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Broughton Castle

Sir Thomas Wykeham obtained a licence to ‘crenellate and embattle’ in 1406; he added the battlemented wall to the gatehouse, thus giving the medieval house a military appearance – these changes allowing the manor house to be called a castle. In 1554 Richard Fiennes completed a major reconstruction. He raised the roof to accommodate two floors above the Great Hall, building two staircase projections to the south and adding – on the foundations of the medieval kitchens – two rooms which form the west wing. After his death in 1573 his son, Richard, continued the embellishment of the interior, recording the date 1599 on the plaster ceiling in the Great Parlour.

In about 1300 Sir John de Broughton built his manor house in a sheltered site at the junction of three streams and surrounded it with a substantial moat. The greater part of his house and the moat remain today.

The next period of building work came as a result of Civil War damage. After the nearby Battle of Edgehill in 1642 the local superiority of the Royalists enabled them to lay siege to the Castle which was captured and occupied. The need for repairs is reflected in the date 1655 on the gatehouse. Further outbuildings may have been damaged or destroyed and the Castle may have remained in poor condition: in the late 1690s Celia Fiennes describes ‘my brother Saye’s house being much left to decay and ruine’.

William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England, bought the house in 1377, since when it has been in the continuous ownership of the same family. It first passed to William’s great-nephew Sir Thomas Wykeham and thence to Sir Thomas’s granddaughter, Margaret, who married Sir William Fiennes, later the 2nd Lord Saye & Sele, in 1448.

The 18th century was by contrast uneventful; but in the 19th century, William Thomas, 15th Lord Saye & Sele, indulged in a life of frivolity and extravagance as one of the set surrounding the Prince Regent and the Count d’Orsay. The family then lived at the more fashionable Belvedere at Erith in Kent, and their neglect of the Castle caused it to be noted in 1819 that the



William of Wykeham rooms were ‘daily dilapidating from misuse’. In 1837 the bulk of the contents were disposed of in a twelve-day sale, the last item being the swans on the moat. Skelton, in his history of Oxfordshire in 1823, tells us that ‘the south view is particularly picturesque for here the exuberant ivy embraces the ancient walls’. Picturesque it may have been, but equally damaging for the stonework. It is ironic that the squandering of the family fortune in the Regency period almost certainly saved Broughton from the architectural excesses of the Victorian age. William Thomas’s successor, Frederick, 16th Lord Saye & Sele, carried out vital repair work in the 1860s with the architect George Gilbert Scott. Unfortunately, further neglect followed when John, 17th Lord Saye & Sele, directed his available funds at racehorses rather than the Castle. He let the Castle in 1886 to the Gordon-Lennox family, and they invested in many enhancements to the gardens. When the Gordon-Lennox’s lease expired in 1912, the family returned. There remained a shortage of resources for the repair and maintenance of the Castle, but the second half of the last century was characterised by major restoration. In 1956 financial assistance received through the Historic Buildings Council enabled the stone-tiled roof to be renewed; and in the eleven years between 1983 and 1994 continuous stonework and other restoration took place costing in excess of £1 million, towards which English Heritage gave generous support.

William of Wykeham, in effect the King’s prime minister, bought the manor of Broughton in 1377. He was born in 1324 in Hampshire and rose from being a clerk of works and surveyor at the royal palaces to become one of King Edward III’s and later Richard II’s most able administrators. He built Winchester College and much of Windsor Castle, and there has been speculation that Broughton was his home while overseeing the building of New College, Oxford, between 1379 and 1386.

William of Wykeham’s portrait hangs above the leather fire buckets and fireplace in the Great Hall


James Fiennes 1st Lord Saye & Sele James Fiennes, the 1st Lord Saye & Sele, and his brother Roger Fiennes fought for King Henry V at Agincourt. They had grown up at Herstmonceux in Sussex where the Fiennes family had lived since the 1330s. James helped to negotiate the marriage of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou, and Roger later organised Margaret’s coronation. James became Sheriff of Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The two brothers were said to have dominated south east England in the 1430s and 1440s. James built a house at Knole, while Sir Roger lived at Hever Castle. However, James was captured during the rebellion in Kent led by Jack Cade, and was imprisoned in the Tower of London and beheaded in 1450.

“These hands are free from guiltless bloodshedding,
 This breast from harbouring foul deceitful thoughts.
 O, let me live!”

