Ravenhill House, Brereton

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Date:1895 - 1900 (c.)

Description:Ravenhill House was built, on the site of an earlier building, sometime between 1772 and 1787 by Assheton Curzon (later Viscount Curzon) of Hagley Hall, Rugeley . It was leased from Curzon in 1787 to Lt Col. Walter Sneyd M.P., heir to Keele Hall. Walter lived there until his father died in 1793 when he transferred to Keele. His widowed mother then moved to Ravenhill and lived there until her death in 1797. The Sneyds were followed by retired Col. William Charles Madan, a son of Bishop Spenser Madan of Peterborough. Ravenhill was let to James Wright who took the tenancy in 1826 (for £210 per annum) until his death in 1864.

The Hon. Robert Curzon moved into his Ravenhill property in 1864 and made many improvements. He used it as a secondary home until about 1867. His son, Robert Nathaniel Curzon seems to have used it as an occasional residence between about 1873 to 1892. The next major resident was Robert Darnley Anderson, J.P., from about 1892 to 1899. It is thought that this photograph dates from this time.

Next, the house was oocupied by Henry James Buckmaster between about 1899 and 1910. His son, Colonel Maurice James Buckmaster O.B.E. was born there in 1902. Maurice was the leader of the French section of Special Operations Executive and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. He was also a Director of the Ford Motor Company.

The house was empty for a few years and was used by the Red Cross as a convalescent hospital during World War I until 1919. Being in a bad state of repair it was then brought for a very low price by Major Selby Gardener. His wife claimed to have often seen a ghost of a seated little old lady in the drawing room. Upon the major’s death in 1936 the house stood empty. During World War II, when owned by Rugeley Urban District Council, it housed American soldiers.

In 1948 it was rented by British Electronic Products Ltd. for £1 per week. It was initially in a poor state needing windows and roof tiles to be replaced. They subsequently purchased the house with several acres of land. The company became Lancashire Dynamo Electronic Products Ltd (L.D.E.P.) in 1953, Thorn Automation in 1968, and then Thorn EMI Automation in 1982. The house was demolished in 1993.

Many thanks to Mr H. Thornton for this information.

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Image courtesy of: Mr John Bennett

Donor ref:(184/29614)

Source: Landor Local History Society

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