A 1789 engraving of the House
The iconic World War I "wants you" poster featuring Lord Kitchener
Built / Designed For: Sir Basil Dixwell
House & Family History: Broome Park was built for Sir Basil Dixwell in an H-style that is completely symmetrical. Broome was part of a very cosmopolitan and limited movement of the time that disdained the Tudor architecture that was then popular, but also found the rising Palladian style too cold and severe. Broome and other buildings like it (Cromwell House, London, and Kew Palace, Richmond) blended Renaissance and Inigo Jones styles, with a little panache. In the 18th century the Saloon was done up by James Wyatt for Sir Henry Oxenden, Bt. in the Neoclassical style of Robert Adam. Pevsner, writing in "The Buildings of England: North East and East Kent," says "the Saloon is one of the finest late 18th century rooms in Kent…" The war hero Lord Kitchener purchased Broome in 1911 and lived here until his death in 1916. He commissioned the architects Blow & Billerey to redecorate the House, the high point of which was the Hall, complete with a plaster ceiling modeled on one at Gilling Castle and two huge chimneypieces that were copied from those in the Gallery at Hatfield House. (Kitchener is best known, when, as secretary of state for war during the First World War, he appeared on the famous recruitment poster with his heavily mustachioed face and hand pointing over the phrase "Your Country Needs You" -- see scan of poster in "Images" section). In the early 1930s the Broome Park Estate was purchased by Mr. G.C. Jell, who converted the House into a country house hotel. During World War II the Estate was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence.
Comments: Pevsner, writing in "The Buildings of England: North East and East Kent," says of Broome: "There is no more amazing display of 17th century cut and moulded brickwork than the gables of Broome."
Country Life: XXII, 18, 1907. LXXXVI, 494, 1939.
Title: Buildings of England: North East and East Kent, The
Author: Newman, John
Year Published: 1969
Reference: pgs. 160-162
Publisher: London: Penguin Books
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
Author: Colvin, Howard
Year Published: 1995
Reference: pg. 1115
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback
Title: Best Buildings of England, The
Author: Pevsner, Nikolaus
Year Published: 1986
Publisher: London: Viking
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Past Seat of: Sir Basil Dixwell, 17th century; Dixwells here until 1750. Sir Henry Oxenden, Bt., 18th century; Oxenden family here until 1911. Field Marshal The Earl Kitchener, 1911-16. G.C. Jell, 20th century.
Current Ownership Type: Corporation
Primary Current Ownership Use: Hotel
Ownership Details: Today Broome Park Hotel and Golf Resort