Act IV of Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part II is devoted to Jack Cade’s rebellion: this section of the drama has Lord Saye & Sele pleading to Cade for his life … “Tell me wherein have I offended most?
Have I affected wealth or honour? speak.
Are my chests fill’d up with extorted gold?
Is my apparel sumptuous to behold?
Whom have I injured, that ye seek my death?
These hands are free from guiltless bloodshedding,
This breast from harbouring foul deceitful thoughts.
O, let me live!” Cade responds … “thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammar school … thou hast caused printing to be used, and, contry to the King, his crown and dignity, thou hast built a paper-mill”. Cade rejected Saye’s entreaties. His, and his son-in-law’s decapitated heads were paraded around London on pikes. James’s son William, 2nd Lord Saye & Sele, married Margaret Wykeham the owner of Broughton Castle.



Great Hall The present Great Hall incorporates the medieval hall of 1300. When Richard Fiennes, father and son, carried out their alterations in the 16th century they removed the Gothic windows and inserted the present broad Tudor windows together with a plaster ceiling, and plastered the walls. The pendant ceiling dates from the 1760s and was probably designed by the architect Sanderson Miller. In 1900 the plaster was removed from the walls leaving bare the stone of the 14th century to make a contrast with the 16th century windows and the 18th century ceiling. At the west end of the hall are the hatch and door leading to what were the medieval buttery and kitchens. The full-length portraits at the east end are of Sir Philip Twisleton and his wife, c. 1640. Over the fireplace is a copy of a portrait of William of Wykeham. Other portraits are of the 1st Earl of Lincoln (1512-1584), descendant of Sir William Fiennes; William, 8th Lord and 1st Viscount Saye & Sele (1582-1662) and William’s second son, Nathaniel (1608-1669) at the time of the Civil War. The leather buckets in the window recesses are 18th century fire buckets. The red plush covers on the sofas were made in the neighbouring village of Shutford in about 1880.


William Fiennes,

8th Lord Saye & Sele

William Fiennes, 8th Lord Saye & Sele, a leader of the Parliamentarian opposition

William Fiennes succeeded as 8th Lord Saye & Sele in 1613 and was created the 1st Viscount in 1624. He emerged as one of the leaders of the Puritan, pro-Parliament group opposed to the religious policies and autocratic behaviour of Charles I during the 1630s. Charles nicknamed him “Old Subtlety” because of his skillful opposition. For the contemporary historian Clarendon, Saye was ‘in truth the pilot that steered all those vessels that were freighted with sedition to destroy the government… a man of great parts and the highest ambition… he had always great credit and authority in Parliament’. Broughton became a meeting place for the leaders of the opposition – John Hampden, John Pym, Lord Brooke, the Earl of Warwick and Sir Henry Vane among them. During the Civil War, William actively supported the Parliamentarians. His regiment, which included all four of his sons, fought at the nearby Battle of Edgehill in 1642.

‘a man of great parts and the highest ambition… he had always great credit and authority in Parliament’


Nathaniel Fiennes, MP and Parliamentarian officer in the Civil War Photograph - Martin Fiennes

Colonel Nathaniel Fiennes Nathaniel Fiennes was born in 1607, the second son of William 8th Lord Saye & Sele. He became one of the chief spokesmen for the opposition to the crown under the leadership of John Pym. During the Civil War he was sent to take charge of the Parliamentarian garrison of Bristol. However, after surrendering the City in 1643 to Prince Rupert – it was argued too soon - he was court-martialled and sentenced to death. He was subsequently pardoned. Clarendon reflected that but for this episode he would have had a bright future, saying that he was a man esteemed by the Commons and of ‘very good parts of learning and nature’ and had ‘sure been second to none after Mr. Hampden’s death in those councils’. He continued to argue for political balance at a time when the army under Cromwell was becoming more radical. As a result he was one of the MPs kept out of Parliament in Pride’s Purge. Nathaniel returned in the early 1650s becoming a member of the council of state, MP for Oxford, and was one of those who tried to persuade Cromwell to take the crown. Top - Detail of the pardon given to William, 8th Lord Saye & Sele in 1660 by the restored monarch Charles II

The diarist Celia Fiennes was one of Nathaniel’s daughters. 7

The Dining Room and the

Groined Passage

On the left before entering the present dining room is the early 14th century spiral staircase which led to the Solar or Great Chamber. The dining room was an undercroft, a place used for storage, in the medieval house. By the end of the 16th century it had become the parlour

with double-linenfold oak panelling and a fireplace adding to its comfort. The chairs date from the Regency period. In the groined passage beyond the dining room are some corbel heads at the base of the arches, also from the 14th century.

