"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

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Baddesley Clinton - Part 2: Lake and Woodland Walk and Walled Garden

After looking round the house I decided to walk through the woods and round the lake (continuing to seek shade!!)

One of the Stew Ponds - in Medieval times these provided fish for the household.

This beautiful carved seat commemorates a local teacher - Mary Fitter

Over the bridge to the woodland walk - the woods were planted in the 19th century as pleasure grounds.

Herb Robert in flower

The walk then continues round the Great Pool - believed to have once been a mill pond.

The wildflower meadow will look a picture in a few weeks as it is full of Yellow Rattle.

Then onto the Walled Garden which was created in the 18th century.

Time for tea and cappucino cake in the tea room - although I have to say the cake to me seemed a little dry.

One of the Baddesley Clinton cats - either Tommy or Bella.

A quick look round the shop - this NT Scones book is very good and full of delicious recipes to try at home.

Then a look round the secondhand bookshop and I couldn't resist this - I am determined, when I have more time, to have another go at painting wild flowers.

Another field full of buttercups at the side of the drive.

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