Village Life

In Anglo-Saxon times the settlement of Broadway was centred around what is now the Church of St Eadburgha and the stream at Bury End. Initially built on agriculture and to some extent later on, glove-making, the centre of the village gradually expanded northwards to its current location. Between 1220 and 1229, a Chapel of Ease was built to the north of St Eadburgha’s at ‘Nether End’ followed by the building of Abbot’s Grange in 1320 and shortly afterwards Priors Manse.

In the 1500s, a route to Oxford and London over Fish Hill was built and the White Hart (now the Lygon Arms) was established shortly afterwards. With the introduction of the London to Worcester coaching route, Broadway became a stopping point for the coaches to change horses. A number of hostelries and homes were built and the centre of the village moved and grew to become the High Street we know today.

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Court Leet or Baron: A Court Leet or Court Baron was held at the house of Christopher Holmes, known as the White Hart on 20 October 1781 before William Philipps the Deputy Steward. The last meeting of the Court was held at The Old Bell Inn (date unknown).

Fair or Wake: By 1196, weekly markets were held on Wednesdays. In 1241, Henry III, by Royal Charter, granted to Broadway, a weekly Tuesday market and a three day Midsummer Fair over the Feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist. The market had fallen into disuse by the 17th century but a pleasure fair was still held in the 18th century and carries on today on the Wednesday after Whit Sunday.


  • Farncombe Estate: The Estate was originally known as Farncombe Castle, and may have got its name from the proximity to a Roman camp (or castra) which is about 400 yards from the existing house. The house was built c1760 by Sir John Cotterell and the woodlands planted c1771. Mr C.W. Rodd lived at Farncombe and Willersey Hill in the early 1800s (he sold the house and farmstock in July 1821). General Lyon later lived in the house – he was known for his services in the Peninsula War and at Waterloo. Captain Frank Burges, OBE bought the house in 1920 from the Chadwick family who had owned it for 40 years and lived at Farncombe until his death on 12 April 1943. The house was also a VAD Hospital during the First World War and the offices of Group 4 when Jorgen Philip Sorenson bought the 100-acre estate in 1964. Six years later he added the adjoining property, Foxhill Manor which came with another 100 acres.
  • Low Farm
  • Peasebrook Farm
  • Peter’s Farm
  • Top Farm
  • West End Farm

Great Western Railway: Broadway’s railway station was opened in August 1904.

Hotels, Inns and Pubs


Mills (including Silk Mill): In 1291 there were two mills within the Manor of Broadway. A Fulling Mill is recorded as operating in 1454. In 1528, the mill known as ‘Broadway Mill’ was rented by William Hannow. Two watermills are recorded as belonging to the Manor of Broadway in 1640 and 1687, owned by the Savage family. The Silk Mills at Bury End were established c1810 by Mr Mann. One of the silk ‘throwsters’ in 1840 was John Eden who was made manager in 1855. The silk mills closed c1864.


Wells and Stones

Workhouse: a workhouse was in existence in 1820.