Brook Hall

Brook Hall (9 Sheep Street) is a Grade 2 listed building, described as follows when it was listed in 1952:

Brook HallEarly C18, altered late C18. Plum-coloured brick with red brick quoins, window surrounds, gauged brick window heads, and moulded brick eaves. Moulded wooden eaves cornice with enriched dentils. Tiled roof, brick coped gables, brick chimneys to right gable and left of centre. 2 storeys, basement and attic, 6 bays. Late C18 sash windows with architrave frames. 3 dormers with cornice tops and paired wooden casements. 2 basement windows with segmental heads. 6-panelled door in third bay is set back in panelled reveals with architrave surround arched over radiating fanlight. Wooden porch has entablature hood supported by slender Doric columns on round brick piers.

The name only seems to be attested from c.1848. It might come from Benjamin Brooke, currier, who occupied part of the premises in the mid-18th century, but is more likely to have been an imitation of one of the various Brook Halls around Britain. The present appearance (concealing a partly timber-framed interior) comes from the house being acquired along with two adjacent cottages (now no.11 Sheep Street) by James Burnham, attorney, who became Clerk to the Wendover to Buckingham Turnpike Trust in 1787. The cottages, apparently where the schoolroom was later built (on the left in the photo) were demolished in 1900..

1642: Manor court
Humphrey Butcher made a kitchen between the Angell Barne and the dwelling-house of Richard Hodgkins in Winslow, causing a nuisance to Richard; amerced 3s 4d.
[The barn and kitchen seem to have been on the future site of Brook Hall]

1681: Manor court, 11 Oct (Centre for Bucks Studies D175/16)
Mary Adams, Robert Adams, Mathew Adams and George Norris surrendered a barn belonging to the Angell Inne in Winslow adjoining the "Gatehouse", the "Street" on the south side, with sheep-pens and the "Leane to" at the end of the new stable, and as much of the "Yard" belonging to the messuage as now has been bounded and fenced off from the said yard. To the use of Stephen Bigg, who was admitted as tenant. Rent [blank], fine 5s.
Stephen Bigg and Mary his wife then surrendered the barn [described as above] and also all those sheep-pens being before two bays of the building now pertaining to the messuage called the Angell Inne, lately acquired by Stephen from Edward Palmer, with liberty to erect sheep-pens at all seasonable times before the two bays. To the use of Mary, Robert and Mathew Adams, on condition that the surrender will be void if Stephen pays them at Mary's dwelling house at Swanborne £79 12s: 42s each on 13 April and 13 Oct until 13 April 1684, and £72 2s on 13 Oct 1684.
[The barn appears to have been on the west side of what became Brook Hall]

1685: Manor court
On 15 May 1685 Thomas Halfepenny esq. and Mary his wife surrendered a messuage lying near the street called Sheepstreete adjoining the tenement of Stephen Bigg on the west, with yards, orchards, "Sheep penns", in the occupation of [blank] Squire ... To the use of William Lowndes, gent.
[This appears to be 11 Sheep Street]

1697: special court, 2 Aug
Stephen Bigg sr and Mary his wife surrendered the messuage scituate in Winslowe called The Swann now in the occupation of Thomas Paxton, with yard, stable, Sheepe Penns and appurtenances (except reserving for Stephen and his heirs and assigns and for the proprietors and possessors of the tenements in the occupation of Dorothy Norman and Walter Herbert, liberty to the well standing in Thomas Paxton's yard, and liberty to put wood on the Hovells standing in the yard and to repair the hovells and to take water and wood from the well and hovells, and access through Thomas' entrance at all reasonable times to take faggots and wood to the hovells) ... To the use of Stephen and his heirs until the solemnization of the marriage between Richard Bigg his son and Elizabeth Pritchett jr Spinster. Then to the use of Richard and Elizabeth for their lives, and the heirs of their body, or Richard's rightful heirs ...
[The Swan, which appears to be what became Brook Hall although this is not certain, is also mentioned in a transaction of 1654]

1704: manor court, 26 April
Stephen Bigg before he died, on 9 Oct last, surrendered by Robert Gibbs and Joseph Bigg a messuage in the Sheep Street now in the occupation of himself and Walter Herbert ... To the use of Mary Bigg his wife for her life, then to Stephen Bigg his "grandson" (son of Richard Bigg his son) if he reaches the age of 21. If not, to the use of Richard.

