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Brook House and its history

Brook House stood where Hall Leys is today; this is behind the Memorial Gardens on the other side of the brook. This exceptionally rare photograph is the best image of Brook House that the museum team have seen.

The earliest records tell us that Brook House was occupied from the 1600s up to 1852 by the Parnham family and their later descendents, the Stones. In his book, the Quorndon Records (1912), historian George Francis Farnham draws information from deeds in his possession at Quorn House. An indenture shows that in 1679, William Parnham, a ‘dishmaker’, purchased a house and 6.5 acres of land from Henry Farnham who lived at the Nether Hall (Quorn Hall). The document also indicates that the Parnhams were renting the house before they purchased it.

William Parnham can be seen on the family chart below the photograph. He married Mary Chapman from Quorn in 1671, which is perhaps why he moved to the area. Brook House was passed down the Parnham generations, it was a prestigious house and the Parnhams were a well to do family. The family members marked with * are all buried in St Bartholomew’s Churchyard. Their memorials can be found in the area to the right of the main Church door. The chart also shows that even the upper classes were not immune to the tragedy of child mortality. Thomas and Mary Parnham lost three infants within the space of five days in February 1734. This meant that there was no male heir, so Brook House passed to their daughter Mary and her husband John Stone.

Eventually the house passed to Mary and John’s eldest son, John Parnham Stone. He became a celebrated breeder of sheep. His business success, increased his wealth and enabled him to buy more land and also to rebuild Brook House into the form as it is in the photograph. He married Lucy Chamberlain in 1795, but they had no children. When John died in 1835 he left Lucy a life interest in all the property, but when she died in 1852, everything was sold in a major auction. Edward Basil Farnham from Quorn House bought the house and the Herricks from Beaumanor Hall bought most of the land.

On the 1891 census William E Cooke, his wife Alice and their eleven children are all living at Brook House. William Cooke was a well know local artist who drew and painted many pictures of Quorn and the local area.

According to tax records in 1910, Brook House was still owned by the Farnham family, but rented out to John Facer and his family. John Facer ran a joinery and building business. During the First World War he allowed the top two floors to be used for Belgian refugees. In the Second World War the house was used for evacuees. After the war it was split into flats, which is probably when the photograph was taken. The house became very run down and was eventually demolished in 1963. Shortly afterwards Hall Leys was built on the site.


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 Submitted on: 2012-04-09
 Submitted by: Photograph from Sheila Brewer, additional information by Sue Templeman
 Artefact ID: 1575
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own.

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