This weekend saw two unexpected visitors turning up on our doorstep. Hubby and I were awaiting guest arrivals, so I thought nothing of it when I heard our front door open and then close. However, I soon became very curious indeed as to who Hubby might have invited in as I could hear exclamations of ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’. Five minutes later and I gave in to my curiosity. What I saw were two strange gentlemen standing in our guest lounge whom I did not recognise. Hubby stood with them in animated conversation, and well, you know, curiosity killed the cat and all that . . . .
I couldn’t help myself. As I opened the door, Hubby beckoned to me and said that these two gentlemen had come to visit Blenheim Lodge because their mothers had once lived on the premises. One of the gentlemen now lives in Staveley, but the other, his cousin, had come from France for a visit. Staveley is a local Cumbrian town and as the two cousins began to talk, the Staveley cousin asked his French cousin whether he would like to see Blenheim Lodge, once their ancestors’ home in the late 1800s to early 1900s. ‘Ooh, yes,’ said the Frenchman. So here they were.
Hubby and I invited our visitors to take refreshments and had a very interesting chat with them. We found out that the Martin family had most likely succeeded the original owners – and builders – of Blenheim Lodge, possibly because this grand Lake District holiday home had been left to a spinster with no progeny to inherit. Perhaps her relatives had inherited the house but had elected to sell it? Who knows? I really wish I knew more about the history of our current home, Blenheim Lodge.
Anyway, the Martins lived here until 1910, and the cousins’ mothers lived here as young girls in a large house with excellent acreage and lots of servants. At that time, there wasn’t a Blenheim Lodge, but a Brantfield House, an estate which comprised Blenheim Lodge and some of the remaining 19th century homes and buildings in our vicinity. It was when Brantfield House was divided, that two-thirds of it was named Blenheim Lodge, now our semi-detached guest house. (Brantfield House now comprises private flats.)
Brantfield House was built on Brantfell (a hill) in such a way as to take advantage of fabulous sweeping Lake and fell views. One of the cousins surmised that perhaps it was built at the top of Brantfell because the original owner was proclaiming his wealth by being able to overlook his neighbours in terms of exclusivity of situation and views. Thus, the Martin family must have been very wealthy indeed to have bought Brantfield House.
I think it is always interesting to learn about one’s own home, as it places one’s residence within a historical context. Hubby and I questioned the two gentlemen cousins at length to find out what they knew, but since it was their mothers who were contemporary to the period in which we were all interested, it was not possible to get as many answers as we and they would have liked. Since then, I have tried looking for more clues about the history of Blenheim Lodge, but I suspect it will take me awhile to get an overall picture of our guest house, which was once the country home of a wealthy industrialist gentleman and his very privileged family.
Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’
Visit our website: www.blenheim-lodge.com
Telephone: 015394 43440