1704: special court, 28 July
Thomas Foster and Elizabeth his wife and Richard Bigg and Elizabeth his wife surrendered the messuage called the Angell Inn now in the occupation of William Edmonds, and the cottage in the occupation of Ann Jones widow lately called the Brewhouse belonging to it, and a close of pasture adjoining the Cross Lanes containing 1 acre. To be divided into three parts: two thirds to the use of Thomas Foster, one third to the use of Richard Bigg.
[Richard Bigg seems to have acquired the buildings on the east side of the Angel yard; see The Angel for a suggested plan]

1714: manor court, 29 March 1714
Stephen Bigg, grandson of Stephen Bigg deceased, sought admission to a messuage late in the occupation of Mary Bigg widow and Thomas Herbert ... which came into the lord's hands on the surrender of Stephen Bigg deceaseed. Seisin granted to Stephen Bigg infant.

1739: will of Richard Bigg, gentleman (proved 1740)
Also I give devise and bequeath All that part of my Messuage or Tenement wherein I now dwell or adjoining or belonging thereto and of the Barn Stable Yard Garden and Backside now used with the same which formerly belonged to the Angell Inn and was purchased by me of Mr Hazlewood ... unto my Loving Wife Elizabeth Bigg for and during the term of her Natural Life And from and after her death then to Robert Bigg my son his Heirs and Assigns untill and unless Richard Bigg my Grandson or his Heirs do and shall well and truly pay or cause to be payd unto the said Robert Bigg my Son the Sum of thirty pounds of Lawfull British money which payment is to be made within twelve months next after the death of the said Elizabeth Bigg my Wife or such time as he the said Richard Bigg my Grandson shall have attained the Age of one and twenty years which shall last happen then and in such I give devise and bequeath the same last mentioned premisses with the Appurten(an)ces unto Richard Bigg my Grandson his Heirs and Assigns for ever ... Elizabeth was admitted as tenant to hold for her life according to Richard's will at the manor court on 20 Oct 1742.

1757: death of Elizabeth Bigg

1767, 22 July
Will of George Maydon of Winslow, butcher, refers to "all and every my copyhold messuages or tenements situate and being in Winslow aforesaid now in the several occupations of Benjamine Brooke, Thomas Capp, Richard Shelton and John Deblois", left to his wife Ann for her life, then to their children.

1769, 4-5 Oct: manor court
George Maydon late of Winslow Butcher held by Copy of Court Roll and Rent of 6d:

He died since the last Court having before duly surrendred all his Copyhold Estates to the Use of his Will.  By his last Will and Testament bearing date 22 July 1767 he devised the same unto his Wife Ann Maydon, and also his new inclosed Freehold and Copyhold Close of Meadow Ground.  To hold for the Term of her natural Life with divers remainders.  Now Ann desires to be admitted Tenant. Rents 6d, fine 19s.

1772, 19 & 20 Oct: manor court (D/82/1)
Surrender by Robert Eden to James Burnham

1774, 20 Feb
Burial of Mary Rosetta, daughter of James & Mary Burnham

1778, 11 May: Sun insurance 11936/265/398340

  James Burnham of Winslow gent  
  On his household goods in his now dwelling house only situate as aforesaid brick and tiled 200
  Wearing apparel 30
  Barn near brick and tiled 10
  Tenement and barn adjoining in Granborough in the tenure of Widow Sharpe and Gilkes thatched 60

1779, 8 January: Sun Insurance 11956/271/407895

  Ann Maydon of Winslow butcher  
  On her three houses adjoining in Winslow aforesaid in the tenure of James Burnham gent Thomas Cap whitesmith and Widow Southam, private brick and tiled 300
  Barn and Brewhouse adjoining brick and tiled 40
  Workshop and stable adjoining and separate 10

1781, 25 Nov
Burial of Richard Burnham, infant

1781: Land Tax
Ann Maydon, widow (owner); James Burnham (occupier):  10s 8d
Ann Maydon, widow (owner); Thomas Capp (occupier): 3s 3½ d

1782, 4 March
Burial of Samuel Southam surgeon

1786: Land Tax
Ann Maydon, widow; James Burnham: 11s 6 ½ d
Ann Maydon, widow; James Harrison: 3s 6¼ d

1786, 31 Oct: Court Baron of manor of Winslow (D/82/2 p 111)
Surrender by Ann Maydon of Winslow, widow [she died in 1787]; Francis Budd of Winslow, butcher, and Mary his wife; Elizabeth Maydon of Winslow, spinster; Thomas Ingram of Hogston, dairyman, and Anne his wife; Robert Maydon of Winslow, butcher; Hannah Maydon of Winslow, spinster.
Admission of James Burnham.

