Top ten things to see at Greyfriars House and Garden

Greyfriars was built in the 1480s in the heart of Worcester. From the start it was inhabited by local gentry, shopkeepers, merchants and even a publican. Discover a taster of our top ten items within Greyfriars, many of which have been salvaged and restored by two of the eccentric inhabitants.

Leather screen

The rustic brown and cream leather that makes up the screen started out as a wallhanging from a nearby house by the cathedral.  The 17th-century Spanish leather hanging was rescued by Matley Moore in the 1930s. Being thrifty Matley chopped it up and made the screen and two small chests.  One of the chests he made for his sister Elsie for her sewing work.

Rescued brass plaque

The rectangular brass plaque above our Library shelves commemorates George Street.  He was once the owner of the Greyfriars in the 1600's. It was in St Andrew's Church in Worcester, which was demolished in the mid 20th century, and was brought back here because of its association with Greyfriars and its owners.

The ticking clocks

We have six working clocks throughout the house and two of them were made right here in Worcester.
The longcase oak clock in the library was made by William Glover of Worcester c1770. It has an engraved golden brass face. The green parlour clock is a 36 hour winding clock from c1680 and is also Worcester made. We don't wind this clock every week due to the extended 12 hours but it can function if wound up. Clock winding happens every Tuesday.

Painted wallhanging

Within our garden in the Summer house, Elsie Matley-Moore's unique painted wall-hanging can be found. It is a scene of a house and garden in a mythical landscape and is dated 1976.

Painted doorstops

Throughout Greyfriars over 70 doorstops can be found propping open doors or forming fireplace scenes. Elsie Matley-Moore heard that a Worcester foundry along the canal was ceasing production and walked along with an empty wheelbarrrow to see what she could acquire. She came back with all sorts, some of them broken and unable to stand. Many of them have been painted in her favourite colours, red, green and gold, the highlight being the Punch and Judy in the bedroom.

Elsie's Punch and Judy Doorstops
Punch and Judy metal doorstops painted in red, green and gold

Elsie's artwork

The walls of Greyfriars are adorned with Elsie's masterpieces. You will find cross-stitch, calligraphy, painting, embroidery, wall hangings and lampshades.  She was an expert at reusing parts of materials in other ways, such as the tassles from lampshades on her clothes and using pieces of clothing in curtains.

Red flock wallpaper

Hanging in the hall is a framed piece of red and cream flock wallpaper dated 1680. The stylised floral pattern is only one of a few examples still in existance. The other most notable piece is in the V&A.

Hall floor

The Georgian hall stone floor was rescued by Matley and Elsie Moore from Wychbold Hall near Droitwich as the house was subsiding due to the salt mines underneath and was consequently demolished. In 2016 our floor will be given some much needed restoration and care as, after 65 years in Greyfriars, the tiles are becoming loose and the old grouting is disintegrating.

Majolica biblical tiles

Above our dining room fireplace are three rare, large 16th century Italian tiles depicting biblical scenes. Installed by the Matley-Moore's, the scenes show the anointing of David, baby Moses in the basket, and the Ten Commandments.

Georgian Green wallpaper

The six framed panels in the Dining room are early Georgian and are a great rarity. They are woodblock printing onto paper overlaid with foil to give the sheen you can see today. They were discovered in an unused roll in an attic at the Old Rectory Birlingham near Pershore.