The Green Man Two of the corbel heads at the Great Hall end of the passage are of the Green Man. A Green Man is a face surrounded by leaves, often with leaves growing out of the mouth. They are frequently found as architectural ornaments in churches and secular buildings not just in the UK but across Europe, and even as far as India. It is believed that they symbolize renewal or spring, although they are also seen as spirits of the woods or as symbols of fertility. 8

Photograph - Martin Fiennes

Early 14th century corbel heads in the Groined Passage


Queen Anne’s Room This room is named after Anne of Denmark, wife of James I, who came here in 1608 with their son Henry. Her portrait, attributed to Paul van Somer, hangs above the fireplace. The stone chimneypiece was built by Richard Fiennes in about 1554 and was carved by English masons. Anne of Denmark, wife of King James I


The mahogany four-poster bed is English, late 18th century, in the style of Hepplewhite. The chapel can be seen through a squint in the north-east corner of the room.


Chapel A licence was granted in 1331 to John de Broughton ‘for Divine Service in his oratory at Broughton’. It is a rare example of a 14th century private chapel. The fixed stone altar slab supported on three solid brackets and the encaustic tiles on the floor are all of the original date. The stained glass windows were both designed by Alfred Fisher - the east window in 1995 to commemorate the completion of the fortyyear major restoration of the castle, and the north window in 2005. The east window’s design incorporates three roundels of early 14th century heraldic glass, bearing the arms of the three local landowners, Arden, Mohun and Sutton. Underneath these are the royal arms of Henry VII, and beneath them is some Victorian glass. 11


Gallery Remodelled in the Gothick style in the 1760s and redecorated in 1970, the gallery contains family portraits. These include William, 8th Lord Saye & Sele, and his wife Elizabeth, (both by Adam de Colone); Sir John Twisleton, his wife, Elizabeth, and their daughter Cecil; Thomas, 13th Lord Saye & Sele, and his wife Elizabeth (by Gainsborough); and Gregory William, 14th Lord Saye & Sele. 12


Bury lodge room

Photograph - Martin Fiennes

The wallpaper is by Zuber of Alsace and dates from 1840. The furniture is largely from Bury Lodge, Hambledon, Hampshire, the home

of the current Lord Saye & Sele’s maternal grandparents, Sir Thomas and Lady Butler.

Colonel Thomas Twisleton, 13th Lord Saye & Sele Colonel Twisleton was noted for his exploits in defending the Bank of England during the Gordon Riots of 1780. As the situation in London deteriorated (290 people were killed during the riots) it became clear that one of the targets was the

Bank of England. Had it been looted it could have threatened the national economy and even the British Empire. Colonel Twisleton with his Crown Troops took over the defence of the Bank from the City Authorities and successfully dispersed the rioters.

Photograph - Martin Fiennes



king’s ChamBer James I stayed in this room in 1604 and on three other occasions in the early 17th century. Edward VII, when Prince of Wales, also stayed here in 1901. The hand-painted Chinese wallpaper dates from about 1800. The bed, constructed in oak, was made specifically for this room in 1992 by Robin Furlong of Great Wolford in Gloucestershire.



king’s ChamBer oVermantel

The plasterwork above the King’s Chamber fireplace (the ‘overmantel’) represents a scene from Ovid’s Metamorphoses Book VIII. The image is the same as that found on a drawing “The Dance of the Dryads” executed in 1551 by Pierre Milan, one of the school of accomplished artists based around Fontainebleau. The stucco plasterwork is similar to work in the Galerie Francois I at Fontainebleau. The scene is based on one of the Greek myths; that of Erysichthon, King of Thessaly. The story tells of dryads dancing round a great oak. Unfortunately, Erysichthon cut down the oak killing one of the dryads. The gods punished Erysichthon with insatiable hunger, and after selling all his possessions and his daughter to buy food, he finally ate himself. It is known that chimneypieces of a similar style were made for Henry VIII at Nonsuch Palace but none has survived. Whereas the Queen Anne’s Room chimneypiece of the same date is essentially English and solid, this one is French and a lively statement of the arrival of the Renaissance. 15