Recites that George Maydon of Winslow butcher died seised of (amongst others):

1786, 11 December: Sun Insurance 11936/341/525244

  James Burnham of Winslow gentlemen
On his house and two tenements all adjoining situate as aforesaid in the tenure of himself and James Harnson carpenter and Sarah Southam widow
  Barn and brewhouse adjoining 40
  Shop and stable adjoining near 10
  All brick and tiled ____

1787: Royal and Sun Alliance, 11936/345/533187 (LMA)

  James Burnham of Winslow in Bucks Gent On his house & two tenements adjoining situated as aforesaid in tenure of himself, Ja Harrison Carpenter and Sarah Southam Widow not exceeding Five Hundred Pounds 500
  Barn & Brew house adjoining near not exceeding Seventy Pounds 70
  Stable only not exceeding Thirty pounds 30
  All Brick & tiled ____

1788: Land Tax
James Burnham (owner); self (occupier): 3s 6d +1s 6½d

1790 & 1796: Land Tax
James Burnham; self: 15s 0d

1796 manor court
The jurors are to view:
the Wall of the Stable belonging to James Burnham Gent. and enquire whether George Hawley of W Grocer hath made any encroachment there and whether the said JB hath any right of Eves dropping and Watercourse through the yard of the said GH.
the Wall lately built by Benjamin Dudley of W Plumber enclosing a Pump which stood in the Yard formerly the Angel Inn yard and to which Richard Mayne Grocer and James Burnham Gentleman Claim the free use in Common with the said Benjamin Dudley and enquire Whether he hath a Right so to do.

1798: Universal British Directory
Burnham, James (F.), Attorney

1801, 7 Aug
Will of James Burnham of Winslow, gent. Proved at PCC on 2 April 1803.

1803, 15 April
Lancelot Wyatt elected Clerk to Wendover to Buckingham Turnpike to succeed James Burnham deceased

1805 & 1820 & 1825: Land Tax
Mrs Burnham; self: 15s 0d
Sarah wife of Samuel Greaves Dudley devisee of James Burnham her father

1823, 11 Aug
Will of Mary Burnham, proved at the PCC on 23 Dec 1826

1826, Northampton Mercury, 10 June

To be S O L D  by  A U C T I O N,
By S. Dudley,
On Monday, the 19th June, 1826, and following Day,

All the valuable and genteel HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, PATENT MANGLE, ALE CASKS, BREWING UTENSILS, and various other EFFECTS, on the Premises, late the Residence of Mrs. MARY BURNHAM, deceased, at WINSLOW, Bucks.

The FURNITURE comprises mahogany four-post and other Bedsteads, with dimity and cotton Furnitures, fine goose and other feather Beds, Mattresses, large Witney and other Blankets, Quilts, Counterpanes, large pier, chimney and swing Glasses, Pair of transparent window Blinds, Carpets, mahogany Sideboard, with Cellarets;  Set of mahogany dining Tables, on Pillar and Claws; folding, Pembroke, tea, and card Tables; single and double Chests of Drawers, Sofa, capital Set of mahogany Trafalgar Chairs, handsome eight-day Clock, in oak Case; 24-hour Ditto, China, Glass, and Earthenware; kitchen Furniture in general, patent Mangle (by Baker); ale Casks, brewing Utensils, and other Effects.

The Sale will commence each Day at Eleven o’Clock,
The Whole will be expressed in Catalogues, and may be had in due Time at the Inns in the Neighbourhood, and of the Auctioneer, Winslow.

1826, Northampton Mercury, 15 July

Genteel family RESIDENCE
To be S O L D  by  A U C T I O N,
By S. Dudley,

On Thursday, the 27th July, 1826, at the George Inn, Winslow, at Three o’Clock in the afternoon, if not disposed of by private Contract, of which due Notice will be given;
A Commodious and modern brick-built and sashed DWELLING HOUSE, with entrance HALL, and handsome Staircase; dining room, 18 Feet by 13 Feet; drawing Room, 18 Feet by 13 Feet; a spacious Kitchen, five excellent lofty sleeping Rooms, four Servants’ Attics, Larder, and dry arched Cellarage; Brewhouse; Chaisehouse, wood and coal Barn, three-stall Stable, court Yard, with a Pump of excellent Water; walled Garden, well planted with choice fruit Trees; also TWO COTTAGES adjoining, now let to respectable TENANTS, pleasantly situate in SHEEP STREET, WINSLOW, and fronting the High Road to London, Coaches passing to and from daily; with a family PEW in the Church.  The whole forms a most desirable Property, and immediate Possession may be had.

The House will be sold with the Cottages, or separately, as may be agreed on at the Time of Sale; the Fixtures to be taken at a Valuation.
The above is situate in a fine Sporting Country, and within a convenient Distance of two Packs of Fox Hounds.
The Estate is Copyhold of Inheritance, held of the Manor of Winslow, and nearly equal in Value to Freehold,
For a view of the Premises, apply to Mr. C. WILLIS, Solicitor, or the AUCTIONEER, both of Winslow, of whom further Particulars may be had.

After this, Brook Hall (as it was not yet known) changed from being a private house to Grace & Bond's School. Ownership of the premises remained with James Burnham's successors until 1842.

