Beachborough Park Estate - Kent
Beachborough Park has been in the Brockman and Drake Brockman family since its first owner Henry Brockman, purchased it from George Fogge in 1570. Since that time it had been passed down from father to son until James Brockman (1696-1767). James being a bachelor, bequeathed his estate including Beachborough to his nephew the Rev. Ralph Drake who had already married Caroline Brockman. Their first two children had been born and they were also living at Beachborough by the time James resolved to bequeath them his estate. A quote from James Brockman's 'Reflections', London 1764 substantiates this, "As my family has been of some standing at Beachborough where I have principally resided near forty years, I am desirous to have the house continue to be inhabited by one who may prove to be a useful Member of Society in general, and to the neighbourhood in particular. I have therefore now plac'd the Revnd Mr. Ralph Drake there, who having a promising Issue and both he and his Wife being of my nearest relations, I intend no other than to leave the whole of my Real Estate to him or his Family." The Promising Issue referred to here by James Brockman was Rev. Ralph and Caroline's first son, James, as Julius was not yet born. James Brockman died in 1767 and an Act of Parliament was later passed in order to allow Rev. Ralph Drake to inherit the armorial bearings and surname Brockman, which then saw the Brockman surname changed to Drake Brockman. Hence, the Drake Brockman descendants continued to inherit the estate from hereon.
As far as is known, the last Squire who lived at Beachborough full time was Francis Head Drake-Brockman (1851-1931). It's known he was there with his family at the time of the 1901 Census. We also know that the buildings were sold perhaps in circa 1936, which was well before the 1950's fire that destroyed the central wing. During WW1, Beachborough was known as the Queen's Canadian Military Hospital. It was also used as an American military hospital during WW2 and then later as a private school for boys. The land surrounding Beachborough was still owned by William (1882-1970) the son of Francis Drake-Brockman right up to the time of his death. As William was a bachelor, it's believed his sister Winifred who married Capt. Benjamin Arkle inherited the land in 1970 and then sold it.
In Western Australia, many family farms and homes were named after areas surrounding Beachborough Park or used derivations of these names. Some examples include the suburb of Beechboro in Perth, named after the Kent estate but spelt differently, Beachgrove in Busselton, Seabrook at Northam, Cheriton at Gingin, and Newington Park at Yerecoin to name a few.
Today Beachborough Park is owned by Gordon Wallis and used to be run as a Bed & Breakfast (B&B) and was visited by family members from around the world. Make sure that if you ever visit, you sign the Brockman & Drake-Brockman visitors book.
"Esse Quam Videri" - To be rather than to seem to be
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