Continuing my master plan of making our way around all English Heritage’s sites…
Earlier this summer, we visited one of our favourite English Heritage sites, Witley Court & Gardens in Worcestershire (page 222 of the handbook), which is about 40 minutes from where we live and an easy drive.
Witley Court is a 19th century mansion that was one of England’s grandest homes before it burned down in 1937, leaving a rather impressive if eerie shell.
Note: This photo is by Robek (Own work) via creative commons as mine didn’t turn out – all the rest are mine
The house is surrounded by landscaped gardens which include a still working fountain showing Perseus and Andromeda that is “fired” several times a day.
Around the house are woodland walks where you can see all types of trees, shrubs, and flowers, a lovely little waterfall and a lake which, in nice weather, is so peaceful you forget where you are.
Last year, they added an adventure playground for the kids which is great (with so many children playing, I didn’t take any photos but it has areas for little and bigger kids) and when we were there – because it was a bank holiday – they had lots of things for kids to do including audience participation plays, Victorian games, and a Punch and Judy show (our favourite part of the day).
Not part of the house but right next door is a Great Witley Church, an active church but open to visitors when we were there. The interior, which has been fully restored, took my breath away it was so ornate, with paintings by Antonio Bellucci. Next door is the crypt, which is currently being restored. It isn’t large but you can view graves after they have been “gotten at” by grave robbers so interesting (I found out afterwards I shouldn’t have taken a photo in there so sorry about that!)
Making our way around the site (and church) made for a full day and required a stop at a great tea room just outside the grounds.
So, if you live in the Midlands – or are passing through – one definitely worth a visit.