1828, 27 Oct
Admission of John Miles & Elizabeth his wife to 1/3 of the property
Admission of Ann Nibbs to 1/3 of the property

1829 & 1832: Land Tax
Samuel Dudley, Mrs Knibbs & Mrs Miles (owners); Daniel Grace (occupier)
House etc 15s 0½d

1830: Directory, Academies
Grace & Bond (gent's boarding), Sheep Street

1832: Burglary
The theft of some bacon led to a pursuit as far as Aston Clinton and three teenage boys being sentenced to death.

1836: will of Ann Nibbs, nee Burnham

1837, 6 Aug
Baptism of Thomas Hayward, son of George & Charlotte Grace schoolmaster

1838, 29 Oct
Admission of Grace Hall Nibbs spinster as devisee of mother Ann Nibbs deceased to 1/3 of property.
Admission of Samuel Burnham Dudley as son of Sarah Dudley deceased to 1/3 of property.
Described as four messuages (since converted into three messuages) in Sheep Street.  One late in the occupation of Mary Burnham widow, now of Daniel Grace.  The other two now in the occupation of William Seaton and John Daniel. 

1841: Census
Daniel Grace, 50, schoolmaster
See full census return

Shortly afterwards it changed from a boys' to a girls' school; the Misses Todd were previously next door at no.11. The premises mortgaged below must include no.11.

1842: Directory, Academies
Todd, Misses, Boarding School, Sheep Street

1842, 31 Oct: Court Baron of manor of Winslow (D/82/5 p 373)
Surrender by:

Admission of Elizabeth Todd and Sarah Anne Todd of Winslow, spinsters, for £900:
All those three Messuages or Tenements situate and being in Sheep Street in the Town of Winslow aforesaid within the Manor aforesaid formerly four Messuages or Tenements which were heretofore in the Occupation of …… Southam widow, Thomas Capp, Richard Shelton and James Burnham; afterwards of Anne Capp, John Arnott and Mary Burnham widow; and are now or late in the occupation of the said Elizabeth Todd and Sarah Anne Todd, William Seaton and Anne Daniel widow
As to 1/3 part John Miles and Elizabeth his wife admitted 27 October 1828.
Other 1/3 part Grace Hall Nibbs spinster admitted 29 October 1838 as devisee of her mother Ann Nibbs deceased.
Other 1/3 part Samuel Burnham Dudley admitted 29 October 1838 as son of Sarah Dudley deceased
At same court Elizabeth Todd and Sarah Ann Todd surrendered to Joshua Lewin French by way of mortgage for £800 (p.406)

1848: Directory
Todd, Misses Seminary, Brook Hall

1851: Census
Sheep Street, Brook Cottage
Elizabeth Todd, head, unm., 49, school mistress, b. Winslow
Sarah Ann Todd, sister, unm., 42, school mistress, b. Winslow
+ 4 teachers including Mary Field, niece, 24, b. London
+ 14 female pupils aged 4-18
+ 1 male pupil aged 6
+ 2 female house servants

1853: Directory
Todd, Elizabeth, boarding and day school, Sheep Street

1858: Bucks Herald, 17 July
MISS FIELD in returning thanks to the FRIENDS of the late MISS TODD for their kind and liberal Support, begs to inform them that the School Duties will be resumed aa usual on the 20th of JULY,  when MISS FIELD hopes for a continuance of the confidence she has so long shared in conjunction with her late lamented Aunt.

1859: Bucks Herald, 2 July: weddings
TODD – FIELD. – On the 23rd ult., at Winslow, Mr. Benjamin Todd, jun., of Sedrup, near Aylesbury, to Mary Field, of Brook-hall, Winslow.

1859: Bucks Herald, 9 July
MRS. TODD, in thanking her Friends for their continued and liberal Support, begs to inform them that the Scholastic Duties of her Establishment will be resumed under her Superintendence, as usual on the 22nd of JULY.

1861: Census
Benjamin Todd, head, 35, farmer of 56 acres with 2 men & 2 boys, b. Ilmer [he seems to have farmed the Glebe land]
Mary Todd, wife, 34, school mistress, b. Winslow
Benjamin A. Todd, son, aged 3 months
+ 4 assistant mistresses
+ housemaid, nursemaid, kitchenmaid
+ 8 female scholars aged 11-15

1863, 10 Jan: Bucks Herald
MRS. TODD, in returning THANKS for the kind SUPPORT she has so long enjoyed, takes the present opportunity of introducing MISS ELLIS as her future Partner, whose capabilities natural, and acquired from long experience in Tuition will, she is sure, entitle her to the confidence of thosewho continue and extend the Patronage so many years given to her establishment; the duties of which will be RESUMED JANUARY 25th, 1863.

