KITCHENER and BROOME PARK, KENT An interesting archive of architectural drawings, plans and associated material relating to the extensive refurbishment of Broome Park in Kent, home to Earl Kitchener of Khartoum
Lot 85
KITCHENER and BROOME PARK, KENT
An interesting archive of architectural drawings, plans and associated material relating to the extensive refurbishment of Broome Park in Kent, home to Earl Kitchener of Khartoum
Sold for £ 2,640 (US$ 3,457) inc. premium

Lot Details
KITCHENER and BROOME PARK, KENT
A fascinating archive of architectural drawings, plans and associated material relating to the extensive refurbishment of Broome Park in Kent, home to Earl Kitchener of Khartoum, upwards of 100 original pen and ink designs, plans and studies for interior or garden decorations on paper, tracing paper or linen, some with wash or watercolour additions; many proof designs for plans and elevations with annotations (some in the hand of Kitchener); correspondence including 15 AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED BY KITCHENER to his steward W. Western, together approximately 55 pages, three of the letters written from the War Office, the others from the British Agency at Cairo; 2 letters from Oswald Fitzgerald, and one from the gardener at Hatfield discussing fuschias and mentioning "how fearfully this war is putting back the garden, we have... sent 18 men to the colours"; several typed costings and bills, loose, various sizes, [c.1912-1916]

Footnotes

  • Horatio Herbert Kitchener, Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and of Broome, purchased Broome Park (near Canterbury), a fine brickwork house built between 1635 and 1638, in 1911, and at once set about a substantial programme of renovation and redecoration both of the house and the gardens. Soon afterwards Kitchener was made consul-general in Egypt, a position he held for three years before returning to England as Secretary of State for War at the outbreak of the First World War.

    The fifteen autograph letters by Kitchener to his steward at Broome, mostly sent from the British Agency at Cairo, illuminate the meticulous interest he took in every aspect of the planning, mentioning changes to the plans for the butler's pantry, the ceiling strapwork, the staircase, asking for new plans for the garden and giving exact measurements for the positioning of an oak tree, ordering "400 cwt of the old lead... look at the oldest pieces, grey lead with silver in it" (at a time when he in charge of maximising the production of ammunition), all exemplified by his suggestion that "you might make the channels in the walls of the sanitary pipes for the W.C.s properly ventilated at top. I have been putting in some here - and its quite simple...". Writing from the War Office, in June 1915, Kitchener's aide-de-campe Oswald Fitzgerald writes to the chief steward at Broome "...you cannot do a greater service to the war than to look after the one relaxation which Lord Kitchener allows himself - the building of his house. It gives him such intense pleasure every saturday when he comes down and see the good work that has been done". Several of the plans are also annotated by Kitchener, questioning the detail of the architects measurements, or the placement of garden terraces and planting.

    The major remodelling was carried out by Detmar Blow (1867-1939) and Fernand Billerey, who also created the formal gardens and a formal carriage approach. Several of their designs are included, and it is apparent from Kitchener's letters that copies of these were sent to Cairo for him to approve. Other drawings are by George P. Bankart, W. Bainbridge Reynolds (for "sconces in silver copper"), Cowtan & Sons (proposals for wood panelling), Shanks (demonstrating the placement of heaters), Maples of London (panelling and a table design for the flamboyant Australian newspaper proprietor Hugh Donald McIntosh, who leased Broome Park in 1923), as well as anonymous designs for balustrades, lamps, the garden gates, and others.

    The vendor's father purchased Broome Park in 1938, and owned it until the 1970s.
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