My visit to Baddesley Clinton was a while ago now on a glorious sunny day with the Dahlia’s in full bloom. Set 7 miles south of Solihull Birmingham, Baddesley Clinton is a moated manor house dating back to the 16th Century with roots as far back as the 11th Century. Yes I did say “moated”, it actually has a moat!
A Little History
A manor house has existed at Baddesley Clinton – named in part from a Saxon called Badde who had a clearing in wood of the ancient Forest of Arden, and after it’s owners the de Clinton’s who owned the property for several generations – since before the Norman Conquest of the 11th Century.
The current house is an amalgamation of structures built in the 15th, 16th Centuries with renovations and minor adjustments during in the 17th and 18th Century. When visiting the house, the main historical focus of the property is the 19th Century under the ownership of Marmion Ferrers and his wife Rebecca who lived at the house with Rebecca’s aunt Lady Georgiana Chatterton and her second husband Edward Dering, known as the ‘the Quartet’.
All four occupants of Baddesley Clinton at this time, were very fond of Old England and the ensured the property retained it’s 15th and 16th Century roots restoring and refurnishing the house to match their love of Old England. After many years of living together until the deaths of Marmion and Lady Chatterton, Rebecca and Edward married to ensure the house stayed within the family, and upon Rebecca’s death in 1923 the house was inherited by Marmion’s nephews, this began a turbulent time for the house, as money was scarce resulting in the sale of furniture and ultimately the estate being put up for sale in 1940. The estate was saved by distant relatives of the Ferrers family; Thomas Walker and his wife Undine who later took on the Ferrers name, and the house was later inherited by their son Thomas Weaving Ferrers-Walker who gifted the estate to the National Trust in 1980.
The House and Gardens
Visiting the house, enter by going through the gatehouse and across the court yard, going through various service rooms such as the Scullery, Kitchen and Inner Hall before entering the Great Hall.
The Great Hall
The Great Hall was used as a reception room and entertaining space, with dark oak panelling adorned with a large tapestry, portraits and a grand fireplace. Prior to the sale of many of the house’s furnishings this room was home to a large table, which now resides in the nearby Packwood House.
Moving on from the Great Hall, you enter the Drawing Room and Dining Room before heading up the stairs accessible from the Great Hall to the first floor rooms.
The Drawing Room and Dining Rooms
Both the Drawing Room and Dining Room are filled with lovely dark wood furniture with dark wooden panelling.
The Great Parlour
The Great Parlour is one of the few upstairs rooms you can view at Baddesley Clinton, accessible from a stairway in the Great Hall. It is located above the gatehouse and would have been used for formal entertaining in the 1600s and at the end of the 19th Century this room was used by Rebecca as her art studio.
Leading on directly from the Great Parlour and you enter the Library.
The room that is now the Library at Baddesley Clinton has had many uses over the years, including a bedroom, it also has quite an ‘interesting‘ history as it is thought that Nicholas Broome, owner of the estate in the late 15th Century killed the minister of Baddesley Church in this room for flirting with his wife. A blood stain can be seen in this room and was widely considered to be from the murder until later analysis determined it to be pigs blood. As a bedroom, this was called the Ghost Bedroom after several reports of ghost sightings and paranormal experiences in the room.
Other Rooms / Other Photos
At the other end of the first floor (second floor for non British readers), the house has a Chapel and Sacristy, along with a priest hole.
The chapel, in my honest opinion was quite a gaudy room and quite formal / churchy (for want of better term) for a house, I personally found it a little strange having not seen a similar room in any other houses (Moseley Old Hall had a chapel on the top floor of the house, though somewhat more subtle).
Baddesley Clinton is well worth visiting to view an authentic 16th Century Manor house, to me the wow factor was definitely the moat which is such a rare thing to find around a house. Also worth visiting is Packwood House located a few miles away from Baddesley Clinton and is a recreation of a Tudor Manor from the 20th Century which began as a Tudor farmhouse.
- https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/baddesley-clinton – Baddesley Clinton NT Website
- http://www.nationaltrustimages.org.uk/search?term=baddesley+clinton&filters= – Images of Baddesley Clinton on the National Trust Images website