This wonderful British Pathé film of Broadway, Worcestershire, was in the summer of 1962. Life may be busier in Broadway today but not much has changed in the picturesque North Cotswold village. Broadway’s High Street is still lined with grass verges and majestic horse-chestnut trees still stand tall alongside the wide ‘broad way’ running through the centre of the village. The village with its range of hotels, shops, galleries, restaurants and tea rooms, has retained its wonderful historic character. Old buildings line the High Street, a mixture of period houses and picturesque Cotswold stone cottages. Many of the buildings date back hundreds of years and have retained their original character.
As in the summer of 1962, Broadway looks its best when the sun lights up the honey-coloured limestone buildings but the village is an all year-round destination. During the first weekend in September, as autumn approaches, the village hosts its annual Horticultural & Craft Show and award-winning Food Festival with stalls selling local produce on the village green. From mid-November to January the horse-chestnut trees and the large domed topiary yews outside the Broadway Hotel, twinkle with hundreds of white lights giving the village a magical atmosphere over the Christmas period and during the Late Night Christmas Shopping Evenings at the end of November and beginning of December. Broadway is a great place to visit whatever the time of year.
Broadway is an ideal place to visit and spend a day or more ambling along the High Street with its wide range of independent shops, art galleries, restaurants, tea and coffee shops.
If you are looking to stay in Broadway we have a range of fully-equipped holiday cottages in the grounds of the 16th century Manor House located on West End just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the village. For further information about our Cotswold holiday cottages (short breaks available) visit: www.broadwaymanor.co.uk.
At 12 noon on 10th April 1912, RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton for New York. Amongst the 1st Class passengers on the ill-fated liner was Broadway resident, writer and artist Francis Davis Millet.
Francis Davis Millet (1846-1912)
Frank 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 on the village green. Millet had joined the ship at Cherbourg, France, and was travelling to the US with his friend Major Archibald Willingham Butt, military aide to US President William Howard Taft and President Theodore Roosevelt. Millet died in the sinking of the ship and 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 was returned to East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where he was buried in Central Cemetery.
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 painted in the refectory of the 14th century Abbots Grange, Broadway. Millet restored Abbots 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 Russell House. It was in these Broadway gardens that Sargent painted Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rosewhich now hangs in the Tate Gallery, London.
St Eadburgha’s and the Lychgate
At the saxon church, St Eadburgha’s, on the Snowshill Road in Broadway there is a lychgate dedicated to Frank Millet. In 1932, twenty years after the Titanic disaster, Millet’s son Jack (John Alfred Parsons Millet) sent £120 to St Eadburgha’s for the creation of the lychgate. The inscription was devised by two Harvard classics professors and 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’
the original English translation is:
‘To Francis Davis Millet – A man of outstanding attainment in literature and art who, when the ship Titanic was sunk, gladly faced death while bringing hope to those in great need. His intimate friends have had this memorial erected in memory of a dear friendship’.
St Eadburgha’s is a lovely peaceful place to visit and is open to visitors most days from 10am to 4pm. The church is about a 15 minute walk from our Cotswold holiday cottages on West End. The oldest part of the current church is from the 12th century. The nave arcades are supported on beautiful Norman columns with large diameter bases and simple scalloped capitals. The roof of the nave is crafted from lovely old timber, with a frieze along the wall-plate with small, carved faces mixed with foliage designs. Against the west wall of the south aisle is one of the newest monuments in the church, the Millenium Stone which was inserted in 1972 to celebrate 1000 years of Broadway history. The lychgate is located a little further along the Snowshill Road at the entrance to the new cemetery.
An exciting two-day car show is coming to Broadway in the Cotswolds this summer. A celebration of fabulous supercars, classic and vintage cars will take place in the village on 13th and 14th July 2019.
As in previous years, the show will take place right in the centre of Broadway (postcode WR12 7AA). The weekend will be a great opportunity to soak up Broadway’s Cotswold charm and character. The village has a range of fabulous independent shops, art galleries, museums, restaurants, tea shops and cafés. Alongside beautiful cars, there will be plenty happening on the village green with street food and memorabilia on sale and a live jazz band.
