Day Trippers were out in force this Bank Holiday Monday. (We actually had some beautiful weather for a change!) Some chose the beach, others theme parks and for us it was a little National Trust property called Baddesley Clinton.
The 500 year moated manor house is located within the picturesque Forest of Arden. It was sold to the National Trust in 1980, who now manage the house which is open to the public daily.
Before belonging to the National Trust, the property was in the possession of the Ferrer’s family, who remained Catholic’s after the reformation. Due to their Catholicism the house was a source of refuge to many priests who had the death penalty hanging over them. The house had several “priest holes” and secret passages to hide them in the event of a search. A couple are on display to the general public.
During the 1860’s Georgiana Chatterton, novelist and her second husband, Edward Heneage Dering resided in the property. They lived there as guests of her niece and her husband. They were a little eccentric and wore 17th Century costumes. Locally they were known as “The Quartet”.
We spent a lovely few hours, roaming the property, exploring the grounds and playing football in the beautiful grounds. Being part of the National Trust there is a cafe, shop and also a second hand bookshop. I admit to spending quite a lot of the time perusing the shelves, though I came away with nothing. This was not due to lack of choice, there are 100’s of books on display and all the ones I wanted to read, I had actually read.
The property itself is a delight. It was not a guided tour so we could take our leisure looking around the house. There were some interesting items on display. As it was a Bank Holiday and also half-term for a lot of children, there were some activities to do as you went around the house. My daughter and I were probably a bit old to participate but we enjoyed smelling the jars of herbs located in each room. There were also scrolls with various quotes from Shakespeare located around the house too and we enjoyed guessing what play they were from. Though the manor house is small in comparison to some it appears to be well maintained. The staff present in each room were friendly and knowledgeable. Some of them had some interesting and amusing tales to tell about the past owners.
The grounds are not extensive but the gardens were well maintained. There was a lilac wisteria that ran alongside the walls which was beautiful. As well as sheep grazing in the surrounding fields there is also an abundance of ducks and geese, wandering around with their young. A word of warning though, the ducks are very tame. It was lovely to have friendly ducks and we had a little stroke of the ducklings, all very nice. The ducks main priority though is food and they are not shy about grabbing what they want. We watched, admittedly sightly amused, as this poor woman tried to protect her sandwich from a very determined mallard who fancied it for himself.
Overall the day was a success. We enjoyed our time at Baddesley Clinton. Having fantastic weather helped, if it hadn’t had been so sunny we might not have spent so long there. Even the Bank Holiday traffic disappeared for us, making our journey there and back also pleasurable. If you have a few spare hours I would recommend visiting maybe teaming it with Packwood House, another National Trust property nearby.
Till we meet again x