliament in 1753 for £10,000 (approximately £20 million in 2020 values using the labour value commodity index). The Harleian Miscellany formed the core of today's British Library.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: According to legend, every September 3rd the devil rampages through the park with Oliver Cromwell's soul. The grounds also contain a Victorian dairy.

  • Title: Merchant Ivory's English Landscape: Rooms, Views, and Anglo-Saxon Attitudes
    Author: Pym, John
    Year Published: 1995
    Publisher: New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
    ISBN: 0810942755
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade II*

    Park Listed: Grade II

  • "Howards End" (1992 - as Honiton, Mr. Wilcox's country house, where his wedding to Margaret Schlegel takes place).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Edward and Victoria Harley; Harley family here since 1309.

    Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Brampton family, until the early 14th century. Harley family, 14th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Edward Harley, 17th century; Robert Harley, 1st Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, until 1724; Edward Harley, 4th Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, until 1790; Alfred Harley, 6th (and last) Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, until until 1853; William Daker Harley, 19th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No


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