Westbrook started life as a large Victorian residence surrounded by 25 acres of mixed parkland that was purchased by Crusaders Union in 1948 in memory of the Crusaders who lost their lives in the Wars.
The original intention of the Committee at the time was to use a Memorial Fund of just over £500 to purchase a field as a permanent camp site for the ever developing Crusader holidays. Sir J W Laing (left) made this reply;
"Oh no, surely we can do better than that, these fellows have given their lives for us; will you allow me to look for something more appropriate?"
The Westbrook vision was born.
In April 1947 Sir Laing and Mr Bevingon visited the Westbrook site for the first time.
A Committee meeting held on 8th May 1947 discussed and agreed that Sir J W Laing could go ahead with negotiations for the Westbrook site. Less than two weeks later he announced that the house and grounds had been secured for £10,800.
On the 29th May 1948 a dedication service was held to mark the official opening of Westbrook. Mrs Laing was asked to turn the key, cross the threshold and pronounce Westbrook open.
Find out more here.
The centre today provides flexible and varied accommodation for up to 110 people. There are 26 bedrooms available, each sleeping 2 -6 people with 1 ground floor bedroom adjacent to a shower and toilet for disabled access. Most bedrooms have wash basins, and there are bathroom and shower facilities throughout the building. These rooms are spread over three distinct areas of the house allowing for separation of groups or gender within groups.
We have two meeting rooms, one accommodating approximately 70 and the other 30. The smaller of the two meeting rooms is equipped with a ceiling mounted projector and sound system for things like presentations. The larger meeting room has two projector screens to accommodate for different room layouts and additional PA equipment and projector is also available on request.
Recent additions to the centre include a smaller meeting/prayer room which also doubles as a leaders/ teachers lounge. This allows groups extra space for discussions and other small group activities. The room is equipped with a small kitchen area for teas and coffees, a photo copier and tables and chairs.
Catering at Westbrook is provided by our own dedicated catering team who provide quality home cooked food. Meals are served by group leaders within our two tiered dining hall, allowing flexibility for various group sizes and activities.
Westbrook stands in 26 acres of mixed parkland and is less than 10 minutes walk from the coast. The extensive grounds include 2 seven-a-side football pitches, an indoor games room with two table tennis tables and a pool table, giant chess set, a fully enclosed heated swimming pool and multi-purpose hard court area which includes basketball nets. In early 2015 our full size football pitch became our very own archery range. Archery can be booked as a separate activity during your stay, its is instructed by our own qualified staff and pricing is available on the 'On Site Activities' page.
We also have two grass volleyball courts and a recently converted nine-hole pitch‘n’putt course which is now home to a five hole 'Frisbee Golf' course. This is a free activity and suitable frisbees for use on the course can be collected from the Duty Manager.
About 8 acres of the grounds are woodland, and just on the edge there is a professionally designed ‘Low Ropes Course’. The course is designed with safety in mind, and is operated on a self-supervised basis in a self contained environment. Within this area there is also a traverse climbing wall, adding to the varied activities available on site that can be operated by group leaders.
The woods are easily accessible for groups to explore in their own time with the leaders having the option of running a bonfire for the group in the evening.
Our wooded area now houses a new addition to the centre activities, Lazer Crusader. For those that are familiar with the game headhunters you will know what expect. For more information and pricing of 'Lazer Crusader' see our activities page.