14 July 2023

Discover the History of Brockhampton Court

When you visit us at Brockhampton Court, you will be greeted with a beautiful structure that is steeped in rich history. A Grade II listed building, the home has evolved from a stately home to the place we can home today. Discover more about the history of Brockhampton Court…


The original house, which was known as Upper Court, was built in the mid 18th century, and owned by the Dean and Chapter of Hereford Cathedral. It was later boiught by the Skyrme family before being sold to the Stallard family in 1833 who turned the land into a family farm. When the family gave up farming, the house was sold to the Baronet Christopher Lighton. At some point between 1851 and 1861, the house was renamed Brockhampton Court and purchased by Ebenezer D. Jordan from Boston, Massachusetts in 1885.

Ebenezer set about a major transformation of the house, which is not too dissimilar to the house we see today. Once complete, he gifted the home to his daughter, Alice Madeline Foster, following her marriage to the Colonel Arthur Wellesley Foster from Yorkshire. Their wedding took place in 1885 at the Trinity Church in Boston and was believed to be one of the biggest affairs to take place in the area, with people lining the streets.

The original rectory part of the house was left intact, with major extensions added all around the building. It was said that no expense was spared to provide the newlyweds with the most impressive home they could ask for. Arthur was ordained to a Staffordshire curacy, living in Lancashire for a short time, meaning the couple did not move into the home until 1906.

Expansion of the Estate

During the expansion, several cottages were built, including two entrance cottages at either end of the drive. As the road passed close to the west front of the home, the family agreed to build a new road several fields away which would add more privacy for the property. The fields and orchards around the house were made into a park.

To facilitate the changes required, architects the William Morris company were asked to source some of the best craftsman available. A lot of the work completed then can be seen in the home today, including intricate carvings and panelling. There are also several examples of William de Morgan tiling in some of the bathrooms and around the fireplace in the hall.

The original Norman church in the grounds of the Court were shut and in 1902, a new church was built by Alice Foster at the end of the drive. This church is one of only two thatched churches in England today. The architect was William Lathaby, who was considered to be ahead of his time.

Alice Foster was the first woman magistrate in Herefordshire and set up the original WI in the county. She was also a very generous donor to hospitals and paid for a whole operating theatre at Ross-on-Wye cottage hospital.

Arthur became High Sheriff of Herefordshire and his love of horses and hounds saw him become the master of the South Herefordshire foxhounds. He was also extremely keen on cricket, and established Brockhampton Cricket Club. Even today the club remains popular, with ladies playing om Sundays and children playing on Friday evenings. Brockhampton Court was the first house in Herefordshire to have electricity, which was provided from a nearby building that sent DC electricity across to the court, where it was changed into AC electricity.

Change of Ownership

Arthur died in 1929, with Alice passing away just three years later. Drusilla Madeline Foster, their granddaughter, married Gerard Leigh Clay in 1931 at took over running of the home. In 1949 the house was sold again and turned into a hotel with 26 bedrooms, multiple function rooms and an attached riding school.

For over 40 years, under the ownership of the Toby family, Brockhampton Court became a very successful venue for entertainment, balls, weddings, and all-night parties. Unfortunately, by the beginning of the 1990s, complaints began to emerge about the late-night noise, which resulted in the hotel losing its alcohol licence, affecting the success of the business.

The establishment of Brockhampton Court Care Home

In 1995, Dr Christopher Allen and his wife, Valerie, purchased the hotel and 10 acres of land. They set on completing a large-scale renovation and restoration of the home to turn it into the care home it is today. The building was completely rewired and replumbed with new boilers, and a complete overhaul of the interior decoration by Mrs Allen. In 2007, a new wing was developed, adding 16 ensuite bedrooms and an adjoining conservatory. Today, the home has 49 ensuite bathrooms available for residents.

Discover the History of Brockhampton Court