Saturday 13th July 2019 – Supercar Saturday
Supercar Saturday starts for exhibitors with an optional drive through the Cotswolds culminating with a parade through the village by members of the Cotswolds branch of the Ferrari Owners’ Club and the Supercar Drivers’ Club. The cars will park along the High Street and the village green for viewing alongside a display of Bentleys, Aston Martins (including an Aston Martin Vantage S), a SLK55 AMG Mercedes and many others.
The Lygon Arms will be hosting a lunchtime charity fashion show by Slate Clothing and the day will end at The Lygon Arms with a black-tie dinner hosted by a motoring celebrity (both events are subject to booking and availability).
During the day there will be an opportunity to take a Morgan sports car for the morning or for an afternoon drive around the Cotswolds (subject to prior booking).
Sunday 14th July 2019 – Classic and Vintage Cars
The theme on Sunday will be classic and vintage cars with a parade through the village and a fabulous display on the village green and High Street. Expect classic and vintage Jaguars, Aston Martins, Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Bugattis and many more. The Morgan Motor Company will again be adding to the atmosphere with the opportunity to take a Morgan for a morning or afternoon drive.
For more information about the 2019 Broadway Car Show click here.
Stay with us in a Cotswold Holiday Cottage during the Show
Why not make a weekend of it and stay in one of our Cotswold holiday cottages or stay for a week or more and spend time enjoying the surrounding area? Our holiday cottages are located on West End less than 10 minutes’ walk from the village green. We have availability in Rafters (sleeps 2) either for the weekend or for a longer stay. For more information about our holiday cottages in Broadway click here.
Many of our guests like to visit the city of Bath during their stay. The city with its wide range of excellent shops, restaurants, museums, Georgian architecture and Roman baths is about 70 miles from our holiday cottages and can be reached in less than 2 hours by car.
Our recommendation is to use one of the Park and Ride car parks on the edge of the city rather than drive in to the centre and spend time trying to find a parking space. The buses from the Park and Ride car parks run frequently and are not expensive.
Sally Lunn’s Eating House and Kitchen Museum
If looking for a coffee, cup of tea and something to eat on arrival in Bath, we recommend stopping at Sally Lunn’s, 4 North Parade Passage. Sally Lunn’s opens at 10am and is home to the original Sally Lunn Bunn (the original Bath bun) which is still baked to a secret recipe and served with a wide variety of delicious toppings including cinnamon butter and lemon curd. The historic building is one of the oldest houses in Bath and dates back to 1483. It became the home of the French baker, Sally Lunn, a Hugenot refugee, in the 1600s.
Sally Lunn’s is also open for lunch, afternoon teas and dinner (see www.sallylunns.co.uk) for more information. Reservations are advisable as it does get very busy.
Bath’s Roman Baths and Museum
A few minutes’ walk away from Sally Lunn’s is the Roman Baths Museum and the ruins of a 43AD Roman settlement. The Baths are open from 9am until 5pm (November to February 9.30am and later during Easter weeks and the summer). Entrance costs from £14.40 per adult with a 10% discount if booked online. The Museum runs free tours and free audioguides are available in a number of languages. For more information visit www.romanbaths.co.uk.
It is not possible to bathe in the waters but the nearby Thermae Bath Spa uses the same mineral-enriched water, treated to make it safe to enjoy (see website site for details).
A visit to the baths including a free tour will take approximately 2 hours.
A Walking Tour of the City
There are several options for a walking tour of the city. Our recommendation is to join one of the entertaining tours given by The Mayor of Bath Honorary Guides. The daily tours are free (no tips allowed) and there is no need to book. Tours start outside the Roman Baths (look for the sign ‘Free Walking Tours Start Here’). The walks take place within the city are about 2 miles (3km) in length with a gradual climb of 100 feet (30m) and takes approximately 2 hours. The walks take in the majestic Bath Abbey, Pulteney Street and 18th century Pulteney Bridge, the beautiful Georgian Royal Crescent, Circus Crescent and much more.
Historic Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey, the Abbey Church of St Peter and St Paul, was built in 1499. Visitors may visit the main church area for free. A tour of the tower (tickets available to purchase from the gift shop) takes visitors up 212 steps past the bell chamber (with the Abbey’s 10 bells) to the Abbey’s rooftop with its wonderful panoramic view of the city.
