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After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Broadlands was sold to Sir Francis Fleming in 1547. His daughter married Edward St. Barbe, and the manor remained the property of the St. Barbe family for the next 117 years. Sir John St. Barbe made many improvements to the manor before it was left to his cousin Humphrey Sydenham in 1723. When Sydenham was ruined by the 18th-century South Sea Bubble, he proceeded to sell Broadlands to Henry Temple, 1st Viscount Palmerston in 1736. It was 1st Viscount Palmerston who began the deformalisation of the gardens between the river and the house and produced the (broad-lands) the "gentle descent to the river".
In 1767, a major architectural "transformation" was begun by Capability Brown, the celebrated architect and landscape designer, and completed by architect Henry Holland, which led to making Broadlands the Palladian-style mansion seen today.
Henry Temple, 2nd Viscount Palmerston had requested that Brown go there and seize upon the "capabilities" of the earlier Tudor and Jacobean manor house. Between 1767 and 1780, William Kent's earlier "deformalising work" was completed, as well as further landscaping, planting, clearing and riverside work.
Broadlands was the country estate of the nineteenth century prime minister Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston.
Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth) and Prince Philip spent their honeymoon at Broadlands in November 1947; Earl Mountbatten, whose home Broadlands was at the time, was Philip's uncle. The newly married Prince and Princess of Wales also spent the first three days of their honeymoon at Broadlands in 1981, travelling to the estate by train from London Waterloo.
In current times
It is occupied by Lord and Lady Brabourne (who until 2005 enjoyed the courtesy style of Lord and Lady Romsey, a subsidiary title of Patricia Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Lord Brabourne's mother, whose late husband was John Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne).
Norton Knatchbull, 8th Baron Brabourne is the grandson of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Should the title fall from the 2nd Countess Mountbatten on death to her son, the seat of the earldom would again be Broadlands as it was in Earl Mountbatten's time.
Local folklore and legend
According to local legend, between July and September every year, a half man, half wolf like figure can be seen pacing around the areas surrounding the Broadlands Estate. The sightings of this creature date back hundreds of years, and are believed to be sightings of the popular legend 'Wolfie T'. The myth dates back to the 17th Century when locals would tell tales of 'Wolfie T' to scare the children on Halloween. The half man, half wolf like beast would be seen appearing from the Broadlands estate and sneaking around the town looking for children to take back to the woods with him. Stories of the beast died out over the next 100 years or so only to be revived in the Victorian era, when due to a couple of sightings the legend regained a popularity it has maintained to this day. More recently, in October 2013, Flack Manor, a local Romsey based brewery, has released a 'Wolfie T' Ale in tribute to the legend.
- Turner, Roger (1999). Capability Brown and the Eighteenth Century English Landscape. Second edition. Phillimore (Chichester, England). Pp. 108–110. ISBN 978-1-86077-114-9.
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- broadlandsestate.co.uk, official website