"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, 30 September 2018

Baddesley Clinton - House and Garden

E and I paid a visit to Baddesley Clinton last Thursday afternoon mainly to see the dahlias. Although I did drive through Knowle, I didn't on this occasion pay a second visit to the parish church (looking round churches is definitely not my daughter's favourite pastime) but I may have to go to mum's solicitors in Knowle in a few weeks so I will take my camera and revisit the church then hopefully.

Baddesley Clinton is a moated manor house - parts of the house were built in 1438 by John Brome, a lawyer, who had bought the estate. Through his grand-daughter the house passed to the Ferrers family who lived here for 500 years. It was Edward Ferrers who from 1526 onwards built most of the house seen today. Henry Ferrers, who was an Antiquary, lived here from 1564 - 1633 and he added many of the stained glass and carved wood coats of arms to be seen in the house. Around 1590 the house was rented to two Catholic sisters and it was during this period that three priest holes were constructed to hide Jesuit priests. At the end of the 17th century the estate was in decline until the second half of the 19th century when a group called the Quartet restored the house. The Quartet consisted of Marmion Ferrers who married Rebecca Orpen in 1867 and two years later they were joined at Baddesley by Rebecca's aunt Lady Georgiana Chatterton and her second husband Edward Dering. They spent their time restoring the house, painting, writing and discussing religion.

We visited the house interior first of all. 2018 is the centenary of Women's Suffrage when many women were finally allowed to vote. The National Trust is celebrating the centenary with a programme called Women and Power. At Baddesley Clinton there is a project called Voice Activism and Faith which details the lives of four extraordinary women connected with the house - Anne Vaux, Bridget Ferrers, Lady Georgiana Chatterton and Rebecca Dering.

Anne Vaux was born around 1562 - the youngest of four children born to Elizabeth and Sir William, 3rd Lord Vaux of Harrowden. The family were devout Catholics at a time when England had reverted back to Protestanism. At the age of 25 Anne became the Protector of the Jesuit Superior of England - Father Henry Garnet. She pretended to be his sister travelling with him around the country living in safe houses. Baddesley Clinton was one of these safe houses and Henry Ferrers rented the house to Anne and her sister Eleanor in 1588. They paid Nicolas Owen (a well known designer and builder of priest's hiding places) to build several priest holes at Baddesley. The house was raided by those looking for priests but Anne saved the lives of 5 priests hidden away.

Bridget Ferrers, another Catholic, married Henry Ferrers in 1639 and lived at Baddesley for 58 years. During the English Civil War (1642-1651) the house was at risk of being raided by both Royalists and Parliamentarians. During the Commonwealth practising the "old faith" was dangerous and those who failed to attend Church of England services were fined and this cost the family at Baddesley a lot of money. In 1682 after the death of Henry Bridget took over the running of the estate. Throughout religious persecution she remained steadfastly loyal to her faith.

Lady Georgiana Chatterton was born in 1806 and was the daughter of the Reverend Lascelles Iremonger. She married Sir William Chatterton when she was 18 and in 1837 published her first novel, Aunt Dorothy's Tales anonymously. A few years later Rambles in South Ireland was published. Sir William's niece Rebecca often stayed with them and eventually moved in permanently. After Sir William's death Lady Georgina, following a period of mourning, became a socialite. She and Rebecca met an Edward Dering and the story goes that Edward and Rebecca fell in love but when Edward asked Lady G for Rebecca's hand in marriage she misheard him and thought he was asking her to marry him. So Lady G and Edward got married and both of them together with Rebecca travelled widely at home and abroad. The Trio became the Quartet when in 1867 Rebecca married a friend of Edwards - Marmion Ferrers. Lady Georgiana from her literary funds paid for the renovation of Baddesley Clinton - to which the four of them eventually moved spending their time painting, writing, restoring the house and grounds and practising their religion. Lady G did have doubts about her conversion to Catholicism but, after corresponding with Cardinal Newman, she became reconciled with her faith. As well as writing many books she spoke several languages and played the harp.

Rebecca Dering born in Ireland in either 1829 or 1830 was an avid artist and continued to paint until she was in her nineties. Rebecca and Edward did eventually marry after a period of mourning following the deaths of Lady G and Marmion.