Great Parlour The Great Parlour at the western end of the gallery is notable for the elaborate plaster ceiling. This ceiling bears at one end the initials REF – Richard and Elizabeth Fiennes, his second wife – and at the other end the date 1599. The wallpaper, doors and wainscoting all date from the mid 19th century. The two marble busts by Rysbrack are of Inigo Jones and Ben Jonson and date from

This ceiling bears at one end the initials REF – Richard and Elizabeth Fiennes, his second wife – and at the other end the date 1599


about 1720. The display cabinets between them hold various family documents, including pamphlets of speeches made by William and his son Nathaniel in the years leading up to the Civil War, and William’s 1660 Pardon from Charles II. The marble bust at the south end is of Charles James Fox, 18th century Whig politician, by Nollekens.

Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox The Gordon-Lennox family rented the Castle from John, 17th Lord Saye & Sele, from 1886 to about 1912. Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox was responsible for the design of the Ladies’ Garden at Broughton in the 1890s.

Top - Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox, and, below, The Great Parlour as her bedroom in the 1890s

She was also an early breeder of Pekingese dogs and was known as the ‘best-dressed woman in England’. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, was among her guests at Broughton.

Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones, both by Rysbrack

Sir Richard Fiennes

Ben Inigo Jonson & Jones

Richard Fiennes, born in 1557, knighted in 1592, was Sheriff of Oxfordshire, and acted as a European envoy for both Queen Elizabeth and James I. He was responsible for finishing much of his father’s major building works at Broughton in the second half of the 16th century. The Privy Council committed sixteen recusants - Catholics who refused to attend Church of England services - to his charge at Broughton Castle in 1590.

The playwright and poet Ben Jonson and the architect Inigo Jones worked together designing and staging plays and masques (musical entertainments) in the early 17th century. Richard Fiennes, 7th Lord Saye & Sele, who died in 1613, entertained James I and his wife Anne here in the first decade of the 17th century. The King was a patron of Jonson and Jones, and Anne was known to have taken part with her ladies in masques between 1603 and 1611. 17




Council Chamber This room is believed to be the meeting place of those who gathered in the years 1629 -1642 to plan their opposition to the King’s government. They met as members of the Providence Island Company, an enterprise formed to colonise certain islands in the Caribbean and later settlements in New England. One of these Puritan settlements at the mouth of the Connecticut River was called

Saybrook (after Lord Saye and Lord Brooke), now Old Saybrook. It was the first English settlement on the south shore of New England. Yale University was founded in Saybrook in 1701 before moving to New Haven in 1716. Among those who attended the meetings in the Council Chamber were John Pym, John Hampden, Oliver St John, Lord Warwick, Lord Brooke and Sir Henry Vane, together with their hosts William and his son, Nathaniel.

Broughton and the Battle of Edgehill The Battle of Edgehill, seven miles from Broughton, was the opening encounter of the English Civil War – 23rd October 1642. The Parliamentarian troops led by the Earl of Essex, and including Lord Saye & Sele’s regiment, met the Royalist forces in what was an inconclusive engagement on the slopes of Edgehill. Initially the Royalist cavalry,


led by Charles I’s nephew Prince Rupert, swept away the Parliamentary wing, but an undisciplined pursuit allowed Essex’s men to recover before both sides withdrew. After the Battle six Royalist cannon were sent to Broughton under the command of Prince Rupert with instructions to ‘take my Lord Saye’s house’.

‘Better to climb three storeys up the west stairs and go out through the low-cut timber door beyond the Council Chamber – no battlements here, just a wall with bevelled topstones visitors would rest their hands or forearms on, leaning over vertiginous drops, gazing across the box fleur-de-lys and circles of the Ladies’ Garden, the open lawns, the river-broad moat, the water-meadows and sloping park beyond it, as if they were travellers pausing on the brink of a high escarpment, unknown country spread out below’. © William Fiennes, The Music Room 2009 Picador.



Library The Library at the foot of the West stairs was decorated in the Gothick style in 1760. The two pyramidal bookcases on the far side are of the same period.

