Browsholme Hall, pronounced ‘Brusom’, lies in the Forest of Bowland four miles north-west of Clitheroe overlooking the Hodder Valley. Built in 1507 by Edmund Parker, the red sandstone house has a genuine claim to be the oldest surviving family home in Lancashire. Browsholme is an historic house unique in so many ways – not least for its remarkable antiquarian collection representing the accumulation of the personal possessions of fourteen generations of continuous occupation.
Origins of the Parker family can be traced to 1381 when, soon after the Black Death, Peter de Alcancotes accepted the office of park keeper for the Forest of Bowland from John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. The family motto ‘neither wind nor wave shall move us’ perhaps bears witness to the survival of Browsholme through the Reformation, the turbulence of the Civil Wars, the extravagance of the Regency period, through the Napoleonic, Boer and World Wars. Each period has left its trace … a skull from the Pilgrimage of Grace, a royalist coat worn by Capt. Thomas Whittingham, furniture by Gillow and Hepplewhite, even a fragment of a Zeppelin.
Browsholme Hall is not a museum and our guided tours illustrate a living history of the house as well as encapsulating the lifestyle and the survival of one family in Lancashire.