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St Eadburgha’s Church and Francis Davis Millet (1846-1912)

The American artist Francis Davis Millet (Frank Millet) has connections with Broadway’s  St Eadburgha’s Church (a Grade 1 listed building dating back to Saxon times) located on the Snowshill Road, Broadway, about 3/4 mile south of the centre of the village opposite Coneygree Lane. The church is a lovely 10 minute stroll from our Cotswold holiday cottages at West End.

The present church of St Eadburgha’s dates back to Saxon times with late 12th century additions and several later additions. The church was subject to extensive repairs in 1866 and more recent repairs following severe flooding in July 2007 floods when the church was flooded by runoff from the Cotswold escarpment flowing down Coneygree Lane, across the Snowshill Road and into the church.

A few yards further along the Snowshill Road above the church is a wonderful lychgate built as a memorial to the American, Frank Millet.  Millet (Civil War soldier, painter, mural decorator, sculptor and writer) was born in Massachusetts on 3rd November 1846.  He spent many years of his life painting and living in Broadway with his wife and family firstly at Farnham House and later at Russell House near the village green.

Francis died in the sinking of RMS Titanic on 15th April 1912 on his way to New York from Rome having boarded the ship at Cherbourg. Millet who was travelling in 1st Class with his friend Major Archibald Willingham Butt (military aide to President William Howard Taft and President Theodore Roosevelt) was last seen helping women and children into the lifeboats. His body was later recovered from the sea by the crew of the cable ship MacKay Bennett and he is buried at East Bridgewater Central Cemetery, Massachusetts.

Millet’s paintings can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Detroit Insitute of Art and the Tate Gallery, London.  Millet was the first director of the American Academy in Rome and his painting Between Two Fires painted c1892, which hangs in the Tate, was probably painted in the refectory of the 14th century Abbot’s Grange, Broadway.  Millet restored Abbot’s Grange from its monastic ruins and it became a studio for the artists’ colony in Broadway he helped create. The Broadway Colony included artists and writers such as John Singer Sargent, Alfred Parsons, Fred Barnard, Henry James, Edmund Gosse, Edwin Austin Abbey and the actress Mary Anderson (Mme de Navarro), to name just a few.

Sargent spent the summers of 1885 and 1886 with the Millet family at Farnham House and then Russell House. It was in these Broadway gardens that Sargent painted Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose which now hangs in the Tate Gallery, London. Millet’s ink drawing  of Mr Sargent at work on Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose is owned by the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.

The tribute to Millet on the lychgate reads:

‘FRANCISCO DAVIS MILLET VIRO IN ARTIBVS LITTERISQVE PRAESTANTI QVI NAVI TITANICA FRACTA DVM SPEM TIMIDIS AFFERT MORTEM LAE TVS OPPETIVIT HOC MONVMENTVM SVAVIS AMICITIAE MEMORES SODALES PONENDVM CVRAVERVNT’

which roughly translated reads:

‘In tribute to Francis Millet a man of excellence in the Arts and Literature. He met his death with fortitude as the ship Titanic sank whilst still giving hope to those who feared for their lives. His dear friends sought the dedication of this memorial in fond memory of his treasured fellowship.’

Snow in December

Snow fell on the Cotswolds today covering our Cotswold holiday cottages in Broadway with a thick blanket of snow.

Despite the cold weather our cottages are warm and cosy, and a wonderful rural location from which to visit this beautiful part of England, an area of outstanding natural beauty, which looks particularly spectacular when covered in several inches of snow!

 

 

 

Trains Returning to Broadway: Easter Weekend 30th March to 2nd April 2018

Broadway Station, Worcestershire
Artist’s Impression of the new Broadway Station, Worcestershire, by the late Fred Lea

Easter weekend 2018, after 58 years, trains will be returning to Broadway. At the start of the weekend, the newly rebuilt station in Broadway will be officially opened and trains will run to and from the station at Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway village along 14 miles of completed track.

Over Easter (30th March to 2nd April 2018), GWSR will be running an intensive timetable with hourly departures from Broadway and Cheltenham. Tickets are available to book now at www.gwsr.com  or on the day at either station but it is expected that the trains will be very busy and that tickets will be very limited on the day so it is advisable to book in advance.

Parking at Broadway Station will be limited, however, the station is only about a 20 minutes’ walk from our Cotswold holiday cottages. If you are interested in staying on one of our Cotswold holiday cottages in Broadway whilst planning a trip on the newly opened GWSR line and station please visit our website for our current rates and availability in our cottages.

 

Christmas 2017 Late Night Shopping Evenings

Enjoy a fun festive evening in the Cotswolds. Soak up the seasonal atmosphere and entertainment during Broadway’s late night Christmas shopping evenings which will take place in Broadway on Friday 24th November and Friday 1st December 2017 from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.

Broadway’s High Street will be lined with trees full of sparkling Christmas lights on both evenings. There will be music and street entertainers, Santa’s Grotto, mulled wine and mince pies to enjoy whilst shopping in Broadway’s independent shops and galleries.

To stay in one of our Cotswold holiday cottages in Broadway over one of the Christmas late night shopping weekends please contact us.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Manor Cottages

 

 

 

 

February is Snowdrop Season

Snowdrops
Snowdrops in the grounds of our Cotswold holiday cottages, Broadway

February is a great month to visit the Cotswolds and see some wonderful displays of snowdrops. Nearby Batsford Arboretum at Bourton-on-the-Hill, with its garden centre and café (serving delicious afternoon teas), is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and from 10am to 5pm on Sundays. Wander amongst swathes of snowdrops, hellebores, crocuses and aconites amongst the trees and along the river bank in this amazing arboretum which houses one of the largest tree private collections in the country.

Further afield in the Cotswolds great places to see carpets of snowdrops include: Colesbourne Park between Cirencester and Cheltenham, Rococco Garden at Painswick, Kempsford Manor near Fairford and Rodmarton Manor near Cirencester.

 

 

Broadway Station Opening March 2018

Broadway Station Cotswolds
Broadway Station

Although several months away, we are excited to hear that Broadway Station will be opening on Good Friday 30th March 2018. Just over 12 months away and the golden age of steam is set to return to Broadway.

Broadway’s station was demolished by British Rail in 1963 and volunteers from Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) are painstakingly rebuilding and restoring the station to its former glory. At the time of writing, the station’s two platforms and signal box are nearly completed and work is well underway on the station buildings. Laying of the track is continuing to join Broadway with the existing railway which currently runs from Cheltenham Racecourse through Winchcombe and Toddington to Laverton some 2 miles short of Broadway.

The railway is also re-instating the Hayles Abbey Halt, at Hailes, to serve the nearby ruined Hailes Abbey. The halt will be a request-only stop for pedestrians and cyclists and will hopefully be completed later this year.

The GWR is all volunteer run and has a dedicated team working two days a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays) at the site on Station Road, Broadway, a 20 minute walk from our Cotswold holiday cottages in West End. The project remains dependent on sponsors and donors and all donations are gratefully received. More information about the railway and rebuilding of Broadway Station can be found at http://broadwaystationgroup.blogspot.co.uk/.

On 24th April, Alan Bielby, GWSR will be giving a talk on the rebuilding of the railway and Broadway Station at Broadway Methodist Church Hall starting at 7pm. For further information about the talk, organised by Broadway History Society, visit www.broadwayhistorysociety.wordpress.com.