Baddesley Clinton contains around 170 shields of arms representing members and marriages of the Ferrers and Dering families dating from the 11th to the 20th century. I have shown you a few of these before so some may be familiar but hopefully I have included a few new ones!

Edward Dering commissioned this representation of the Black Horse Crest and it is located in the servants quarters.

The kitchen - there is a priest's hiding place in the corner.

The arms of Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton impaling the arms of Hampden. (Henry Ferrers married Catherine Hampden. Henry died before his father so the estate passed straight to his son Edward.

On the left is the shield for the marriage of William Ferrers, Earl of Derby, to Agnes, Lady of Chartley, daughter of Hugh Keveliok, Earl of Chester.

On the right the shield represents the marriage of William of Ferrers marriage to his second wife Margaret Lady of Groby daughter of Roger d Quincy Earl of Winchester.

Shield on the left - Robert of Ferrers Earl of Ferrers married Sibilia daughter of William Lord Brewse of Brember Knape and Gower. At the time the Braose family were among the richest families in the country but eventually they fell out of favour with King John. The shield on the right - William of Ferrers married Margaret Lady of Higham daughter of William Peverel of Higham. The attributed arms of Ferrers impaling the arms of Peverel. This is the first shield where the Chartley arms appear on the Ferrers shield.

The Great Hall - sorry some of the interior photos are a bit "iffy" - most of the rooms at Baddesley have curtains drawn or half drawn and are very gloomy.

On the overmantle is a wooden carved shield with the arms of Ferrers of Groby quartering the arms of Whyte. Jane Whyte married Henry the Antiquary in 1582.

The Dining Room

It is believed this shield commemorates Henry Ferrers who died in 1526 and his wife Catherine daughter of Sir John Hampden.

The arms of Hampden impaling the arms of Ferrers of Baddesley Clinton. There was a mistake on the left where the artist called the husband Henry Ferrers rather than Henry Hampden and an attempt has been made to erase the mistake. (Henry Hampden married Elizabeth daughter of Sir Edward Ferrers.)

The Chapel

The glass panel was painted by Thomas Jervais in the 1700's and shows a Dutch church interior. The glass was broken and repairs attempted 80 years ago. It was restored again in 2000 by Alfred Fish, an expert in historic glass.

Before restoration and


The Upper Landing

The arms of Henry Ferrers passed down after he died to his son Edward Arthur (1881 to 1934).

The arms of Ferrers of Chartley impaling the arms of Orpen (the marriage of Marmion Edward Ferrers to Rebecca Orpen in 1867.

The arms of Croxon impaling the arms of Baddesley Clinton Ferrers (Constance Charlotte Ferrers and Boydell Croxon who married in 1845.

For Arthur Cranley, grandson of the 2nd Earl of Onslow and Margaret Anne Ferrers (sister of Marmion) who married in 1864. The Cranley arms contains 6 Cornish Choughs and dates back to the times of Edward I (died 1307).

The library

Some of you may remember the tale of Nicholas Brome who killed two people - his father's murderer and a local priest who he found flirting with his wife. He murdered the latter in the library and here is the alleged blood stain. Although I have to say that the stain has been tested and appears to be animal (probably) pig blood.

The Blue Lady has been moved to this room.

We had a look round the gardens.

The dahlias were probably at their best a few weeks ago but they still looked very beautiful.

Usually at this time of year I see Red Admirals and Small Tortoiseshell on the flowers here but this year the only butterfly sightings were Small Coppers - three in total. Sorry not a good photo!

The kitchen garden has been re-located. They were preparing the plots on my visit earlier this year but now it is complete and full of flowers and vegetables. Usually Baddesley has a scarecrow festival but I couldn't see any at all this year.

Timothy having a rest!

Another Small Copper on a plant for sale.

Time for cake - mine was a Victorian Apple Cake accompanied by a gingerbread latte.

A photo I took of the blackberry and apple crumble I made after our trip out collecting blackberries. There are enough blackberries left in the freezer to make a couple more crumbles.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330

Reference: National Trust Website (Baddesley Clinton

Information on Heraldry from "Heraldry at Baddesley Clinton" 2nd Edition by Clem Hindmarch and Mary Tweddle