"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Baddesley Clinton - Part 1: St Michael's Church and House

I had a day out on my own last week as B had gone to Upton House with some friends to do a leyline walk. I was rather envious initially to be honest especially as there are some good churches in the area but it was so hot that I don't think I would have enjoyed a five and a half mile trek! I wasn't sure where to go - I did consider Lichfield Cathedral but to be honest I was feeling so tired (not sleeping well at the moment due to worrying over the never-ending work and problems at my mother's house) so I decided to stay local. I drove towards Baddesley Clinton and Packwood and decided right at the last moment to visit the former.

First I walked up to St Michael's Church.

A lovely view of fields as you go along Church Walk. There is physical evidence of ridge and furrow (Medieval strip farming) in this field between the manor house and church.

A Soldier Beetle - these are predators hunting for insects in flowers and leaves. Their name comes from the similarities between their colours and a soldier's uniform.

St Michael's Church just visible behind the trees and Cow Parsley

A few photos of the older tombs and gravestones.

Parts of the churchyard are left unmown for wild flowers to flourish - Red Campion, Pignut and Buttercups

A field full of buttercups beyond the churchyard.

I didn't go inside the church on this visit and returned to the house

via church walk.

A manor has existed on this site since before the Norman Conquest in 1066 and the present house was built mainly in the 15th and 16th centuries. Improvements and alterations were made in the 18th century by Edward Ferrers who married a wealthy heiress. It was the home of the Ferrers family for nearly 500 years and was handed over to the National Trust in 1980 and opened to the public in 1982. Following the Reformation Baddesley Clinton was a hiding place for catholic priests. A priest hole, reached via a garderobe on the first floor, can be seen in the kitchen. In 1587 while Henry Ferrers was in London the Vaux sisters allowed nine Jesuit priests to use Baddesley Clinton for their missionary work. Henry Ferrers was a historian, known as the Antiquary, and he introduced most of the 16th century heraldic glass that can be seen throughout the house.

Other interesting past owners of the house include Marmion Ferrers who occupied the manor in the 19th century and who liked to dress up as a squire from the past. He married Rebecca who was a talented artist and her paintings can be seen throughout the house. Rebecca's aunt, Georgiana, Lady Chatterton, and her second husband Edward Dering came to live at Baddesley. Edward spent a lot of money on the house so that The Quartet, as they were known, could continue to live there in some style. Edward inherited the house on the death of Marmion. Lady Chatterton had died some years previously and Rebecca married Edward and she continued to live in the house for many years after Edward had died.

Another fascinating character who I have written about before is, of course, Nicholas Brome. His father, John, a lawyer, purchased the house in 1438. 30 years later John was murdered in London by John Herthill, Steward of "The Kingmaker" (Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick) over a dispute about property. Nicholas, John's son, who had inherited the property fought a duel with Herthill near Warwick and killed him. Nicholas, as I have mentioned before, also slew the priest of Baddesley Church, for flirting with his wife. He was pardoned by the King and Pope but paid many penances during his life including building one church and adding a tower to another. He isburied standing upright by the door of St Michael's church so that people entering walk over him!

Edward Dering added this stained glass representing his family's Black Horse crest.

The arms of the Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton impaling the arms of Hampden (Henry Ferrers married Catherine Hampden).

Apologies that the photos inside the house aren't very sharp - very low light!

The Great Hall

The following heraldic glass celebrates various marriages.

The Dining Room

The Drawing Room

Henry Ferrers' Bedroom

Portrait of the "Blue Lady" in the Blue Bedroom

This glass panel was painted by Thomas Jervais in the 1700's and shows a Dutch church interior. The panel was restored in 2000 by Alfred Fisher, an expert in historic glass.

I love the choughs in this glass - they come from the Cranley Arms (Arthur Cranley married Margaret Ann, sister of Marmion).

One of Rebecca's paintings.

The library - there is a blood stain on the floor just in front of the fireplace - legend has it that it is connected to the killing of the priest by Nicholas although tests have revealed that it is not human blood but comes from an animal.

I am still having a few problems uploading photos so I will save the walk round the woodland, lake and garden for a second post.

Reference: New National Trust Guide to Baddesley Clinton

Heraldry at Baddesley Clinton by Clem Hindmarch and Mary Tweddle


CherryPie said...

Thankyou, I have felt the call to re-visit Baddesely Clinton soon. Your post has reminded me to make that happen.

Deborah RusticPumpkin said...

Now that's what I call a great day out. Lots of things to see, and educational too. Thank you for sharing {I'm more or less housebound at the moment so it's good to see blog posts like this}

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thank you. I am fortunate that such a lovely house and garden is my closest NT property. Do hope you enjoy your re-visit.

Deborah RusticPumpkin - Thank you. One thing I like so much about Blogger is the chance to see places I might not visit myself. Do hope you aren't housebound for that much longer.

Rosie said...

I don't remember seeing the Thomas Jervais painted glass panel when we last visited so I must look out for that if we every get there again, also the church which looks fascinating. It sounds like you had a lovely day out and a lot cooler time than on the ley line walk:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks so much. Church is well worth a visit - only small but interesting. Do hope you re-visit. The painted glass panel is on the first floor - lower landing and just past the Sacristy and Chapel. It is propped against a window overlooking the courtyard. I tried to stay in the shade as much as possible!!!

Bovey Belle said...

It is such a beautiful house, and I can understand why it is one of your favourite places to visit. That painted glass panel is AMAZING. Some beautiful things in this house - but then we can say that about so many of our stately homes.

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Thank you - it is a lovely property. Yes, you are so right there are so many wonderful stately homes to visit :)

Coquetnaturelover said...

Baddesley Clinton sounds like a great place to visit. What an amazing house! I live close to the NT property 'Cragside' in Northumberland. It's often very difficul to take good photos of stained class windows are great. I'd love to visit some time! :)

Ragged Robin said...

Coquetnaturelover - Thanks so much :) Baddesley is well worth a visit if you are in the area and one day we will have a holiday in Northumberland - looks so quiet and beautiful :)
So much stained glass at Baddesley but many have blind cords dangling in front of them! I don't use the Canon Bridge camera much but that is better for stained glass as you can zoom in more (especially good in churches!) :)

Pete Duxon said...

Love baddesley. Want to go back now!

Ragged Robin said...

Pete Duxon - Thanks Pete and lol! :) Have to agree it is a very special house and garden :) Never tire of visiting!