About Broadwood Hall


The name Broadwood Hall is thought to be named after the original owners, the Broadwoods, estatesmen who claim descent from the Roman Legions who when their service with the Imperial Army ended, chose to stay in Britain. Those who stayed behind were granted land near the Wall on condition that they defend the land against the Picts. John Broadwood of the famous Broadwood Piano Company is thought to be a descendant from these estatesmen.


Occupation at Broadwood Hall is recorded as early as 1547 when its tenant was Edward Stout. Apparently Allendale was well populated by this time as in 1538 the town supplied 64 men to muster. A survey in 1537 shows that almost all the inhabitants of the area were copyholders and many of the present farm names can be identified.


George Bacon from Derbyshire was an early owner of Broadwood Hall. He exploited Allendale’s lead ore and built a smelting mill at the site of the present Allen Mill. His son John became the High Sheriff of Northumberland. Evidence of John Bacon’s occupation of Broadwood Hall can be seen in a lintel reset in the yard of the present farm, 1690 H over J B. This house, demolished over fifty years ago, was rather grander than the usual Allendale bastle and can best be described as a “strong house”. All that remains of the house now are angle quoins and the western wall, partly incorporated into a group of byres (these form the boundary wall of the orchard) and one original basement window, a chamfered square headed loop retaining its original iron bars.


The present house, a typical hall house, has the date 1716 carved over the front door, although it is probable that much of the house is much older. In 1696 Charles Alsop was a smelter and northern agent for the London Lead Company. He married Lydia Brown of Broadlea, and when the company took over the Whitfield Smelt Mill he moved to Allendale and “built a house at Broadwood Hall”. Their initials A above C : L 1716 are carved in the lintel over the front door. More recently Rev. Thos Scurr, a noted mathematician and his son opened an Academy at Broadwood Hall where young gentlemen boarded and were taught Latin, Greek and Mathematics.


It is interesting that today the two houses that make up Low Broadwood Hall are home to two families and six people. In the Census of 1841 it was home to 4 families and a total of 26 people.


Over the last eighteen years Broadwood Hall has been lovingly restored and repaired. Modern plumbing and heating have been installed and slight changes to the inner orientation have been made, but always with regard to retaining as much of the original fabric as possible.

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