Queen Victoria’s Coronation Bonfire at Broadway Tower 22nd June 1887

Broadway Celebrated Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 with a Beacon Bonfire at Broadway Tower

131 years ago today, on 20th June 1837, whilst Queen Victoria was celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of her accession to the throne in London with a banquet to which 50 European Kings and Princes were invited, 2,548 beacon bonfires were lit across England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the Channel Islands. Colonel Milward, one of Worcestershire’s MPs, used the top of the Malvern Hills as the starting point for the first organised chain of bonfires to be lit to the north, south, west and east.

Broadway joined in the Jubilee celebrations: after dusk a procession of villagers carrying torches and chinese lanterns made its way up what is now The Cotswold Way from the centre of the village to the Tower on top of ‘Beacon Hill’, where a large bonfire was lit. That evening from the vantage point of Broadway Tower, 142 beacon fires could be seen across the surrounding countryside.

Broadway Tower has not hosted any beacon bonfires in recent years but is still a great Cotswolds attraction to visit and well worth the climb up the hill from our Cotswold holiday cottages in West End. The walk takes about 40 minutes and is a steady but not too arduous ascent. It is also possible to take the car up to the Tower as there is there is plenty of parking on site. The views from the top of the Tower are spectacular and on a clear day it is possible to see 16 counties of England and Wales. Within the grounds of the Tower is a herd of red deer and the nearby cafe Morris & Brown is open for refreshments almost every day of the year!

Lancaster Bomber Flypast, Broadway Tower
Broadway Tower – Lancaster Bomber Flypast
Morris and Brown Cafe at Broadway Tower
Morris & Brown Cafe at Broadway Tower

 

 

 

 

 

George V Silver Jubilee Celebrations in Broadway: 6th May 1935

Broadway’s Silver Jubilee Celebrations 6th May 1935

83 years ago today, on 6th May 1935, the village of Broadway celebrated the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty King George V. Various sporting events, organised by the North Cotswold Athletic Club were held in the village, including a men’s cross country race up to Broadway Tower and back.

During the afternoon, a children’s tea party was held in Broadclose field and the following beautiful gardens were opened to the public free of charge: Orchard Farm (Lady Maud Bowes Lyon), Court Farm (Mary Anderson de Navarro), The Lygon Arms (D.G.S. Russell), The Bannits (Mrs Rees Price), Farncombe House (Capt. Frank Burges OBE), Abbott’s Grange (J.Y.R.T. Kendall),  Austin House (Mr Stratford Saunders) and Luggershill (Clement Parsons).

The following Thursday evening, a Jubilee Dance was held at the Lifford Memorial Hall and after the celebrations, two commemoration oak seats set on staddlestones were installed on the High Street. To also commemorate the Jubilee a number of Horse Chestnut and Lime trees were planted along the Cheltenham Road and High Street, many of which can still be seen today.

 

Worcestershire Life Interview: My Favourite Work of Art

My Favourite Work of Art: Galloway Landscape by Barbara Williams

In 2010 I was interviewed by Worcestershire Life for an article in the run up to the inaugural Broadway Arts Festival titled ‘My Favourite Work of Art. My favourite piece of art is a painting I own by Barbara Williams of the Galloway landscape.  The following article:

Debbie and her family moved to Broadway from Hertfordshire in 2006 and run Broadway Manor Cottages holiday cottages and apartment from their 16th century home on the outskirts of the village.

“We used to go up to Kirkcudbright in Galloway, South West Scotland a lot on holiday as my husband is a Scot and he’s been going there since he was about 10 years old. Kirkcudbright also has its own colony of artists and I bought this painting to remind me of Dumfries and Galloway and holidays with the children as they were growing up. I just love the open rolling hills and acres of sky and in a way the stone walls and the rolling hills are similar to here. My two boys also love the Belted Galloway cattle, as shown in the painting. There are a herd of them up on the hillside here in Broadway, so when we moved here and walked up the hill and saw them it was wonderful.”

This summer sees the 5th Broadway Arts Festival which will take place in the village from 8th to 17th June 2018.

For more information about our Cotswold holiday cottages and apartment at The Manor House, Broadway, click here.

 

Broadway Arts Festival 2018

Broadway Arts FestivalThe Broadway Arts Festival 2018 will be taking place in and around the village of Broadway from 8th to 17th June 2018. The beautiful Cotswold village of Broadway is a renowned centre for the arts with a unique artistic heritage of a world famous colony of artists the ‘Broadway Colony’. The Broadway Colony was a group of American artists, writers and musicians who visited and worked in Broadway in the late 19th century.

Broadway Arts Festival 2018 Events

The Broadway Arts Festival during June 2018 will offer a huge selection of events for all the family including: celebrity talks, art workshops and demonstrations, art exhibitions including an open art exhibition, a WW1 Exhibition, music including a ‘Come & Sing’ choral workshop, and theatre of the highest quality.

Broadway Artbeat Weekend will take place during the first week of the Festival from 8th-10th June – an exciting weekend event featuring artists and craftsmen demonstrating their skills, with specialist demonstrations led by some of the country’s most renowned contemporary artists.

During the evening of 14th June, Heartbreak Productions will be bringing romance to the village with their performance of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ in a tent on the village green.

Featured Guests

Featured guests during the Festival will include:

  • Sir Roy Strong CH FRSL, Patron of the Festival, in conversation with Tristram Hunt, the current Director of the V&A.
  • Richard Ormond the grandson of Violet Sargent Ormond, sister of John Singer Sargent. Richard, historical advisor to the Festival, will be giving a talk on the Art and Adventures of John Singer Sargent.
  • John Julius Norwich (2nd Viscount Norwich CVO) who will be giving a talk on his latest book The Art of France.
  • Leading art critic Andrew Graham Dixon.
  • Artist, writer and broadcaster Lachlan Goudie who recently present the BBC’s Big Painting Challenge.
  • Author Guy Fraser Sampson whose books include the Mapp and Lucia series.
  • Violinist and composer Ben Powell in concert.
  • Award-winning author Donna M. Lucey whose works include the bestselling Archie and Amelie: Love and Madness in the Gilded Age and  Sargent’s Women.

