Saturday, 11 April 2015

Dumbleton Hall

We recently stayed at the Dumbleton Hall Hotel, near Broadway and Evesham. I think I would describe it, probably erroneously, as a Victorian pseudo Tudor/Gothic mansion. No matter. 
Dumbleton Hall from the drive.
It stands on the slopes of Dumbleton Hill in its own grounds of about 19 acres.

There existed an earlier Hall on the site, constructed in the sixteenth century and featuring extensive formal gardens laid out in the Dutch style which was fashionable at the time. Evidence of the canals and walkways of this garden can be found in the grounds near the public road.

Dumbleton Hall from the gardens.

The present Hall also had its misfortunes and was waiting for demolition in 1959 when it was purchased by the Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance, an organisation formed to remember those employees who were killed in the wars and to assist their families.

The Hall was restored and modernised for use as a hotel and convalescence home and is now run as a commercial hotel.

Dumbleton Hall reception.
A characteristic of Victorian building which appeals to me is that, in my opinion, the Victorians always over-built. Everything was on a substantial scale, and not only in the larger houses. Compare the brickwork and joists of the average Victorian semi with the contemporary rabbit hutches which they now seem to erect from plywood and plastic.

I particularly liked the fire hose network, one nozzle of which nestled outside our bedroom door. As a schoolboy I had spent some time maintaining and operating a steam powered Merryweather fire pump for a local businessman so I was particularly warmed to find their name standing sentinel for me.

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