|JCE Hope Brooke|
The Hill is a dwelling
of significant architectural importance. It was built in 1898 for John Hope
Brooke of the family of the Rajahs of Sarawak. He was born in Kuching in 1858
and his father was Rajah Muda of Sarawak. John married the Hon. Violet Mary,
daughter of the 9th Viscount Barrington in 1892.
The house was designed by Charles Voysey who had considerable influence on contemporary architectural thinking. The house was appropriately described by the architectural historian Pevsner as typical of Voysey’s work, having a “happily informal composition."
Originally the house had 14 bedrooms. It has been altered considerably since its original construction but without losing its charm.
John Hope Brooke farmed about 400 acres and he was an ardent supporter of Free Trade. He was keen on hunting and horse breeding. In 1908 he was advertising stud facilities for the services of his thoroughbred stallion “Devilled Truffle” for a fee of five guineas. He sold the house in 1909 to Francis Hurt-Sitwell who married shortly after buying the property.
(Copy of original architect's drawing and main photograph (2005) courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. L.A. Garfield)