1864: Directory
Todd, Mary (Mrs,) Young ladies boarding and day school, Sheep Street

1865: Bucks Herald, 18 Nov
SHEEP, COWS, PIGS, 5 CART HORSES, 4 Stacks of Wheat, Beans and Peas, 3 Cocks of Clover and Meadow Hay (all to go off), and the GRASS KEEPING, TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, BY DUDLEY & SON, On MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27TH, 1865,
On the Land in the Occupation of Mr. Benjamin Todd, at Winslow, Bucks, who is leaving.
Two months’ credit will be given for the Corn and hay, on the usual conditions.
   The Company are requested to meet the Auctioneer on the Land at Twelve o’Clock, at which time the Sale will commence.
  Catalogues may be had at the Inns in the neighbourhood; and of Messrs. Dudley and Son, Auctioneers and Land Agents, Winslow.

1866: Bucks Herald, 28 April
WANTED, a good GENERAL SERVANT, who understands Plain Cooking - preferred if able to manage a Small Dairy. A good character indispensable.
Apply, with references, to Miss ELLIS, Brook Hall, Winslow.

1871: Census
Sarah Ellis, 37, unm., Principal of Boarding School, b. Portsea
Emma Ellis, sister, 28, unm., Principal of Boarding School, b. Portsea
Samuel Ellis, uncle, 49[?], Wholesale Stationer, b. Portsea
Louisa A. Ellis, cousin, 16, Pupil, b. Birmingham
Clara M. Ellis, cousin, 14, Pupil, b. Birmingham
Susan M. Bell[?], cousin, 14, Pupil, b. Bracknell
Kate S. Reeves, unm., 27, Teacher, b. Portsea
Marianne Simmons, 16, Pupil, b. Portsea
+ 2 teachers, 3 governess pupils
+ 10 female pupils aged 8-14
+ cook, housemaid

1873, 4 Jan: Bucks Herald
Brook Hall, Winslow – The Misses Ellis. The duties of this establishment will be resumed on Wednesday the 22nd Inst.

1877: Directory
Ellis, Sarah, Miss, ladies boarding school, Sheep Street

1877, 8 Dec: Bucks Herald


THE MISSES ELLIS (in leaving Winslow for the Seaside, at the opening of the ensuing year) have great pleasure in introducing MRS ELLIS and MISS REEVES as their successors at BROOK HALL.

MRS ELLIS having been for nearly TEN YEARS resident at the Establishment, and being joined by her Sister, who has very considerable experience in Tuition, the Friends of Pupils can be thoroughly assured that the same system of Education and Home Care, will be continued that has been so successfully adopted by the Misses Ellis, who will be most happy to act as referees.


MRS ELLIS and MISS REEVES, in succeeding the MISSES ELLIS in the above establishment, beg to solicit a continuance of the support and confidence accorded to their predecessors for so many years; and assure Parents and Friends that their undivided attention will be given to the Education and comfort of the Pupils entrusted to their care.

It is likely that the Misses Ellis retired to Portsmouth, their birthplace.

1878, 26 Jan: Bucks Herald
BROOK HALL, WINSLOW. MRS. ELLIS and MISS REEVES (successors to the Misses Ellis), beg to announce to the Parents and Friends of Pupils, that the DUTIES of the above ESTABLISHMENT will be RESUMED on WEDNESDAY, the 23rd INSTANT.

1878, 6 April: Bucks Herald
BROOK HALL, WINSLOW. EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENT for YOUNG LADIES, conducted by Mrs. ELLIS and Miss REEVES. The course of Study embraces every subject requisite for the attainment of a superior Education. The health, comfort, and improvement of the Pupils are carefully studied. A limited number of Boarders received. Terms on application.

1880, 17 April: Buckingham Advertiser
MRS. WILLIAMS BEGS begs to thank her friends for their kind patronage during the last seventeen years, and to inform them that she has transferred the interest in her school to MRS. ELLIS and MISS REEVES, of Brook Hall, for which she solicits a continuance of their favours.
1, Station Road Villas, Winslow.
MRS. ELLIS AND MISS REEVES, In succeeding to MRS. WILLIAMS’ Pupils and connexion, beg to assure Parents and Friends that no effort will be spared to promote the comfort and advancement of those Pupils entrusted to their care.
  MRS. ELLIS and MISS REEVES take this opportunity of thanking their friends for the kind support they have already received since their residence in Winslow, and hope for a continuance of the same.
Brook Hall, Winslow, April 14th, 1880.

