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Posted 24 April 2017
Broomfield House Trust Annual General Meeting

The date for the  AGM is Tuesday the 9th of May, 7.30 pm-10.00 pm, the Burford Room in Palmers Green United Reform Church.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

4 April 2017
Lanscroon Murals Selected Sections Trial Restoration - Bids Received

The Broomfield House Trust has now received bids for the trial restoration and display of selected sections of the Lanscroon murals from three excellent restoration specialists. We will be assessing these bids as soon as we can.

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

22 December 2016
Broomfield House History Project – Volunteers needed

In addition to involvement in the Partnership Board’s work on the main exercise on the future of Broomfield House, the Trust is working up a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for an Our Heritage grant to create a digital history of Broomfield House, its Park and the surrounding area. We are being encouraged in this by Historic England and Enfield Council, and have had useful initial discussions with the HLF.

The first strand of the project concerns the staircase hall murals, completed in 1726 by the Flemish artist Gerard Lanscroon, whose work can still be seen in great houses such as Powis Castle and Burley on the Hill, as well as in Beaumont House (formerly Arnos Grove) in Southgate. The Broomfield murals exist in variously sized fragments and larger sections which were carefully removed from the stairwell walls, protected and stored. This restoration project is intended to prepare three of the stored examples for temporary display in a public exhibition about the house and the paintings (see below).  We already have a pledge of significant financial support from the Enfield Society to help with the trial restoration, and we also had a successful collection through the Waitrose Community Matters scheme. Elements of the restoration process, which will be fully recorded, will be accessed as part of the digital history (again, see below).

The second heritage element relates to the documentary history of the house and its inhabitants. Most documents concerning the house and park, including maps from the 16th century-onwards, leases, inventories and conveyances, are archived in Enfield’s Local History Unit. There are also 19th and 20th century photos and postcards, some films, and Peter Brown’s self-published, handwritten booklets on the history of the house, the total collection probably comprising in excess of 800 items. The project will index all these Broomfield Estate items and digitise them.  Once this is done, this is intended to form the basis of a series of short self-contained informative illustrated "essays" or stories on a range of aspects of the history of the House, Park and surrounding area which will be readable on-line, or possibly in hard copy form. There should be considerable scope for volunteers to carry out much of this work whether in digitising the record (training will be arranged) or writing and perhaps publishing these mini-histories.

The third strand comprises oral history and here voluntary inputs are the key.  The idea is for Broomfield House to be recalled by people who remember the house before the fires, and also for the thoughts of current park users about the park and the future of the house to be included. Interviewees will also be asked to say something about themselves, and how they came to be living in this part of London; interviews – around twenty – will be filmed and recorded. Anyone have a story to tell? Any film buffs who can help with the recording and editing?

We intend to involve local schools in both determining how best this might serve educational needs and to participate in its creation. Any teachers or students interested in helping? We hope that users of Ruth Winston House, Palmers Green’s over-50’s centre will also become involved and an initial chat suggests there is willingness to do so.
The very latest development is that we are discussing with the Enfield Museum Service and the Local Studies Unit holding an exhibition in 2018 about Broomfield House, and we hope displaying sections of restored murals.  The product of the digital history project will be a key part of the display, but we will also be looking for volunteers to help design and mount the display.  Any museum experts out there ready to help?

We need to be able to commit to the exhibition by next spring, so any offers of help with any of this ambitious programme will be gratefully received!

If you think you can help in any capacity then please contact us at:

Colin Younger
Chair, The Broomfield House Trust

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