Brooke bought land and the Old Hall, in 1652, from the Meres of Mere
who had fared badly in the Civil War. He was the younger son of the
Brookes of Norton, knighted in 1660 and became sheriff of Cheshire
in 1669 - clearly a strong character. Historian Sir Peter Leicester
says of him:
"He hath Beautified and Built anew the hall of Mere very handsomly
and had three wives".
ancestor, Peter Brooke the third , made an advantageous marriage
with Frances Langford whose wealth came from sugar estates in Antigua;
from then on the family were Langford-Brookes.
His grandson, yet another Peter, found the hall an old -fashioned,
patchwork building, especially after a fire, so he set about building
a New Hall in 1834, closer to the mere, in fancy Elizabethan diapered
brickwork with turrets and shaped gables. It was not a lucky house
for he died tragically, skating on the mere and drowning in sight
of his distraught family.
The Langford-Brookes were Lords of the manor of Mere and built
the village school and were respected by the villagers but later
developments have swept away most traces of a community. The Langford
Brookes found the hall too big and moved back to the Old Hall in
1914. It became Mere Golf and Country Club in 1937 or 1938.
Joan Leach 30.5.02