Breamore House Museum New Forest
Breamore House Museum New Forest is set in the beautiful Avon Valley on the edge of the New Forest National Park.
I visited Breamore House in the New Forest again recently and it is definitely one of my favourite historic houses. The Countryside Museum is well worth a visit too for all the family and for all ages.
It is set in magnificent parkland and farmland.
It is an Elizabethan home, between Salisbury and Fordingbridge in the Avon Valley part of this National Park. As you travel through the beautiful village of Breamore you will see geese on the green and picturesque thatched cottages scattered about.
This historic house was completed in 1583 and is in the classic Elizabethan E style.
It has hardly changed in the last 400 years.
Beautiful brickwork harmonises with huge leaded light windows.
As you usually find in historic houses the site has been chosen to sit perfectly in the landscape.
This makes the best use of light within the building and also enhances the setting within the Avon Valley.
World War Two Breamore House and the New Forest
If you are interested in finding out more about World War Two and Breamore House Museum New Forest I've found out that the American, General George Patton stayed here and had quite an affect on the local village one way and another!
The Dining Room
I've got a couple of favourite rooms at Breamore House but the Dining Room with its beautiful fireplace, hangings and 17th and 18th century paintings is probably the room I like the most.
The dining room table is 15th century and was once used by monks.
If you look carefully you can see indentations in the wood where their meals were served directly onto the surface of the table.
The dining room looks east down an avenue of lime trees planted in the time of William and Mary.
I feel it really retains much of its Tudor character, especially as much of the furniture is oak.
There is a court cupboard which dates back to around 1600.
The Great Hall
The Great Hall really lives up to its name and is the largest room in the house.
There are two Brussels tapestries in this room which have a tale to tell. They are from around 1630 and by David Teniers.
Teniers supposedly placed himself somewhere in all his works.
When you visit this may be pointed out to you - he had quite a sense of humour and so look at the first tapestry as you enter the Great Hall and see what you think the chap on the far right is doing!
This room holds many magnificent paintings.
One of the most important in the house is by David Teniers the younger The Coming of the Storm.
You can feel the approach of the storm from this painting and anticipate how the villagers enjoyment will soon end.
I love this style of painting - I hope you enjoy it on your trip too.
The Blue Drawing Room
There is stunning furniture throughout the house and the Blue Drawing Room is no exception.
Paintings in this room depict three generations of the Hulse family, who purchased Breamore House in the early 18th century.
It has remained in the family to this day - quite an achievement when you consider the impact of taxes through the centuries.
As well as the family paintings and beautiful furniture this room holds a Chinese Chippendale mirror over the fireplace, which as you can see, is exquisite.
The West Drawing Room
The West Drawing Room of Breamore House Museum New Forest very much has the feel of a family room which enjoys being lived in.
There is a fascinating Austrian hunting carpet in this room, depicting leopards and deer in action. This Austrian example follows the pattern often found in Persian hunting carpets.
There is a large partners writing table in the magnificent bay window which overlooks the Home Park.
The table was probably used on quarter days when it would have been used for collecting the estate rents.
An early painting of the quite new game of cricket hangs in the West Drawing Room. It is entitled The Boy with the Bat and is circa 1760 - as you go onto the main A338 road on leaving Breamore House you will see a pub called the Bat and Ball which we have had many good meals in. It has changed hands recently a couple of times and we haven't tried it since - so not yet on my recommended list!
There is another Chippendale example in this this room - an overmantle shows the art of combining gilt and mirror to stunning effect.
The Staircase and Alcove
Once you have climbed the lovely staircase onto the first floor landing you will see a rare and beautiful carpet.
It is an English pile carpet which dates back to James 1 and bears scrolling stems of flowers and fruits. Woven into the lower border is the date 1614.
As you can see this stunning inlaid table is also on this landing and shows a variety of woods beautifully inlaid to incorporate each wood to best effect.
This landing also holds 14 fascinating paintings. They are the earliest known ethnological paintings and depict the mixing of various Indian races. They were painted by the illegitimate son of Murillo who had a studio in Mexico and were actually seized on the high seas on their journey to Spain.
This area also holds another seized treasure from the high seas - a beautiful Mexican featherwork fan.
It seems that many unique goods did not reach their original destinations during their journeys on the seas at this time!
The Blue Bedroom
I love the colour of the Georgian Blue Bedroom and think it is quite a contemporary colour.
The chandelier is Dutch and the walnut furniture is from the first half of the eighteenth century.
There are lovely pastels on the walls of the Hulse family.
I really loved this room and found it very atmospheric - what did you think? Let me know if you like.
Another favourite part of the house for me are the Tudor bedrooms.
As you walk along the north wing the original timbering is obvious with plaster wattle work panels.
The bedrooms have oak period furniture and in the first bedroom is a Brussels tapestry c1630.
This tapestry depicts a floral centre surrounded by a border of animals, birds and fish from the land, sky and sea.
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The Powder Room
The bed hangings are fragile and look ancient but give atmosphere to the bedrooms.
In the end bedroom is an example of the original meaning of "powder room"
The little chamber was where the occupants of the bedroom would go to powder themselves in preparation for their day.
Wherever I visit I always hope to get a glimpse of the kitchens and Breamore doesn't disappoint.
The batterie de cuisine holds a magnificent array of copper used over the last century or more.
As is traditional for the times many have the individual initials of the family member to help date them. You often see this when visiting historic houses.
There are a couple of real treasures in the kitchen of Breamore House Museum New Forest.
The beer wagon or barrel on runners on the table dates from the eigtheenth century and was used to distribute beer to the staff when they ate in the Staff Hall.
The cone of sugar was presented by Tate and Lyle.
Every mod con is here - providing you can supply the necessary labour! - the large mortars and pestles are the forerunners of todays electric mixers and blenders.
Imagine the work of cleaning the copper pots and pans, grinding fish, meat and fruit in the mortars and washing up after a huge dinner function - and the sink is really quite tiny too.
Breamore House Museum New Forest with its museum of the countryside is really worth a visit too. It is beautifully laid out and holds many interesting and memory invoking exhibits.
It shows us the history of agriculture and how it developed through the ages. From hand tools, to oxen and horse power, through to steam and finally to the revolution in the agricultural industry which the internal combustion engine brought about.
The Countryside Museum is very cleverly laid out to encapsulate these changes. We get the feel for the workers of the Breamore House Museum New Forest at this time as their lives are portrayed to us in shops and rooms. These include:
If you like traction engines and steam engines you will be spoilt for choice here. The Countryside Museum offers many lovely examples of tractors and carts and hand tools used in the day to day life of the agricultural worker through the centuries.
If you fancy a walk further into the grounds of Breamore House then The Maze might interest you.
It is set on a beautiful landscape looking down along the Avon Valley. The Maze or Labyrinth was built by Ian Leitch in 1983 and and won the Sunday Times Magasine's Great British Maze Competition
Breamore House isn't just a beautiful Elizabethan manor house to visit on a day out to the New Forest National Park.
It can offer
If you feel adventurous and want to walk or cycle to Breamore House you can do a small detour off the Avon Valley Path to visit Breamore House and Countryside Museum perhaps on your way to Salisbury or Christchurch.
Enjoy your visit to the lovely Breamore House Museum New Forest and the Countryside Museum.
I hope you take home lots of lovely memories of the scenery and animals of the New Forest National Park.