For nearly a year work has been ongoing to convert Castle Bromwich Hall (built at the end of the sixteenth century in a late Elizabethan style) into a boutique Hotel.
Although refurbishment of the Hall doesn't appear to be quite complete, the Hotel opened to the public at the beginning of October. I was really pleased to hear last week that, with the kind permission of the owner (the House and main gardens are under separate ownership), Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens were organising tours of the Hotel on Saturday, 29th October. I couldn't wait to take a peek at how the Hall had changed since tours were held last December before the renovations commenced.
Here's a view of the side of the Hall/hotel as we approached from the Gardens.
Notice that some of the "windows" look rather fake - windows were kept to a minimum at a time when there was a window tax and false windows were added to maintain the symmetrical design.
This impressive front porch with the statues of Peace and Plenty at first floor level was built around 1660.
A "peephole" was built into the House Keeper's Room in the south east wing at the side of the porch and was formerly used to see who was approaching the house. The peephole is I believe now blocked and the House Keeper's Room now appears to form part of the new Restaurant
Apologies in advance for some of the blurred photos taken inside the house. I took the photos without flash (I wasn't sure if flash photography was allowed) and, even though I bumped the ISO up to 800, I was still taking hand-held shots at about 1/8th of a second!
A couple of photos of the new Restaurant
Window view looking towards the Gardens
Oak Staircase - the first photo is a shot taken before renovations commenced
The paintings are reproductions of portraits of the Bridgeman family, past owners of the Hall
There are several beautifully moulded plaster ceilings throughout the Hall with wreaths of fruit and shells and coats of arms.
I understand the National Trust have overseen the various renovations and the Hotel owners appear to have managed to retain original features of the Hall whilst adding luxury and modern day comforts throughout.
Although not yet finished (notice the unmade bed and "Henry"!), this State Bedroom occupied over the years by various members of the royal family including Queen Mary, wife of George V, who visited in 1927, looks as though it will be a beautiful bedroom.
The new owners have started to replace tapestries that were originally hung in the room that was the upstairs dining room in the seventeenth century but became a Drawing Room at the turn of the eighteenth century.
"Mirror Mirror on the wall.....!" - There were several of these massive mirrors scattered around - I'm not sure where their final destination will be but they reminded me of something out of a Harry Potter film.
The beautiful Long Gallery, possibly Elizabethan, will be used for wedding ceremonies.
Before the renovation
View from the Front Porch
Following the tour of new Hotel we walked back to the visitor centre via the North Garden (you can only visit here as part of a guided tour of the Gardens so I rarely get chance to visit this part).
Photo of the parterres with the North Gate and Yew walk in the distance leading to the church
It was a lovely opportunity to see the new Hotel and renovations to the Hall and I really do hope the hotel is successful.
To see my blog posting "Tour of the Hall" from last December with more photos of inside the Hall before the renovations began - please go to archived postings from December 2010 (link on the right hand side of blog)
Diary Update #30
2 hours ago