The second National Trust place I visited on my slow drive back from Wales the other weekend was Baddesley Clinton. I didn’t know much about this property before going to visit but was hugely impressed by the feel of the house, really homely and lovely, and visiting you got a real feel for the characters in the properties history.
Baddesley is a moated medieval manor house, so it goes without saying that it is beautiful on the outside, but it is also beautiful inside as well. It was owned by the Ferrers family from 1517 until it was sold in 1939.
The style of interpretation that has been chosen to tell the varied history of the Ferrers family is really interesting. They are telling the story of three key periods in the properties history, the 1600’s, the story of two very artistic couples in the mid-Nineteenth Century, and the last of the Ferrers to live there in the first half of the 20th Century. Each of these focuses was denoted with information in a different colour and with its own symbol on, a very clear method and, I thought, a really good idea.
The information was also presented by being printed onto different surfaces, like a cushion on a bench. I really liked this style, especially looking out of one of the windows to see a sheet hanging from the line with information about the life of a maid on it.
The early stories of the property revolve around the tenants of the house sheltering Catholic priests during the reformation, and there close call. The next period of the house’s history takes place after Marmion Edward Ferrers inherited the property in 1830. He and his wife, Rebecca, were very close friends with another couple; Georgiana and Edward Heneage Dering.
The couples became known as ‘The Quartet’ spent many happy years living together at Baddesley Clinton, restoring the house together and producing beautiful paintings. The Great Parlour is presented as the artist’s studio looks brilliant!
The Chapel was rejuvenated by one of The Quartet, Georgiana, after she fully accepted the Catholic Church in 1875. She and Rebecca painted the triptychs that now decorate the room. There are also beautiful Spanish Leather Coverings on one of the walls, and carved angels in the wooden beams from the ceiling.
The garden is just as stunning as the house, especially the Dahlia border which is full of vivid pops of colour. I love Dahlias, the symmetry of the petals and the range of beautiful shades.
I would recommend a visit to Baddesley Clinton if you ever find yourself near, it is so pretty and has a lovely atmosphere, as well as such interesting stories to discover.