Monday, 6 March 2017

Beautiful Britain - Moseley Old Hall, Staffordshire

Last Tuesday, as well as being Shrove Tuesday, was dad's birthday so, for the second Tuesday in a row, we picked up mum and dad and headed out for another day out, oh the joys of
retirement 😉

This time we were heading for the closest National,Trust property that neither of us had visited before, with the promise of a birthday lunch for dad thrown in.

We had decided to visit Moseley Old Hall near Wolverhampton, which is about a half hour drive, so perfect distance for a day's jaunt.

The National Trust book describes it as "an atmospheric farmhouse that saved a king" and we were looking forward to finding out more.

By the time we arrived It was bitterly cold, pretty dull and rain was threatening, which seems to be the norm at the moment, so we wrapped up well and made the short walk through the car park to the main entrance.

The first view of the house is pretty impressive. It's not a big property but it is a really pretty and would look even more inviting topped with a blue sky, but none of that today I'm afraid.

We headed through the entrance and were told to head to the "muster point" to meet Bob and check in for a guided tour.
Bob checked us in and told us that pancakes were being made in the kitchen of the hall today so that was definitely something to look forward to.

The guided tour started about half an hour later which just gave us time to have a short walk around the gardens, visit the facilities and check out the tea room for later.

The gardens are close to the house, fairly small and consist mainly of the knot garden and a small orchard.
There is woodland to be explored at the back of the property, but with some serious tree felling going on and lots of mud we didn't venture this way today.

There wasn't much going on outside today, though the hellebores were in full bloom.
At 12pm we gathered at the main door of the Hall to be greeted by Colin, our guide. Colin told us a little bit about the part the hall played in King Charles II escape, following his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651, and explained that the tale had been recounted by Charles and documented by the very famous writer Samuel Pepys.

We entered the Hall through the very same door that Charles did, as described in Pepys account.

The tale of Charles' escape, eventually to France, to reunite with his family, is an interesting one. The part that the Hall played is fascinating.

We got to see the actual bed that the King slept in and the priest hole where he hid, possibly with John Huddlestone, the catholic priest who also spent time at the Hall, masquerading as the family tutor, as catholic priests were most definitely persona non grata back then.

We went to the top of the house and explored the attics, where the children of the family kept watch for any raiding party hunting for the King and the hidden chapel where Catholic services took place.
The tour takes about an hour and ends up in the kitchen where pancakes, cooked by a serving wench over the open fire, were on the menu for today and were just enough to wet our appetite for lunch.
We headed back through the cold and rain to the warmth of the tea room, where we were a little disappointed to find there was no lunchtime special available today, but made do very nicely with bowls of pea, lettuce and mint soup and sandwiches, followed by the requisite scone with jam and clotted cream for me.
Warmed and refreshed we headed back out into the cold, though thankfully the rain had eased off, and made our way back hence we'd came.
All in all we spent a good three hours at the Hall, which was just the job. We'd had a bit of a walk, heard a riveting historic tale, had a decent lunch and ticked off another NT property from the list. What more could you ask for on a dull grey Tuesday?

No comments:

Post a comment

Thanks for taking time to comment on my blog. I love to hear what people think about what Martin and I have been up to.