REMEMBER “EBR” inscribed into the wall at Drayton Old Lodge? Well, after a bit of help, I’ve found the man those initials belong to. The details confirm that the Old Lodge was indeed built as private house rather than the Nurses Home which it later became.
The timing is quite poignant. Here was a successful man returning to Britain to build a mansion complete with grand hall, billiards room and drawing room. But as the first bricks were being laid, the First World War was erupting in Flanders. The house – with its sculleries and servants’ quarters - was being built for a world which would no longer exist by 1918. Just look at nearby Costessey Hall – demolished in 1920 - to see what happened to several old estates in this era.
Clearly Drayton Old Lodge did survive, though I haven’t yet been able to establish exactly when it became a Nurses Home. The late 1920s or early 1930s is my best guess at the moment.
Finally who was EBR? Well, you’ll have to wait till the book gets published for the full details.