Saturday, 23 January 2016

A wonder house - in an ordinary place

Speedwell Castle

This ‘Gothick’-style wonder of a house is Speedwell Castle, which is slap-bang in the middle of Brewood on the main crossroads.
It’s said that, around 1750, a local man won such an outrageous bet (that he had placed on a horse called Speedwell) that he was able to fund this building project with the winnings.

The story seems odd to me. 
Why did he build right on top of the crossroads (unless it was an extension to an existing house, I suppose)? 
The fact is that: two rather uninteresting pubs face the house; the frontage is right on to the road (ie a very less than grand entrance); and the posh end of Brewood is actually 200 yards away (near the church). 
I wonder if the man, an apothecary by the name of William Rock, just wanted to impress his immediate neighbours, and used his sudden rise in fortune to publicise his rise in fortune - in an unmissable spot?  In other words, a self-aggrandising vanity project?  I wonder.

It’s now converted into flats.

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