BROOKFIELD (Binstead Road)
In 1832 the Rev. Augustus Hewitt obtained a lease for a plot of land to the east of the Binstead stream. It was a former stone quarry and the Rev. Hewitt was given permission to quarry stone provided it was only used for houses on that plot. Rev. Hewitt went ahead and erected two stone built and thatched roofed cottage ornees by 1833. Brookfield Cottage in the northern part of the plot and Brookfield Lodge in the southern part, adjoining the highway.
Rev. Hewitt was the owner and incumbent of St. James’s Chapel, Ryde 1827 to 1830; later vicar of St. John’s, Newport and again at St. James 1841 to 49. He was a married man, came of a landed family, and in the course of his long life had three wives, the last dying in 1901. In 1851 he took a living in Warwick and surrendered his lease to the Brigstocke Estate.
The original plot was then divided and leased out separately. Brookfield Cottage became Brookfield which was leased to a Mr. Henry Easty of Winchester. He lived there for a few years before renting it out to Lord Burghley in 1859. It was about this time that the house was enlarged on the north west. The new wing was higher and in a castellated style. A few months after Lord Burghley moved in, fire broke out and damaged the coach house and stables. Lord Burghley had a great interest in yachting and was a popular member of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.
In April 1863 the house was destroyed by fire. It would appear that sparks from the kitchen fire caught the thatch alight. The fire-brigade did manage to save part of the new wing. Lord and Lady Burghley had left a few days earlier. Upon their return to Ryde, they rented Dean House, Castle St. Ryde. By 1865, the house was repaired and the Burghley’s were back in residence. In 1867 Lord Burghley’s father died and he became the Marquis of Exeter. During the following years the Marquis took a long lease on Brookfield, but in 1873 he left.
The house was occupied by Edwin Martin Langworthy, a barrister of the Temple, London and his wife Lady Alice. (1874 to 1875) They only stayed for about a year. The contents of the house were sold by auction in October 1875. An elegant mantel clock in Ormolu, on carved and gilt stand under a glass shade went for £6 – 10s. a fine pair of Dresden vases went for £7 – 5s.
It appears that the house was empty until 1877 when it was taken by Mr. and Mrs. James Webb. He was described as a landed proprietor, born in Sussex. The Webb’s used Brookfield until 1882, when again it appears that it stays empty until 1885 when it was leased to Mr. and Mrs. George Bussey.
George Bussey was originally apprenticed to a saddler at Richmond, Yorkshire and went to London in 1851 and started his own business. He became a very successful manufacturer of leather goods and patented new designs of tennis rackets. George Bussey died at Brookfield in October 1889.
The records were rather sketchy after then until 1904. In that year it was taken by Mr. and Mrs. Thomasset who changed the name of the house to Soliris. They stayed until 1908.
The house again became empty and in 1912 an unsuccessful attempt was made to sell it.
In 1924 the Brigstocke Estate had the house repaired and it was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Boger, (the house was named Brookfield again.) Mrs. Boger was a member of the Brigstocke family. Mr. Boger died at Brookfield in August 1944, leaving an estate valued at £25, 635. The widow continued to live there until her death in the 1950s.
Source: A brief history of Brookfield by Roy Brinton
Image: Roy Brinton Collection, RSHG Archive