1881: Census
Kate Selby Ellis, head, widow, 36, Principal of Boarding School, b. Portsmouth
Mary Jane Reeves, sister, unm., 42, Principal of Boarding School, b. Portsmouth
Winifred F.R.. Ellis, dau, 4, b. Camberwell
Sarah Reeves, mother, widow, 78, b. Winchester
+ governess, governess teacher, governess pupil scholar, articled pupil scholar, articled pupil
+ 5 female scholars aged 9-14
+ nurse, cook, housemaid

1883: Directory
Ellis, Kate Selby (Mrs) & Reeves, Mary Jane

1883: marriage of Kate Selby Ellis and Alfred Long Field of Bedford

1884, 12 Jan: Bucks Herald
BROOK HALL, WINSLOW, BUCKS. Principal—Miss REEVES. THE DUTIES of this ESTABLISHMENT will be RESUMED on FRIDAY, JANUARY 25th. Vacancies for a few Boarders and an Articled Pupil. A Lady, or two Sisters, could be received as Parlour Boarder.

1884, 7 June: Bucks Herald
[The property] known as BROOK HALL, with COTTAGES, GARDEN, BUILDINGS, and PREMISES, pleasantly situate on an elevated position in the Town of Winslow, commanding extensive views of the surrounding Neighbourhood. GEO. BENNETT Is favoured with instructions from the Executors of the late Mrs. Mear, TO SELL BY AUCTION, At the Bell Hotel, Winslow, On WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25th, 1884, at Four o'Clock in the Afternoon.

This sale apparently resulted from the death of James King and appears in George Wigley's accounts for his estate. The purchaser was W.H. French.

1885, 10 Jan: Bucks Herald
BROOK HALL, WINSLOW, BUCKS. Principal—MlSS REEVES. THE DUTIES of this ESTABLISHMENT will be RESUMED on MONDAY, JANUARY 26th. Pupils prepared for Cambridge and College of Preceptors' Examinations. Vacancies for Boarders and Parlour Boarders.

1885, 30 May: Bucks Herald
BROOK HALL, WINSLOW, BUCKS. MISS REEVES BEGS to announce that she has decided to adopt the Terms, consequently the SUMMER HOLIDAYS will not commence till the END of JULY, instead of the middle of June as hitherto.  Pupils can be received at any time.  Fees charged only from date of entrance.  May, 1885.

1886: Winslow Parish Magazine, Dec
In Memoriam. SARAH REEVES, Not resident more than eight years in Winslow, Mrs. Reeves gained the esteem and love of many friends.  Calm and kind in every action, her amiable disposition was the admiration of all who knew her well  Faithful to her Church, she received the greatest support from the ministrations of the Vicar by whom the last holy offices of the Church were administered, at her special request. She passed away peacefully, trusting in her God. R.I.P.

1890, 28 Nov: Bicester Herald
  WINSLOW CHORAL SOCIETY.- The first meeting of Winslow Choral Society members was held on Monday evening, November 24, at Brook Hall, Winslow.  Mr. Greaves has kindly consented to act as treasurer and secretary, and Mr. Thompson, organist at Winslow church, as conductor.  The management committee includes Mrs. Chinnery, Mrs. Creasy, Mrs. Hawley, Mrs. Newcombe, Miss Reeves, Mrs. Vaisey, Rev. P. H. Eliot, Rev. T. K. Norman, and Messrs. Bullock, Stevens and Varney.  The meetings are to be held every Monday, in Brook Hall Schoolroom.

1891: Directory
Reeves, Mary Jane (Miss), Ladies Boarding & day school terms moderate

1891: Census
Sheep Street, Brook House
Mary Jane Reeves, unm., 52, Principal
Winifred Ellis, niece, 14, scholar
+ 3 governesses
+ 6 female scholars aged 12-18
+ cook, housemaid

1891, 8 Aug: Bucks Herald
The Midsummer term, at this old-established school closed on Wednesday the 29th ult., with a concert and distribution of prizes by the Vicar, the Rev. P.H. Eliot, who spoke of the work done by Miss Reeves and her staff of teachers, and of the great advantages of education. He said the work showed a very decided advance upon that of last year, and it was very evident that music had received much attention and care, whilst the recitations were rendered in far better style.
[concert programme and list of prizewinners]
After the entertainment the company, numbering about 85, adjourned to the house, where the drawings and paintings were on view, and partook of tea. A dance in the schoolroom brought the eventful day to a happy close. The winter term will commence on September the 22nd.

1893: Buckingham Advertiser, 5 Aug
  Thursday, July 27th, was the 15th anniversary of Brook Hall School for Girls, at Winslow, under the present Principal, Miss Reeve, to whom much credit is due for the very thorough education received by the pupils placed under her care.  The intelligent manner of the students, and the very successful rendering of a lengthy and entertaining programme must have been exceedingly gratifying to both parents and teachers assembled together to witness the annual distribution of prizes.