The interior porch in the Oak Room The inscription on the interior porch, Quod olim fuit meminisse minime iuvat, is believed to have been put there by William, 8th Lord Saye & Sele in 1660-61. The words translate as ‘There is no pleasure in the memory of the past’. This was likely to have been William, after the restoration of the monarchy, reflecting on the turmoil of the Civil War and eleven years without the King. The words used are a mirror of the famous line (Book I, line 203) of Virgil’s Aeneid ‘Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.’ ‘Maybe someday you will rejoice to recall even this.’ 22


Oak Room The ground floor room of the Tudor west wing, now known as the Oak Room, was built on foundations of the 14th century kitchens. It was originally used as the dining room, being adjacent to the 16th century kitchens which were situated in the courtyard to the south and whose remaining windows may be seen in the garden wall. Later generations transferred both the dining room and the kitchens to the east end of the Castle. An unusual feature of the room is the interior porch. It was originally installed in the Great Parlour.

On the south wall hangs a portrait believed to be of Mary, the daughter-in-law of Colonel Nathaniel Fiennes, painted in about 1690. She married her first cousin, William 10th Lord Saye & Sele. Over the chimneypiece is a seascape by Johannes Peeters of the coast of Holland at Scheveningen, from where Charles II set sail to return to England in 1660 – the picture reaffirming William’s allegiance to the new King. The tortoiseshell cabinet was made in Antwerp in 1660. The two late-20th century tables are by Alan Peters. 23


title and Family name The unusual compound title of Saye & Sele dates from the original creation of the Barony in 1447. It is partly personal, from the connection with the family’s French ancestors in Normandy, the Lords Say, and partly territorial, through the ownership of land at Seal (now on the outskirts of Sevenoaks) in Kent. The family name Fiennes (pronounced Fines) is from a village in Artois in northern France. Giles Fiennes had emigrated to

Frederick Twisleton Frederick, 16th Lord Saye & Sele and Archdeacon of Hereford, set an example of responsible stewardship and care after the ‘excesses of all kinds’ of his uncle William Thomas, 15th Lord Saye & Sele, and before the profligacy of his son and heir John. Frederick Twisleton, 16th Lord Saye & Sele and Archdeacon of Hereford

Frederick was also responsible for changing the surname in 1849 to Twisleton-WykehamFiennes. The 21st Lord Saye & Sele reversed the process in the mid-1960s so today the family surname is simply Fiennes.

The Coat of Arms The family’s coat of arms combines Fiennes and Twisleton armorials. The shield is quartered with the three lions rampant representing the Fiennes family, and the chevron between three moles sable representing the Twisleton family. Above the shield, the wolf with a spiked collar is also Fiennes, and the arm embowed holding in the hand a mole spade is Twisleton. 24

England in the 13th century, following in the train of his cousin Queen Eleanor of Castile when she came to marry the future Edward I. The present Lord Saye & Sele is the 21st, as shown in the family tree on the wall of the Great Hall. The family motto is Fortem Posce Animum – ‘demand a brave spirit’.

Family tree (From the 17th Century)

Key: Owners of Broughton are shown in red m = married

William Fiennes, 8th Lord Saye & Sele, created Viscount 1624. d 1662

James Fiennes 9th Lord Saye & Sele & 2nd Viscount. d 1674


Frances, dau of Viscount Wimbledon

Sir John Twisleton of Barley Hall, Yorks


Elizabeth Fiennes

Cecil Twisleton Baroness Saye & Sele. d 1723


George Twisleton of Womersley, Yorks

Fiennes Twisleton 11th Lord Saye & Sele. d 1730


Mary Clarke of Ireland

John Twisleton 12th Lord Saye & Sele. d 1763


Anne Gardner of Little Bourton, Oxon

Thomas Twisleton 13th Lord Saye & Sele. d 1788


Elizabeth Turner of Ambrosden, Oxon

Gregory William Twisleton 14th Lord Saye & Sele. d 1844


Maria dau of Lord Eardley of Belvedere, Kent


Elizabeth Temple of Stowe, Bucks

1. Elizabeth Eliot of Cornwall


Nathaniel Fiennes d1669

William Fiennes 3rd Viscount Saye & Sele. d 1698


Mary Fiennes her husband’s first cousin

William Thomas Twisleton 15th Lord Saye & Sele. d 1847 died unmarried; title then went to his first cousin Frederick Benjamin Twisleton

