Weymouth-Dorset.co.uk Local History

"Rackmead" Broadwey

The threat of demolition and its history


Rackmead, in Watery Lane, Broadwey is under threat of demolition. This characteristic home was recently sold at auction where it was described as: 'A detached period house for improvement, dating from the 1840's in unspoilt and delightful mature grounds'

Rackmead is also mentioned in Eric Ricketts book The Buildings of Old Weymouth: 'Further to the north and to the west of this delightful lane is Rackmead, early 19th century little altered, with perhaps an earlier building incorporated.'

Now for reasons best known to its owners a planning application has been submitted to demolish this historic house, within an area of outstanding natural beauty and on the edge of a conservation area, and replace it with a 'new' residence.

Rackmead, Watery Lane, Broadwey, Weymouth, Dorset

Rackmead, Watery Lane, Broadwey

The proposed new building cannot be claimed to conserve the character of Old Broadwey or to enhance the landscape of the Wey Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. RACKMEAD is probably the only original house of its type in South Dorset and was occupied until recently. Sympathetic renovation is the way forward, not wanton destruction of this perfectly sound historic house.

Please find the time to lodge an objection...your letter or postcard is very important.

Please address your objection letter to:

Jan Farnan (Planning Officer), WPBC Planning Dept. Council Offices, North Quay, Weymouth DT4 8TA.

Please quote (08/00147/FUL) as reference. BY 8TH APRIL LATEST

You can also comment on this application online at:
Weymouth & Portland Borough Council - Planning Applications

Permission has been granted by Norman Petty for reproduction of his words and photograph above for use in this webpage and remains his copyright.

History of Rackmead

The land for the building of 'Rackmead' was purchased by George and Jane Parsons in 1842 and building of the original two-storey, two up, two down, house began, along with a two-storey store for use in the business of a Market Garden. The house was extended in 1856 by the addition at the rear of two further rooms downstairs and two upstairs.

In 1884 on the death of their father George, William and Alfred Parsons inherited the house and land. As Alfred lived and worked in India, William bought his brother out and so the house passed down through William's line. William continued the work of the Market Garden and it was in turn carried on by his descendants. The four-acre garden also contained an orchard as well as keeping hens, rabbits, goats and bees.

The house remained, until July 2007, in the hands of the same family for six generations. It was a reluctant sale, made necessary by the ever-increasing costs of care for its last occupier. The family who sold it, are upset by the proposal to demolish their much loved former family home. Indeed, Broadwey residents are upset at the thought of such a loss to the history and heritage of their environment. It goes beyond that though, many people on hearing of the threat to its future are horrified that another piece of our history could be facing the bulldozers.

Information for the above from an article written by a descendant, Michael Barnes.


Recent Echo articles about Rackmead:
Councillors To Decide Fate of Period Home - 5th April 2008
Family Joins Battle To Save Old Home - 28th March 2008
Don't Bring This Old House Down - 21st March 2008

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