1899, 21 April: Particulars from the sale of the estate of W.H. French, lot 6 (Centre for Bucks Studies D/WIG/2/7/1899/11)

An excellent freehold property most pleasantly situate in the Town of Winslow Known as 'Brook Hall', a commodious residence built in the most substantial manner, together with two cottages, garden, stable & premises and which is now and has for 60 years past been occupied as a Ladies School.

It is approached from the street by a flight of steps with handsome portico, and contains Entrance Hall, Dining and Drawing Rooms, Breakfast Room, Dining Hall, Pantry, &c., a good Kitchen, Scullery, Cellars, and Coal Store, Five Bedrooms (which are fitted up with Closets and Cupboards), 4 Attics and a box Room. In the rear is a Spacious School-room adjoining the House and approached from thence by a covered way, Wash-house, and Laundry, Play Ground, Walled Garden, Stable and Buildings, with side approach from the main street. The property is admirably adapted for the purpose for which it is used, but it is equally well suited for a private residence or a Hunting Box. The Rooms are well proportioned and lofty. It has a frontage of 70 feet and a mean depth of 90 feet, or thereabouts.

The Residence is in the occupation of Miss Reeves, at a Rental of £50 per annum, on a three year's Agreement which expires at 'Xmas 1900. The Cottages are unlet. The Property can be viewed on application to the Tenant, between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. There is a Land Tax on the Cottages of 1s. 0d. per annum.

Brook HallThe school-room at the rear was replaced by the one you can see on the left in this photo, apparently built in 1900.

in various notes to George Wigley (his brother-in-law), Mr French said that he owed £800 on Brook Hall (which he presumably bought in 1884), had paid Mr Wigley £850 for it, and "Mr Field" would pay £850 for it. There was intended to be a reserve of £800, but a draft account from Willis & Willis seems to indicate that Mr Alfred Field only offered £750.

1899, 6 May: Buckingham Advertiser
Mr A.L. Field, of Bedford, has purchased Brook Hall, Winslow for £750.

1900: Buckingham Advertiser, 18 Aug
Principal – MISS REEVES,
Assisted by her niece, MISS ELLIS, who is Certified, and has resided for some time in France.
Thorough Education.  Preparation for Examinations.
Good Playground, Tennis, &c.  Fees Moderate
Pupils received for accomplishments.  Vacancy for Governess-Student, small premium.
Term commences MONDAY, September 24th.

Girls playing and watching tennis
Brook Hall Tennis Club, 1908. The court was at the end of Little Horwood Road. Read more.

1900: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 28 Aug
There are some alterations being made at Brook Hall, involving the pulling down of an adjacent cottage. Rumour has it that some money was found in the process.

1901: Buckingham Advertiser, 23 Feb
  WORKMEN’S SUPPER.- On Wednesday evening of last week, Miss Reeves entertained Messrs. Mathews Bros. and their employees at her schoolroom, the occasion being the completion of a block of new buildings, including new classrooms and other additions and improvements at Brook Hall.  About 24 in number sat down to a most substantial supper, after which the company spent the time with games, singing etc.  Mrs. Jarley’s Living Waxworks occasioned much merriment, performing their allotted tasks with credit.  The representations included many pleasing and familiar characters.  Towards the close Miss Reeves expressed her pleasure at the manner in which the buildings had been erected.  Mr. Matthews suitably replied, also proposing votes of thanks (which were heartily accorded) to Miss Reeve and those who has assisted her in so thoroughly entertaining the party.  The singing of the National Anthem concluded a most enjoyable evening.

1901: Census
Mary Reeves, head, single, 62, principal of school
Winifred Ellis, niece, single, 24, English & French mistress
Gertrude Reeves, niece, 8, b. Birkenhead
+ English & drawing mistress, music mistress
+ matron, cook, housemaid, between-maid
+ 7 female boarders aged 14-19

1903: Directory
Reeves, Mary (Miss), Ladies Boarding School, Brook Hall

1905: Buckingham Advertiser, 29 July


… On returning to the Schoolroom, the programme was resumed as follows … The pupils had during the programme been seated on the stage, attired in white dresses with light blue sashes.  And now followed a floral cantata, “The Garland” (by Albert Ketèlbey) by eight of the pupils attired in Brittany costumes, of coloured skirts, with apron and fichu of white and starched caps, and carrying bouquets of flowers.  The characters were: Margot (1st soprano), M. Wood; Christine (2nd soprano), C. Kibble; Village Maidens, N. Wood, G. Jones, E. Ward, E. Hughes, L. Dancer, and W. Price.

