image by Bharat Parmar Photography

About Willowdale Estate

Willowdale Estate opened its doors in 2007 after an extensive renovation to bring the beauty of the mansion and grounds back to its original by-gone era. Our owner, Briar Forsythe, developed a team of dedicated planners, event coordinators, and a renowned catering team that will help you craft an unforgettable occasion, marked by impeccable hospitality and personalized service. In 2017, Briar and her team founded Bramble Hospitality, which now includes Briar Barn Inn located in Rowley, Massachusetts to provide even more great hospitality options to the people in, and from the greater Boston region.

The Story of Our Mansion

Willowdale Estate is a Craftsman and Tudor Revival Stone Mansion, commissioned in 1901-1902. Bradley Palmer spent a good deal of time deciding where to build his “modest cottage” and settled on the affluent town of Topsfield, where there was plenty of land to exercise his horses. The architect was Charles Kimball Cummings (1870-1955) who practiced architecture in Boston from 1897 to 1947 and was well known for his house designs, particularly those of substantial scale for the wealthy of that era. Palmer drew his inspiration for the house from the Mansions and Castles of Aberdeen in Scotland. He incorporated motifs from the Medieval Period into the Arts and Crafts style- creating a very eclectic home.


The stately fireplace in our elegant library. The doorway that leads to a secret garden. Our team shares their favorite places at Willowdale, and what inspires them to continually surpass clients’ expectations.

Bramble Hospitality

The Bramble Hospitality Group is a seasoned team of hospitality professionals driven by an authentic desire to make every Bramble experience unique and memorable – with hospitality from the heart. The locations in our group share a love for carefully crafted experiences, beautiful surroundings, and exceptional service. We’re obsessed with quality and have a talent for small details that make our guests feel welcome.

Join Our Team

Interested in joining our growing team? We’re seeking talented, experienced, and creative people who share our passion for hospitality and thrive in a collaborative and supportive work environment. If this sounds like you, please use our contact form to inquire about career opportunities. We’d love to hear from you!


Attend Our Signature Events

Every year Willowdale Estate hosts a series of public events to share our unique space with our friends, neighbors and clients. Please join us as we open our doors to the public. Events are separated into three categories:

Historic Tours

Guided tours of the estate featuring historic details, context and conversation about the history of Willowdale with a light reception to follow.

Signature Events

Themed gatherings tailored to the seasons offering food, drink and entertainment.

Willowdale Kitchens

Food focused events including cooking classes led by our Executive Chef AND our exclusive private dining Red Door Supper Club experience. Space is limited- check out registration and/or ticketing details on our event pages.

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4.9 200+ Reviews