Broadway Arts Festival Tickets

Tickets for Broadway Arts Festival events this June will be on sale later in the year – more information about the Broadway Arts Festival 2018 can be found at: www.broadwayartsfestival.com.

Accommodation during the Festival

Our Cotswold holiday cottages on West End are just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the village. Our self-catering holiday cottages are an ideal location to stay whilst visiting the Festival. For more information about our cottages in Broadway visit www.broadwaymanor.co.uk.

 

 

Beautiful Broadway, a very old English Village

Beautiful Broadway: A Very Old English Village

Henry James, an American writer who settled in England, was a frequent visitor to the Cotswolds. James described Broadway in 1889 as a ‘very old English village, lying amongst its meadows and hedges, in the very heart of the country, in the hollow of the green hills of Worcestershire’ and that ‘much of the land about it are in short the perfection of the old English rural tradition.’

The geese on the village green that James went on to describe may be missing today but the village’s ‘broad way’ lined with horse chestnut trees and honey-coloured Cotswold limestone buildings, many dating back to the 16th century with some parts of The Lygon Arms appearing to date back to the 14th century, still does not fail to charm visitors to this most picturesque and beautiful English village.

Broadway still delights. The village is a centre for the arts steeped in history with a unique heritage of a world-famous colony of artists, writers and musicians collectively known as the Broadway Colony who worked and visited the village during the late 19th century. The Colony included Henry James and Frank Millet, John Singer Sargent, Alfred Parsons, Mary Anderson de Navarro to name just a few.

Alfred Parsons RA, RI, PRWS (1847-1920)

My interest in gardening grew after obtaining an RHS Certificate in Horticulture which then led me to a qualification in Garden Design in 2005. During my studies I studied many great British garden designers including Alfred Parsons, Gertrude Jekyll (who was famous for her herbaceous borders and greatly influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement), Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, landscaper Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and Rosemary Verey to name a few. I was also fortunate to visit many of the gardens which were originally designed by these great designers, many of which are located in the Cotswolds. I now live in the picturesque village of Broadway in the North Cotswolds which was also home to Alfred Parsons in the late 19th century.

Alfred William Parsons, English landscape painter, watercolourist and illustrator was born on 2nd December 1847 in Laverton near Frome, Somerset. Alfred was the second of seventeen children of Dr Joshua Parsons and Letitia Harriet Parsons (née Williams). His father was a doctor with a keen interest in growing alpines which no doubt sparked Alfred’s early interest in plants and gardening.

Although Parsons started work in 1865 as a clerk in the Post Office after 2 years he left to pursue studies at the Kensington School of Art. Parsons.  went on to become well known as a fine botanical painter, engraver and painter of English rural landscapes exhibiting at various galleries including the Royal Academy (1887), the Grosvenor and the New Gallery.

Whilst living in London, Parsons shared his home with Edwin Austin Abbey and they painted alongside each other in adjacent studios. Parsons was introduced to Broadway by his friend Lawrence Dutton who was a frequent visitor to Broadway Tower, the holiday retreat of William Morris, Dante Rosetti and Edward Burne-Jones. Parsons was so taken with the village that he decided to move out of London joining the Broadway colony of artists in residence in Broadway in the late 1880s. Parsons became a good friend of both John Singer Sargent and Francis Davis Millet (Frank and Elizabeth Millet named their youngest son John Alfred Parsons Millet after both Parsons and Sargent) and introduced Abbey to the Broadway colony.

Parsons also met Henry Harper through the Broadway Colony which led to him illustrating several editions of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine (Harper’s Magazine). Parsons also worked with his good friend Abbey on illustrations of Robert Herrick’s poems and supplied illustrations for Henry James’ essays on Broadway. He also illustrated songs, poems as well as travelogues.

Parsons’ fine watercolours for botanist Ellen Ann Willmott and illustrations for William Robinson, author of The Wild Garden, encouraged Parsons interest and passion in garden design. Parsons had always been an avid gardener and horticulturist and was once a judge at the Chelsea flower show.  Parsons went on to design several great gardens including Great Chalfield Manor, an Arts and Crafts garden near Melksham, Wightwick Manor near Wolverhampton and Lamb House, Rye, home of Henry James from 1898 to 1916. Parsons also designed several gardens in Broadway including Court Farm, home of Mary Anderson (Mme de Navarro), Broadway Court with its wonderful yew topiary, Bell Farm, home of the pianist and composer Miss Maud Valerie White and eventually his own at Luggershill.

Parsons became President of the Society of Painters in Water Colour in 1905 and full RA in 1911 on the acceptance of his diploma work, the oil painting Orange Lilies which Parsons painted in his back garden at Luggershill. Orange Lilies was on public display in the ‘Exhibition of the work of John Singer Sargent and members of the Broadway Colony’ at Trinity House, Broadway, during the 2010 Broadway Arts Festival. Parsons died at Luggershill (now known as Luggers Hall), Broadway, Worcestershire, on 16th January 1920.

The next Broadway Arts Festival will take place from 8th – 17th June 2018 and will offer a varied schedule of events including talks, art workshops, demonstrations and exhibitions, music and theatre. The village is a centre for the arts with its unique heritage of the world-famous colony of American artists, writers and musicians – the Broadway Colony.

If you are interested in staying in Broadway during the 2018 Festival please visit our Cotswold holiday cottages in Broadway, just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the village.

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.’