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Branston Hall

Branston Hall

Branston Hall is a country house in the village of Branston, Lincolnshire, England. The hall, a Grade II listed building,[1] is set in 88 acres (3.56 square kilometres) of wooded parkland and lakes.

Originally commissioned as the family seat of the Melville family, the house became an RAF hospital during the Second World War, and then a sanatorium run by Lindsey County Council.[2][3][4] It lay derelict in the 1970s and 1980s, underwent restoration and conversion into a retirement home in the late 1980s, and is now restored and converted into a hotel.

Designed by John Macvicar Anderson in 1885, the house was built in Elizabethan Revival style.[1][3]


Early historyEdit

The original old hall (formerly located in the south east of the grounds, beside Hall Lane[5]) was built in 1735 for Lord Vere Bertie (1712-1768), the son of the 1st Duke of Ancaster. He had married Anne Casey, who had inherited the Branston property from her father Sir Cecil Wray.[6] The couple had four children. Lord Vere Bertie died in 1768 and his wife Anne continued to live at the house until her death in 1779. The property was then passed to their daughter Albinia who had married George Hobart, 3rd Earl of Buckinghamshire.[7] In 1829, the house was advertised for sale[8] and it seems that shortly after this it was purchased by Alexander Leslie Melville (1800-1881).

The Leslie-Melville familyEdit

Alexander Samuel Leslie Melville
Albinia Frances Leslie Melville, wife of Alexander Samuel Leslie Melville

Alexander Leslie Melville (1800-1881) was born in 1800 in Scotland. His father was Alexander Leslie Melville, the 7th Earl of Leven. In 1825, he married Charlotte Smith, the daughter of Samuel Smith M.P, of Woodhall Park, Hertfordshire. The couple had twelve children.[9]

Their eldest son was Alexander Samuel Leslie Melville (1829-1919) and he inherited Branston Hall when his father died in 1881. He was born in 1829 and in 1858 he married Albinia Frances Broderick, daughter of Charles Broderick, 6th Viscount Middleton. The couple had seven children.

In 1884, he commissioned the architect John MacVicar Anderson to build the present house. The old hall, still being in a good state of repair became accommodation for the servants and the staff. There were numerous servants employed by the family. The 1901 Census shows that there were six domestic maids, a butler, three footmen and a groom at the hall in to the outdoor gardening staff.

In 1903, the old hall burnt down and was removed from the site. Albinia died in 1918[10] and Alexander died the following year in 1919.[11] In 1920, the property was sold. In the intervening years the site of the old hall has been sensitively redeveloped.


The grounds were once grazed by sheep but since around the year 2000 have been mechanically mown. There are many large beech trees and sycamores. Wildlife include muntjac deer, tawny owl and great cormorant. A small number of rare plants are found in the beech woods, as well as typical woodland flowers like sanicle, bluebell and dog mercury. There is evidence of boating on the lake, in former times.


  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Branston Hall and Outbuildings (1317238)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Branston, Branston Hall Hospital c.1965". Francis Frith. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b "The History of Branston Hall and The Ghost of Branston Hall". Rod Collins. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  4. ^ Kelly's Directory of Lincolnshire 1933, p.103
  5. ^ Lincoln A to Z
  6. ^ History of Parliament website “Lord Vere Bertie”. Online reference
  7. ^ Clilvers, Allan 2020 “The Berties of Grimsthorpe Castle ” , p. 203. Online reference
  8. ^ London Evening Standard - Tuesday 06 January 1829, p. 1.
  9. ^ Sir William Fraser 1890 “The Melvilles, Earls of Melville, and the Leslies, Earls of Leven. Memoirs.” Online reference
  10. ^ Family Search website. Online reference
  11. ^ Family Search website. Online reference

External linksEdit