Photo: By Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Jane Austen Centre
If you are a fan of Jane Austen, Bath’s most famous resident, then the Jane Austen Centre, 40 Gay Street, Queen Square, is worth a visit. The centre, set in a classically decorated Georgian townhouse, offers a snapshot of what it would be like to live in Regency times. Afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the Regency Tea Room. For further information and admissions prices see www.janeausten.co.uk.
Shopping, Eating Out and More
There are plenty of excellent independent shops, tea rooms, coffee shops, and restaurants in Bath to fill up any spare time. Milsom Street, built in 1792, was recently voted ‘Britain’s Best Fashion Street’.
A great spot to enjoy afternoon tea is in the elegant Pump Room Restaurant in the Abbey Churchyard where the Pump Room Trio serenade guests. Walk in tables are available daily but to avoid missing out we would advise that a table is reserved online (www.romanbaths.co.uk or telephone 01225 444477).
During the dig, the archaeologists found evidence of some of Broadway’s earliest known residents: Mesolithic hunter-gathers who lived on the site along Bunchers Brook around 10,000 years ago and some intriguing Bronze Age finds dating back over 4000 years.
The dig proved to much more important than expected and the main focus of the excavations was a complex Iron Age and Roman settlement with some fantastic rare Saxon and Roman finds and an ancient burial site. Medieval remains were also found that predate the foundation of a planned town at Broadway in the late 12th or early 13th century, which later shrank in size to become the historic centre of the village we know today.
Robin Jackson from Worcestershire’s Archaeology Service will be giving an illustrated talk on the dig and the wonderful finds at the Lifford Hall, Lower Green, Broadway, starting at 7pm (doors open at 6.30pm). The talk is free to members of Broadway History Society, non-member £3.
American Actress Mary Anderson takes to the Stage in the Lifford Memorial Hall, Broadway
Fundraiser for the Relief of Belgian Artists
100 years ago today, during the afternoon of Tuesday 27th August 1918, the Lifford Memorial Hall in the Cotswold village of Broadway was full to capacity for an afternoon of music and drama arranged by Mary Anderson de Navarro in aid of the Fund for the Relief of Belgian Artists. The relief fund was established to ensure that individuals and families who remained in Belgium during the First World War would receive money but it also ensured that those who had sought refuge in the United Kingdom would be well looked after.
Performance of Macbeth at the Lifford Memorial Hall
The event was arranged by the ‘celebrity’ American stage actress and Broadway resident, Mary Anderson de Navarro. During the First World War, Mary Anderson carried out a number of fund-raising performances in London, Stratford-upon-Avon, Worcester and Evesham and this performance of Macbeth in Broadway met with great acclaim.
Fellow American opera singer Murray-Davey (who lived at Willersey House in the nearby village of Willersey) helped organise the event. The first half included performances of Ede Poldini’s La poupée valsante and Ange Flegier’s Le Cor and pieces by Brahms and Bach performed by a string quartet; Messrs. Désiré Defauw, Lionel Tertis, Emile Dochard and Harold Samuel. Instrumentalists included Lady Sykes and Lady Maud Bowes-Lyon (also a resident of Broadway and Aunt of HRH Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother).
The second half included scenes from Macbeth with Mary Anderson as Lady Macbeth and the American Shakespearean actor Edward Hugh Sothern, who specialised in dashing, romantic leading roles, as Macbeth. They were supported by Miss Hare, Shakespearean actor and director Sir Philip Barling ‘Ben’ Greet, Mary’s son Lieut. ‘Toty’ de Navarro and the English actor Sir John Hare.
Broadway’s Artistic Heritage
Broadway was fashionable amongst artists at the time and had been since the late 1880s when the sleepy picturesque Cotswold village had attracted a number of English and American artists, writers, painters, musicians (the ‘Broadway Colony’). John Singer Sargent, Francis Millet, Edwin Austin Abbey, Alfred Parsons and Henry James (to name just a few) gave Broadway its artistic heritage that visitors today continue to enjoy and is celebrated biennially by the Broadway Arts Festival.
Whilst staying on one of our Cotswold Holiday Cottages in Broadway, one of the Cotswold villages we recommend visiting is the pretty picture-postcard village of Bibury.
