History

Priest holes

Discover where priests were forced to hide from persecution © National Trust

Discover where priests were forced to hide from persecution

A Catholic home during troubled times Baddesley Clinton was a refuge for outlawed priests and their servants.

Although the Ferrers kept a low profile it didn’t stop the priest hunters raiding the house in 1591.

Whilst protestant soldiers searched the house 8 priests hid in one of the 3 priest holes cunningly concealed within the building.

Building the house

Talented artist Rebecca Dulcibella Orpen moved into the house in 1867. © National Trust

Talented artist Rebecca Dulcibella Orpen moved into the house in 1867.

Originally built in a Saxon clearing in the Forest of Arden the Great Hall was gradually extended to surround a small open courtyard.

The walls have since been rebuilt in local Arden stone but the oak frame remains at the core of the structure.

The destruction of the Great Hall in the 18th century opened the courtyard to the moat again.

The owners of Baddesley

Thomas Weaving Ferrers-Walker previous owner of Baddesley © National trust

Thomas Weaving Ferrers-Walker previous owner of Baddesley

For a small manor a surprising amount is known about the people who lived at Baddesley.

From Nicholas Brome who killed the local priest for flirting with his wife, Henry Ferrers who lived through the reigns of five monarchs, Marmion Ferrers who revived the house, to Thomas Ferrers-Walker who gave Baddesley into our care.

Did you know?

  • The house is built from Arden sandstone, quarried in the grounds
  • The shed by the meadow used to be a peacock house
  • The medieval wooden plug for the moat was found in one of the ponds
  • The brick shelter in the Walled Garden is known as the Donkey House
  • The blood stain in the Library is actually pig’s blood
  • The oak lectern in the Library started life as a ship’s figurehead

Baddesley Clinton: a Victorian painter's passion

View the exquisite painting by Rebecca Dulcibella Orpen © John Hammond

Find out about the transformation of Baddesley Clinton by Rebecca Dulcibella Orpen's paintings.

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