Listed in 1 collection

Listed at 1 museum

Listed for 1 maker

Quick Details

Carriage Type

Single Brougham

Date of Production


Accession or Inventory Number

NT 582146

Materials used

Paint, Wood, Iron, Leather, Wool Box Cloth, Brass, Silk, Rubber

Summary of Single Brougham

Single Brougham for a single horse or a pair of horses. This is a conventional brougham with an angular profile sprung on elliptic springs. Staples are on the roof for a roof basket, but the basket is missing. Upholstered in blue cloth on the exterior and dark blue morocco leather and blue cloth on the interior. Painted blue with red lining. 

The first brougham was commissioned in 1837 by Henry Peter Brougham (1778-1868). He wanted “a refined and glorified street cab, which would make a convenient carriage for a gentleman”, unlike his usual form of transport, probably a town coach or chariot, both far larger and heavier. He designed a carriage that would be light and compact, needing just one horse and a coachman (although many were built to be more versatile for use with both a pair of horses and a single horse) ideal for use on busy streets. The body would be low for easy access and should carry two people and be “closed and intimate thus allowing the occupants to conduct a private conversation whilst travelling”. His ideas were rejected by his usual coachbuilder so he took them to another, Robinson & Cook. They agreed to build the vehicle and it was called the Brougham by his Lordship’s express permission. Lord Brougham’s brainchild was an instant success and, within a few years, broughams were being built in vast numbers wherever carriages of Western European style were used. They were particularly popular with professional and middle class families, and became the everyday carriages of the wealthy and the aristocracy.


Height: 6ft 6 1/2"

Length: 10ft 6 1/2"

Width: 5ft 1 1/2"

Full description

A conventional Single Brougham with an angular profile and a single front window and a leather covered roof on which there are staples for attaching a roof basket. The coachman's seat has a single seat rail with a leather valance, a dropped footboard between plain brackets and a removable heel board. The doors are on two concealed hinges with brass T bar handles. They have semi-circular plate steps at the bottom with door-mounted step covers. Semi-circular jagged plate steps are fitted to the brackets of the box seat but surprisingly, there are no jags worked on the front stock hoops and no treads on the outer roller bolts which one would expect.

At the front of the carriage is a wide lowering window with its frame covered in dark blue cloth. Lowering windows with the same frame are also in the doors and there is a rectangular back light with rounded corners. Unusually this carriage has no panel blinds or provision for them. 

The Brougham has square lamps with a brass trim and two-tier chimneys, they are without sockets to allow lamps to be removed, and the lamp brackets are screwed to the front pillars of the body of the carriage. Countersunk screws and washers have been used instead of the more usual coach screws. The candle holder caps are missing and there are holes in the bottoms of both candle holders, presumably to introduce electric wires.

The wheels are 12 and 14 spoke English pattern wheels with staggered spokes and rubber tyres in clincher channels on collinge patent axles, compassed up. Surprisingly, they have bent half rims instead of the felloes that are normally fitted to English pattern wheels. The outer ends of the stocks have been bored out to accommodate the flanges of the axle caps which are recessed approximately 20mm behind the front faces. Interestingly the front stocks are 5¼” diameter with stock hoops 3¾” diameter. The hind stocks are 6” diameter and their hoops are 4½” diameter. It is normal for the front and hind stocks and their hoops to be the same diameter. These two unusual features (stocks too long for the axle arms and stocks of different diameters) possibly imply that second-hand wheels were fitted, possibly after an accident, or possibly because the old wheels were worn out.

This Brougham is sprung on elliptic springs front and back. It has an open futchell fore carriage, a splinter bar, pole and a pair of shafts. Each shaft has three fixed tug stops and one breeching staple. A lever action brake has wood brake blocks and a linkage that nicely matches the wheel arch, the handle is brass plated.

For the paint scheme the roof, upper panels, underside of the floor and the stock hoops are in black with the body frame, lower panels, wheels and carriage in blue with red lining. The style of some of the lining, particularly on the pole, shows that this carriage was last painted by a painter more familiar with trade vehicles than with carriages. However, the red lines on the body frame are in the traditionally correct position on the step of the mouldings. Blue wool cloth covers the box seat cushion, this is fairly new upholstery. The coachman’s seat fall is in dark blue broadcloth with leather-cloth backing, edged with plain dark blue worsted broad lace with white stripe each side. On the footboard is a new black rubber mat. Inside the Brougham is lined with deep-buttoned black morocco leather, with matching back light squab and squabs over oval mirrors in both upper quarters. There are black morocco pockets on both doors attached only at their top edges. The front panels are lined with dark blue broadcloth. There is a foot recess behind the arch board with a shelf above it that has a recess in the middle for the legs of a child sitting on a small hinged seat that is mounted on the front of the seat board. The heel board and foot recess up to the line of a shelf is covered with dark blue cut pile carpet. It looks as if the carpet probably wore out on the door sills which are now lined with enamelled leather. On the floor is a black ribbed rubber mat (new). It would originally have been covered with matching carpet.

The broad laces have three different designs. The frieze, double loop hand holders and broad lace frame on the doors have a Greek key pattern with triangular pattern edges. The glass strings on the door windows have a similar pattern but the edges are a wavy line. The offside glass string on the front window has a double zigzag figure. The nearside glass string is missing. Minor laces match the broadlaces and dark blue taffeta spring curtains are fitted to all windows. There is cigar tray and a clip for a cane or umbrella on the front rail.



Condition report

The body structure is generally sound. There are no signs of the seams in the roof boards beneath the leather, but the leather edges are evident, with associated paint splits. Most of the body frame joints are justvisible. There is a split in the nearside door panel and there are very slight splits in the underside of the floorboards. Both doors open freely but show evidence of very slight sagging, their windows lower freely. The frames of the windows show evidence of repairs, particularly at the corners, but the repairs cannot be seen because small pieces of new cloth have been pasted over them. There is evidence of slight local softness, slight insect damage and very small areas of cloth torn or missing.

Short lengths of brass bead are missing from the chimneys of both lamps.

The structure of the wheels is tight but the paint is cracked at all joints except the rim/channel joints.The outer stock hoops are loose except on the offside back wheel. There is a split in both offside stocks. The front tyres are badly worn and the back tyres are very badly worn, with edges damaged and small sections of rubber missing. The brake operates freely but blocks are very worn.

Although of a poor standard with brush marks everywhere, the paint is generally sound and secure.  There are small areas of local damage particularly on the nearside front wheel, and it is surprising to see the paint losses on the hind springs because the carriage has not been used since painting.

The enamelled leather of the dashboard, valance and whip socket are in good condition but have surface cracks and “islands and rivers”, but no blisters.

At the box seat the cloth on the driving box is very badly faded and the seat fall is sound. Inside the Morocco in the interior is generally in good condition but there is severe insect damage in the top and sides of the seat cushion, also in the cloth on the bottom of the cushion, and lesser damage in the back and quarter squabs. The broad lace frieze has become detached from the back and quarter squabs, and the squabs appear to have dropped a little. There is much damage to the cloth lining in the area of the front shelf and the lining is practically lost from the underside of the rusty bottom plate of the cigar tray. What can be seen of the spring curtains appears to be sound, but they were not unrolled. The laces and tassels are generally sound, but there is a little fraying and the blue silk is missing from some of the tassels on the hand holders. The carpet is in good condition.

Access information

This Single Brougham is in the care of the National Trust at Wallington House.

Wallington House


near Morpeth, 


NE61 4AR

Picture credit

National Trust / Donald Bovill & Susan McCormack