Thursday, May 26, 2011

At Baddesley Clinton

After our morning stroll around Stratford we set out to visit a nearby National Trust property, set in the heart of the Forest of Arden, just through the busy village of Knowle at the smaller village of Baddesley Clinton.

Baddesley Clinton was a fortified manor house  founded in the 13th century by Thomas de Clinton.  The building you see now is from the 15th century, a stone house built by the Brome family, whose coat of arms can be found on the windows inside the hall.

The Brome family added the eastern side of the building which is now the main entrance under the two story gatehouse.   The estate passed to the Ferrers family through marriage.  Many of the internal structures were added by Henry Ferrers around 1580.  The story of the hall and the Ferrers family at this time shows what it was like to be a practising catholic in a protestant society.

The Ferrers family remained members of the catholic church and were  heavily fined for their beliefs.  The remoteness of the manor house meant that several priests took refuge here and there are three priests holes in the building.

In 1591 there was a meeting of several prominent catholic and jesuit priests and sympathisers all of whom were being sought by the authorities.  That night several of them stayed behind after the meeting and at 5a.m. the following morning just as they were starting early morning mass the pursuivants or priest hunters arrived at the door and were kept waiting by a servant long enough for the priests to clear away any evidence of the mass and escape into the secret places within the hall.

As you enter the inner courtyard it all seems so peaceful now after such a turbulent early history.

I was fascinated by the coats of arms on all the windows both from inside and outside.

In the corner, not far from the kitchen table was a priest's hole - I wasn't able to take a photo as it was always surrounded by visitors.

Above some of the earliest coats of arms in stained glass in the leaded windows

The moat surround the house and you can imagine how remote and well protected it must have felt to be staying here in such dangerous times.

In the 19th century the house was occupied by 'The quartet' who were the artist Rebecca Dulcibella Orpen the wife of Marmion Ferrers and her aunt, the novelist, Georgiana, Lady Chatterton and her husband Edward Heneage Derring.  After the death of Marmion Ferrers and that of Lady Chatterton,  Rebecca married Edward Derring.  She was the last surviving member of the quartet to live at the hall until her death in 1923.

After looking around the house and the book barn we went into the gardens which were lovely.

There were plenty of  colourful flowers in the borders

The pretty cream flowered plant above was covered with bees - I don't know what it is.

After strolling down to the ponds we sat for a while in the vegetable garden before finally setting off for home.


  1. Oh, what a lovely place - such a pretty garden. Abby x

  2. I love the stained glass windows and the beautiful garden but what struck me most about this post was the name 'Dulcibella' such a wonderful name! x

  3. It's so lovely, I adore old buildings, this one is great :)

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  4. Baddesley is one of my favourite places, so I've really enjoyed your photographs today. Did you manage to visit Packwood, just down the road from there? Another gorgeous house....I think I did write about it at sometime. I've got a week off work next week, so I'm hoping to make use of the NT card too. I'll really have to find time to blog about the places I visit too.


  5. it is one of my favorite places in England!

  6. Hi, this is the first time I've looked in (I think!) and I just had to say how much I've enjoyed looking down the first page without even going to previous posts. I visited Baddesley Clinton in around 1981/1982 and loved it - we also visited Packwood House around that time as we were staying in Bentley Heath, near Solihull (a holiday house swap.) But Baddesley was such an atmospheric house, you could really imagine what it might be like to live there, rather than be over-awed by huge, great, valuted rooms. I shall look in again!
    Margaret P

  7. Ive never been here - it looks gorgeous! What a fabulous place to look round - I need to retire!!

  8. Now this really does look as though it's worth visiting. Oddly enough I hadn't realised that the Forest of Arden was a real place and close to Stratford! I thought it was a name that WS had made up. Live and learn:)

  9. I'm not an expert in plants, but I think the cream bush may be a euonymus.

    The manor house is wonderful. How sad that protestants and catholics have such a turbulent history!

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. What an amazing place and an amazing story to go with it!

  12. I so enjoy reading of your adventures out and about Rosie.

    Baddesley Clinton looks particularly lovely and reminds me of Columbine Hall a favourite place of mine here in Suffolk (it isn't NT but the owners open their doors as part of the Invitation to View scheme).

    I love moated houses.


  13. Abby - it is indeed a lovely place:)

    Simone - it is a very Victorian name, don't you think?

    Bee-happy - it has such a lot of history:)

    Tracey - we did visit Packwood the first time we visited B C I remember the house and topiary in the gardens - we didn't have time to visit both houses this time:)

    Mac and Janet - glad you enjoyed the photos - I thought it may be one of your favourite houses over here:)

    Margaret - hello, so glad you found me - hope you visit again. We didn't get around to visiting Packwood this time but have been before:)

    Diane - you'd never be at home:)

    H - thanks for the tip about the plant. It does have such a turbulent history, doesn't it?

    Rowan - yes it is a real place or area it always sounds so romantic doesn't it?:)

    Sara - it does have a lot of history to tell:)

    Jeanne - Columbine Hall sounds lovely:)

  14. Ooh, another lovely NT property! On these sorts of visits I do always enjoy the gardens the most. The plant you say was covered in bees looks like a Euonymus, although I haven't ever seen it in flower? x