Bibury, once described by William Morris as the ‘most beautiful village in England’ is about a 5o minutes’s drive from our holiday cottages in West End. During the drive across some of the most beautiful Cotswolds countryside, the landscape changes from rolling hills and ridge and furrow fields inhabited by sheep, to expansive fields of arable crops but the dry-stone walls boundaries of the honey-coloured Cotswold stone are still a wonderful feature.
On arriving in Bibury you will find free on-street parking along the banks of the River Coln, a tributary of the River Thames, that meanders through the village. From there you can wander across the rustic bridge over the river with its clear waters, swans, Brown Trout and dragonflies, to Arlington Row.
Owned by the National Trust, is a row of idyllic Cotswold stone cottages. The cottages were once a 14th century monastic wool store later converted in the 17th century to weavers’ cottages. Arlington Row is one of England’s most iconic and photographed places – it even appears on the inside cover of UK passports! From there wander up Awkward Hill (a short climb) and down along Hawkers Hill back round to the main street. Alternatively take the footpath across Rack Isle, a boggy water meadow also owned by the National Trust. Rack Isle is an important habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and in late summer a small herd of Belted Galloway cattle (one of our favourites) graze the land.
Places to Visit and to Eat in Bibury:
In the centre of the village you will find Bibury Trout Farm, Arlington Mill (now a private dwelling), the Church of St Mary, tea rooms, restaurants and pubs serving food (our favourite is the 15th century Catherine Wheel Pub). The gardens at Awkward Hill Cottage are open by arrangement under the National Garden Scheme between July and September. The owner of the cottage, Victoria Summerley, is an award winning garden journalist and author of ‘Secret Gardens of the Cotswolds’ and ‘Great Gardens of London’.
Broadway Celebrated Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 with a Beacon Bonfire at Broadway Tower
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 summit 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!
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.
On Sunday 9th July 1905, King Edward VII (known throughout his life as Bertie) visited Broadway. His Majesty had travelled by train to Moreton-in-Marsh the previous afternoon. He had spent the Saturday night with Lord Redesdale1 at Batsford Park with fellow guests: his equerry Major G. Lindsay Holford, CVO, CIE, the Austrian Ambassador Count Albert von Mensdorff-Pouilly-Dietrichstein, Lord Esher2, the Dowager Countess of Dudley, Mr and Mrs Joseph Chamberlain, Mr and Mrs George Keppel3, Lady Airlie, Lady Edith Ogilvy, the Hon. Mr and Mrs David Mitford, the Hon. Jack Mitford, the Hon. Rupert Mitford, the Hon. Frances Mitford, the Hon. Iris Mitford and the Hon. Daphne Mitford.
On Sunday morning, HM The King attended the morning service at Batsford Church conducted by the Rev. Spencer Jones, which was so popular that the service was by ticketed entry only, all 120 seats in the church were full.
At 2.30pm, His Majesty left Batsford in his own car for an afternoon’s drive around the North Cotswolds. King Edward was driven through nearby Dorn via Neighbridge. It is reported that Neighbridge is where Charles II, after the Battle of Worcester in September 1651, took refuge in an oak tree and hid his horse under the bridge. The approaching Parliamentarians frightened the horse which neighed and galloped off with the soldiers in pursuit whilst King Charles made his escape in the opposite direction.
His Majesty proceeded from Dorn to Chipping Campden and on through Weston Subedge and Willersey before arriving in Broadway where he was met by flag waving crowds lining the village’s High Street. From Broadway The King proceeded to Stanway House where he had tea with Lord and Lady Elcho (Hugo Richard Charteris, Lord Elcho, was the 11th Earl of Wemyss and 7th Earl of March DL) before returning to Batsford via Ford and Bourton-on-the-Hill.
1. Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale, GCVO, KCB.
2. Reginald Baliol Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher GCVO, KCB, PC, DL.
3. Mrs Keppel, Alice Frederica Keppel (née Edmonstone), was a British Society hostess and long-time mistress of King Edward VII. Alice Keppel was married to Lieutenant-Colonel the Hon. George Keppel, MVO. Lord Esher wrote to his son, Maurice, from Batsford Park in July 1905: The King is perfectly happy. His admiration of Mrs K. is almost pathetic. He watches her all day and is never happy when she’s talking to someone else…….she is never bored of him and always good-humoured. So, her hold over him grows.