A Quick History of Broome Park

Posted on: April 21, 2015


A quick walk around the grounds of Broome Park makes it clear that there’s a lot of history here. You can see and feel that it’s seen more than its fair share of notable events, people and stories.

The house itself was originally built nearly 400 years ago in the reign of Charles I, between 1635 and 1638. While it’s known for being Lord Kitchener’s stately home, a man by the name of Sir Basil Dixwell commissioned and lived in it first. Remarkable largely for his brilliant name, he was MP for Hythe and passed the house down through the family, and eventually through the Oxenden family, before it reached the even more impressively named Sir Percy Dixwell Nowell Dixwell-Oxenden.

kitchenerIn 1911, he sold Broome Park to the military celebrity Lord Kitchener, who was by that time extraordinarily famous for his exploits in imperial campaigns in Sudan and the Second Boer War. He then became Secretary of State for War for the First World War, and realised early on (compared to most people at the time) that Europe was in for a long slog. Kitchener organised the largest volunteer army the world had ever seen, and you may well recognise him and his formidable moustache from the iconic ‘Lord Kitchener wants you’ posters.

His impact on Broome Park was significant. He commissioned the remodelling of the house by award-winning architects Detmar Blow and Fernand Billerey, who designed for him a formal garden and carriage approach among a myriad of other adjustments.

In the 1930s the estate passed into the hands of Mr G C Jell who was responsible for turning it into a country house, with a brief interlude as a base for the Ministry of Defense in World War II. Eventually, in 1981, the Golf Course was added with the help of well-known course architect Donald Steel.

The house itself is one of the most beautiful buildings in England and makes the Callister’s experience a truly special one. We’re very proud of it.