The Broadway Hotel on the village green dates back to the late 15th century and is a half stone half timbered building.
The house was originally built as a small manor house or ‘yeoman’s’ house, an H-shaped hall house. A hall house comprised a single storey hall with cross wings. Houses to this plan were built for about 200 years from c1400 (few after 1550). Some of the windows, the doorway and moulding of some of the timbers date back to 1550-50. Over one of the inside doors is the date 1575. It may have been that the building was built as part of the Abbot’s Grange complex of buildings, occupied by either lay brothers, monks or nuns sent their from their abbeys.
There is evidence that there was a forge attached to the west wing of the house in 1772 (in front of the timbered section).
The present day hotel is made up of several properties: the central part of the hotel which was once one house, known as Hollyhocks and before that Ivy House. At the back of the hotel, the dining room and kitchen area were once part of Tanyard Cottages (three cottages in a yard where hides were made into leather) alongside a small orchard.
To the left of the hotel is a row of cottages (now a row of shops some with a flat above). The nearest cottage to the hotel, was once part of the hotel and used to be called Arthur Villa. When Arthur Villa was built in 1896, it was known by the villagers as Hideous House. To the right of the hotel are what are now three Almshouses (restored by the Broadway Trust). These cottages were also once part of the hotel and were also known as Tanyard Cottages.
In October 1831, a 2,000 year lease on Ivy House was sold to baker Caleb Burrows1. It would appear that Caleb also farmed in Willersey and he was appointed Guardian for Willersey in the 1890s.
In January 1896, Mrs Holcroft purchased the ‘dwelling house and premises with bakehouse outbuildings’ for the sum of £930 and it was home to Holcroft Bakery2. Mrs Holcroft died in 1925 and left Ivy House and cottages to her daughter Mrs Davies.
Mrs Davies sold the property in 1927 and it changed hands again in 1929 and 1932 when it became The Hollyhocks. It is at this stage that the ivy that cloaked the house was removed and it ceased to be used as a bakery.
In 1934, Mr Whiteman purchased the house and it became the Broadway Hotel. Mr Whiteman died in 1942 and in 1950 the hotel passed out of his family to Mrs Ruddle and in 1972 the hotel was sold to Ian Allan.
1. Caleb Burrows was appointed an Overseer of Broadway in April 1865. In December 1887, Caleb was fined £10 in the Evesham Court for failing to have his child vaccinated. He was also fined again in the 1890s for the same offence.
2. Arthur Johnson worked at the bakery as a baker’s assistant. The bakery was located in what is now the hotel bar in the timbered section.