The Inestimable Bryan Egan

Bryan Egan was born in Egypt in 1933 when his father was stationed as an RAF officer flying fighter planes. Due to the climate, Bryan and his twin brother were sent back to England to live with their grandparents when they were just over a year old. They travelled on a P & O liner with a German nurse.

When Bryan was around four or five, he visited Hasley/Thornton and stayed at Little Hill Farm with Mr and Mrs Marchant. Mrs Marchant had been Bryan’s mother’s governess before she married a farmer and moved to Little Hill Farm. Bryan, his twin brother, and their nanny spent their holidays there from 1936 to the early 1950s, and Bryan eventually worked on the farm.

They attended church on Sundays at Thornton College with the nuns and school girls. Bryan got to know many of the nuns, particularly Sister Annunciata, who was interested in the history of Thornton House. She collected records, maps, and postcards, which Bryan later copied onto slide film.

Sister Annunciata showed Bryan around the house and told him about the hidden roof of 1460 by the chapel. A few years later, Bryan managed to get in and realized the importance of the structure. Sister Annunciata inspired his enthusiasm, and he continued to research Hasley/Thornton since the 1960s, regularly giving talks and guided tours of the site. He organized guided tours, and Sister Annunciata became a board member of the Hasley Manor Trust and the Wolverton and District Archaeological Society, of which Bryan was Chairman.