While I’m busy putting together a post for our trip to the Isle of Wight I thought I would just tell you quickly about our day out on Easter Sunday to Witley Court and Gardens in Worcestershire, while it’s all still fresh in my mind. Since the humans received a membership to English Heritage as a Christmas gift, we have been finding new and exciting places to visit at a weekend and this weekend was no exception. Witley Court is a beautiful, ruined manor house with some pretty amazing fountains in the garden and a spectacular church.
They had a really bad fire in 1937 which destroyed one end of the building (there are some photos on this Wikipedia page) and it was too expensive for the family to repair. After a few years the house ended up in the hands of scrap merchant type folk who stripped it of anything that could be sold including building materials and roof tiles etc. and then finally it ended up in the care of English Heritage who look after it today.
The lovely golden gates which would have stood up on the slope in the picture below, between the trees, are now at Lake Havasu City, Arizona, along with London Bridge (there are pictures of the gates on that Wiki link I put above).
There are two lovely fountains, though only the one in the south garden works which is the Perseus and Andromeda Fountain. That middle jet is really high and if it’s windy you can get wet! They only turn it on 5 or 6 times a day for the visitors for about 15 minutes at a time.
The Flora fountain, next to the East Parterre, is missing a vital component i.e Flora, who I believe was damaged when they tried to move her when bits of the house were getting sold off. This fountain doesn’t work.
The church which adjoins the house isn’t run by English Heritage but you can still go in for free. It’s got some amazing paintings (she-human tells me they are baroque). And you can visit the crypt too which is pretty spooky! They do ask if you might leave a small donation to visit the crypt. Ooh and there is a nice tea room just down past the church where you can get a drink and something to eat. We had lunch and cake and it was all rather nice. Here is their website.
Here are a few pics from around Witley Court – you can click through to the full set on Flickr through any of the photos):
It really is a spectacular place. Looking from the other end of the slope where the gates used to be, she-human said it reminded her a bit of a kind of small scale, ruined Versailles. If you would like to visit Witley (hopefully you will get better weather than we had and some nice blue sky) all the details you need are on the English Heritage website.