It is not only an exceedingly pretty piece, but also very pretty and pleasing in its theme.  Briefly stated the girls meet and discuss the coming La Fête des Torses which is to be held in a little town of Brittany, when a prize is to be offered for the pretty garland of flowers.  Margot and Christine, two rival beauties of the village, have each seen, and coveted for their garland, a starry flower growing high among the rocks.  Margot desires the prize to buy luxuries for her invalid sister, and Christine overcoming her jealousy, dares the danger of the ascent of the mountain, and brings the flower to Margot, thus enabling her to win the prize.

The singing was extremely good throughout; indeed, the whole rendering of the piece gave evidence of very careful training, the solos and duet of the principal girls at the close being full of pathos, especially when the coveted flower, for the gaining of which the girl had risked her life, is handed over by her to her rival, for the benefit of the invalid sister…

1906: death of Mary Jane Reeves aged 67. See her will; she left everything to her niece Winifred Ellis.

1906-07: hockey team

1907: Directory
Ellis, Winifred (Miss), Girls & boarding school, Brook Hall, Sheep Street

Children at Brook Hall School
This photograph from the early 1900s was taken at the rear of the schoolroom. By this date, photos show that the school admitted some small boys as well as the usual "young ladies".
Postcard to Miss Harper at Brook Hall

1911: Census
Brook Hall School: 18 rooms
Winifred Fanny Reeves Ellis, head, single, 34, principal of girls' private school
+ English mistress, junior English mistress, music mistress (b. USA), junior music mistress
+ 2 female pupils aged 15-16
+ cook, housemaid, between-maid

Children at Brook Hall School
This photograph is dated 1911. The seated figure in the centre must be Miss Winifred Ellis.

In 1911 Miss Ellis decided to close the school. According to her farewell speech, which was reported in the local press, this was because of ill health, and she was going to "a new life in a new country". This seems to have been the USA, as someone of her name and age is recorded as arriving in Southampton from New York in 1923 on the Homeric. In 1924 she was living in Luton, and she died at Folkestone in 1948. The Bedfordshire Times described her as "moral welfare worker, some time in Luton and later in Isle of Wight".

1914: Assessment (TNA, IR 58/2346)
Situation              Brook Hall Sheep Street
Description         House & Schools
Gross Value: Buildings   £55
Rateable Value: Buildings          £44
Occupier & Owner Winifred F.R. Ellis
Interest of Owner            Copyhold (Enfranchised)
Superior interests             sold A.J. Fulks
Estimated Rent                 £55
Outgoings                           Land Tax £1 – 11 – 8        not born [sic] by owner as not liable
Former Sales  Dates        July 6th 1900
Consideration    £800
Subsequent Expenditure                               £337 – 1s – 7d on class rooms
Site Value Deductions Claimed   Yes
[stamp] SEP 30 1914
Particulars, description and note made on inspection
Brick & Tile House originally school now Boarding House.
Hall, sitting room, dining room, back dining room, small sitting room & large underground kitchen
4 bedrooms & bathroom on 1st floor
4 bedrooms on second floor
Boot room & room over                                                                    
23 poles 8 yds                                                                                    
Charges, Easements and Restrictions affecting Market Value of Fee Simple
Old school room now used as corn store (At side now partitioned off separately occupied)
2 sitting rooms & back kitchen & bedroom over
Valuation – Market Value of Fee Simple in possession of whole property in its present condition £860
Deduct Market Value of Site under similar circumstances, but if divested of structures, timber, fruit trees, and other things growing on the land
70’ front    6350 sq ft     £160
Description of Buildings
Brick & Tile Stables & Loft over
Open shed        

1915 & 1922: Directories
Heady, Elizabeth (Mrs), Temperance Hotel
Heady, Henry John, corn merchant, Sheep Street

1928: Kelly's Directory
Heady, Elizabeth (Mrs), private hotel, Sheep Street
Heady, Henry John, corn merchant, Sheep Street

1930: Buckingham Advertiser, 18 Jan: notes by A.J. Clear
Reference was made, writes our correspondent, in your last issue, to the Old Hall, at Winslow.  This stood very much where the present Hall is, and was known as The Mote (query Moat) Hall, one gable of it (Elizabethan) still forms part of Brook Hall, but is not visible from the road.
[Clear misunderstood about the Mote Hall but this shows how old he thought Brook Hall was.]  

1931 & 1939: Kelly's Directory
Rose, A.E. (Mrs), boarding house, Brook Hall, Sheep Street

1931 & 1939: Kelly's Directory
Cripps Harry, A.L.S.E., A.R.San.I., district road surveyor to Bucks County Council, Brook hall, Sheep st. T(el) N(o) 43

1939: Buckingham Almanac
9 Sheep Street: Rose, A.E.

Brook Hall Private Hotel This photograph from the 1950s shows the building with "Brook Hall Private Hotel" displayed on the porch. Subsequently it was divided into flats, then became a private house, and most recently has been a cookery school.

Copyright 30 January, 2024