History of the Parker family
Browsholme Hall has a fascinating story to tell, being one of the oldest family homes in England. Over 510 years the Hall has been adapted to the tastes and needs of each generation of the Parker family; including the accumulation of possessions from the reign of Henry VII to the present day that create an eclectic and unusual collection.
Since 1507 the descendants of Edmund Parker have settled throughout England, Europe and the New World. Their family tree contributing to the continuing story of the Parkers of Browsholme.
Robert and Amanda occupy all parts of the house, from the ‘state’ rooms used for special occasions to the attic rooms used for the large archive of historic documents. It has not always been so, as in 1975 the Hall had fallen into a terrible state of repair with little comfort or sanitation. There were no employees and no income from the estate.
Robert Redmayne Parker inherited Browsholme in 1975, aged 20, from Col. Robert Goulbourne Parker, his fourth cousin once removed. Col Robert had lived alone in the house for many years with little income. To enable him to stay in the Hall, he had dispersed much of the land and historic contents. When Robert inherited Browsholme he was living with his parents near Cambridge. It was clear that Browsholme would not survive unless major restoration work was done, so his parents sold up and moved to Lancashire. This sacrifice on their part cannot be under estimated. They then devoted over twenty five years to restoring Browsholme and are responsible for keeping it within the Parker family.
Robert and Amanda took over the running of the Hall and estate in the 1990’s. Continuing the work his parents started, they concentrated on developing Browsholme within the community and making it economically sound and sustainable. The house is now comfortable, with biomass fuelled hot water and heating, energy saving lighting and clean, spring water. There are over twenty local people working here as employees or volunteer guides. Browsholme is back as a major contributor to the local economy.
Work continues in the grounds with increased wildflowers and wildlife around the lakes. The 18thC Wilderness Garden is being restored with the assistance of local landscape architects and garden historians. The next generation, Eleanor and Roland, are heavily involved in life at Browsholme and share their parent’s passion for their home.