Taken from “Legacy”, a Brimhall family history by David Jex Brimhall
Bromal (the town), Bromle, Bromale, Bramall, Bramhall, Brimhall
All the same people, but different spelling. They were Saxons who came to Brittany with many of the Tribe of Ephram out of captivity in the land of Assyria where they had been dragged by the conquerors of the Israelites in the Holy Land about 600 BC. From 400 to 500 AD the Saxons and Jutes from Germany with Angles invaded England. In 1066 AD, England was invaded by the Norman’s under William the Conqueror. The Norman’s were a mix of Scandinavian and French descent. The Bramhalls were loyal to the Tudors and were granted use of the Tudor rose in their coat of arms. Over one fireplace in Bramhall Hall is a carved plaque given to Bramhall by Queen Elizabeth I as gratitude for service and loyalty.
It was the de Bromale family, as recorded in the Domesday Boke, survey of 1086, who gave their name to the village of Bromal, situated about 80 miles northwest of London. In 1971 Jex, Janet, and Naomi, went to Europe to visit their second daughter Dee Martin who was living in Switzerland. After two weeks traveling throughout Switzerland, we went by train across France and crossed the English Channel to London. We recalled the Brimhall family history and decided to try to locate Bramhall Hall. We all felt that we were receiving guidance because wherevei we went we found success and help. We went by train from London to Manchester. Bramhall Hall is located about 8 miles south of Manchester and is a part of Cheshire and Stockport. We located a book store in Manchester from which we purchased a booklet on Bramhall Hall. The next day we went from Manchester by train to Stockport and by taxi to Bramhall Hall.
In 1085 the Bramhall family owned two large manors on which resided several hundred laborers, presumably all related to the family. Remember, this was the time of the “Dark Ages.” The following quotation is taken from William Smith’s ‘Vale Royal.” “By natural situation, Cheshire lieth low and pleasant, abounding in plentiousness of all things needed for man’s use, insomuch that it had the name ‘Vale Royal… The air is wholesome and the people are rarely sick. The people live to be very old. The Bramhall manor houses aboundeth in arable pastures, meadows, woodland water, heath, and mosses. Here the Bramhalls bred cattle and swine, made butter and cheese to sell on the London market. Their cattle are large and fine and their products were in demand. No other part of England can compare in so much goodness. They keep horses, cattle, oxen, swine, sheep, ducks, geese, hens, and bees. They sell and give away much. There is an abundance of wildlife, such as ducks, geese, teal, and many birds. Of fruit they have pears, apples, plums, cherries, and the like. They have salt wells and brine pits.” It is no wonder that the Normans wanted Bramhall Manors.
Much of what the Bramhall’s owned was lost to the Norman Conquest in 1066 AD. About 1160 records show Hamo, a Norman gentleman, granted freedom of person and property to Mathew de Bromale.
Bramhall Hall is of black and white Elizabethan style architecture. In a “History of Cheshire” and in “Mansions of England” Bramhall Hall is described as “long the delight of artists ” and “few of the old halls of England can boast more picturesque beauty than Bramhall Hall.”
The great hall at Bramhall Hall has large windows on three sides with coats of arms of 30 families intermarried with Brimhalls.The windows are of Flemish glass and the coats of arms were painted with fruit juices and vegetable juices. Originally it was one story of one long room with a hole in the center of a dirt floor to be used for fire to heat the room and had movable vents in the roof for smoke to escape. At present it is a two-story many roomed mansion, added to and much lived in by its owners. It is a large U-shaped structure, situated at the top of a gentle slope with what we thought was a lake on which graceful swans were swimming. We learned that it was the Cheadle River, a branch of the Mersey River. At one time Bramhall land covered nearly one-third of England, including Sherwood Forest. It has dwindled over time to over 720 acres and is a nature park.
Many Brimhalls live in Cheshire, Lancashire, and Derbyshire, within 50 miles of Bramhall Hall. There are many male ancestors who were granted knighthood and women with titles of Lady or Dame. Coats of arms were regranted to John Brimhall in 1628 when he was 34 years old and Dean of Ripon College in Yorkshire. John had great influence as a preacher and public man and in 1634 he became Bishop of Deny and went to Ireland where he played a great part in both church and state, becoming Speaker of the Irish House of Lords and in 1661 became Archbishop of Armagh and Lord Primate of all Ireland.
Bramhall Hall, the manor house was sold to Hazel Grove and Bramhall Urban District in 1935 for one and a half million dollars (quite a sum in 1935). It is now a museum and protected under the National Trust of England. It is an outstanding example of Tudor architecture. Its great framework is of solid oak timbers that were hewn by hand with an adze. There is a bell tower topped by a cross, indicating there is a chapel in which services are held on the third Sunday each month. It has pews for seating about 20 people and is still used for weddings, christenings, etc.