Geoffrey Fiennes 19th Lord Saye & Sele. d 1948

Richard Fiennes d 2001 Guy Fiennes. b 1997

Martin Fiennes


Pauline Kang of Singapore

Ned Fiennes. b 1999


2. Frances Whitehead of Tytherley, Hampshire Celia Fiennes diarist, d 1741

Nathaniel Fiennes 4th Viscount Saye & Sele. d 1710 died unmarried; title then went to Cecil, the daughter of John and Elizabeth Twisleton

Thomas James Twisleton d 1824


Anna Ashe of Bath

Frederick Benjamin Twisleton 16th Lord Saye & Sele. d 1887


Emily Wingfield dau of Viscount Powercourt

John Fiennes 17th Lord Saye & Sele. d 1907


Augusta Hay dau of Earl of Kinnoull

Geoffrey Fiennes 18th Lord Saye & Sele. d 1937


Marion Lawes of Dover, Kent

Ivo Fiennes 20th Lord Saye & Sele. d 1968


Hersey Butler of Hambledon, Hants

Nathaniel Fiennes 21st Lord Saye & Sele


Mariette Salisbury-Jones of Hambledon, Hants

Susannah Fiennes

Ivo Fiennes. b 2000


Jack Hanbury Tenison

Thomas Fiennes d 1968

William Fiennes


Lord and Lady Saye & Sele, in the Great Hall at Broughton. With them are their eldest son Martin Fiennes with his wife Pauline, and their children Guy, Ned and Ivo - and in the centre, Sir Ranulph Fiennes who was visiting to take photographs for his book Mad Dogs and Englishmen: An Expedition Round My Family Photograph © Graham Trott

Lord and Lady Saye & Sele, both portraits by Susannah Fiennes, 2005 Photograph - Martin Fiennes

Susannah Fiennes Susannah is the only daughter of the 21st Lord and Lady Saye & Sele. She is a professional artist who also teaches, lectures and does portrait commissions. Her work hangs in a number of collections including the National Portrait Gallery and that of HRH The Prince of Wales. 26

William Fiennes William is the youngest son of the 21st Lord and Lady Saye & Sele. He is an author best known for The Snow Geese (2002) which won the 2003 Hawthornden Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. His second book, The Music Room (2009) is the story of growing up at Broughton Castle alongside his eldest brother Richard who suffered from severe epilepsy. The Music Room has been called “a small masterpiece, a tribute to the power of place, family and memory” (Sunday Telegraph).


Music Room ‘The gatehouse doors hung on rusty iron hinges, grids of sun-bleached vertical and cross beams like the gates of an ancient city, a Troy or Jericho, creaking like ships as you manoeuvred them. I pushed my hand deep into the keyhole to feel the lock tumblers, and climbed the waffle pattern of oak beams until my strength gave out; I imagined cauldrons of boiling oil tipped through the trapdoor on intruders; I gazed up at the flagpole turret, a canvas flag of blue and white quadrants, gold lions and black moles and chevrons rippling overhead, jackdaws clacking like snooker balls.’ © William Fiennes, The Music Room, 2009 Picador.


Explorers and Actors The explorer and author Sir Ranulph Fiennes and the actor brothers Ralph Fiennes and Joseph Fiennes are directly descended from Frederick, 16th Lord Saye & Sele.

Celia Fiennes

Sir Ranulph Fiennes, explorer and author

Celia Fiennes (1662 – 1741) was the daughter of Nathaniel Fiennes, younger son of William 8th Lord Saye & Sele. Celia rode side-saddle through every county in England in the late 1690s - enterprising journeys at a time of mud-tracks for roads and highwaymen. She finished her travels in 1712. Her diaries have become an important source of information for historians looking at life in England in this period. From the introduction to ‘Through England on a side-saddle in the time of William & Mary’ by Celia Fiennes…

Ralph Fiennes, actor and star of The English Patient, Schindler’s List and the later Harry Potter films

Broughton Castle as a film location The Castle and its grounds have been used for a variety of film and television productions, including Shakespeare in Love (1998) which starred Joseph Fiennes. Joseph Fiennes, star of Shakespeare in Love which was partly filmed at Broughton


Other productions filmed at the Castle include The Morecambe & Wise Christmas Show with Diana Rigg (1975), The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982), Three Men and a Little Lady (1990), The Madness of King George (1994), and most recently Jane Eyre (2011).

…if all persons, both Ladies, much more Gentlemen, would spend some of their tyme in Journeys to visit their native Land, and be curious to Inform themselves and make observations of the pleasant prospects, good buildings, different produces and manufactures of each place, with the variety of sports and recreations they are adapt to, would be a souvereign remedy to cure or preserve from these Epidemick diseases of vapours, should I add Laziness? it would also form such an Idea of England, add much to its Glory and Esteem in our minds and cure the evil Itch of overvaluing foreign parts; at least furnish them with an Equivalent to entertain strangers when amongst us, Or jnform them when abroad of their native Country, which has been often a Reproach to the English, ignorance and being strangers to themselves.

Ride a Cock Horse Local legend has it that the famous nursery rhyme was originally ‘Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross to see a Fiennes lady ride on a white horse’ - as opposed ‘to see a fine lady’. Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross To see a Fiennes lady ride on a white horse With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes She shall have music wherever she goes



Estate The Castle is supported by an estate of 730 hectares of arable farmland and pasture, largely to the west beyond the park. Visitors make a vital contribution to the regular upkeep and maintenance of the Castle, but this would be


insufficient without the estate’s farming income and rents. While the estate was significantly reduced by death duties in the late 1960s, the remaining part plays an important role in maintaining the upkeep of the Castle.


Parish ChurCh oF st mary Broughton With north neWington The Church built by Sir John de Broughton is largely early 14th century, although a 12th century font may be a survivor from an earlier building. There are some remnants of 14th century wall paintings. The evidence suggests that the Church and Castle were both built by the same hand – with designs in the South Porch of the Church exactly repeated in the Groined Passage in the Castle. Similar 14th century floor tiles are also found both in the Church and in the Chapel in the Castle. Later 15th century changes led to the heightening of the nave and larger windows. The altar rails are 17th century. Sir Gilbert Scott led some further refurbishment in the later part of the 19th century. Family tombs include the pairing of what is believed to be Elizabeth Wykeham, wife of Sir Thomas Wykeham, inhabitants of Broughton in the mid 15th century, with her

grand-daughter’s husband Sir William Fiennes, 2nd Lord Saye & Sele, who was killed at the Battle of Barnet in 1471. Also in the chancel is William Fiennes, 8th Lord Saye & Sele, and his wife Elizabeth Temple, who died in 1662 and 1648 respectively. The walls feature hatchments dating from 1666 to 1847 showing the coat of arms of Fiennes family members.

The evidence suggests that the Church and Castle were both built by the same hand – with designs in the South Porch of the Church exactly repeated in the Groined Passage in the Castle.



Garden The walled garden on the south side of the Castle, known as the Ladies’ Garden, was established in the 1880s by Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox during the period when her family rented the Castle. The existing planting was developed by the present Lord and Lady Saye & Sele and is based on advice given by the garden designer Lanning Roper in 1970. 32

‘...the most beautiful of houses’ ‘Broughton … the most beautiful of houses, medieval in a 16th century shell with Gothick additions, entered across a moat and through a gatehouse, almost a standard kit for an idyll. There’s a formal garden, great plush borders along the old ramparts and cows and sheep grazing in the water meadows beyond, overlooking it all this rambling honey-coloured house … as magical inside as out, handsome rooms lined with linenfold paneling and a splendid drawing room overlooking the moat.’ © Alan Bennett, Writing Home, 1996 and reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber Ltd.


The formal garden on the West Lawn in about 1900 when there were 14 gardeners


Photography Paul Barker (house) Andrew Lawson (garden) (Unless otherwise specified) Design Mark Rogers Printed by Alpine Press Ltd Contact for group bookings and general enquiries: Joanna James, Manager, Broughton Castle, Banbury, Oxon, OX15 5EB Call: 01295 276070 Email: Web:


The stone was crumbling in places, blotched with lichens and amenable to different lights, ready with ferrous browns, ash greys, and sunlit orange-yellows, with paler stone mullions in the windows, and a stone slate roof that dipped and swelled like a strip of water from gable to gable. The tall broach spire of a church poked the sky to the north, farmland drew away in a gentle upward grade to the south and west, and every one of these aspects – the wood, the farmland, the shape of the spire, the sounds of the rooks and brook – was a source of comfort to me. These things had not changed for as long as I could remember, and this steadfastness implied that the world could be relied upon. © William Fiennes The Snow Geese 2002 Picador

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