Hanbury Hall historic walk
School Road, Hanbury, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire WR9 7EARoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Rare trees, havens for wildlife and a shepherds’ mobile home - Hanbury Hall was home to the Vernon family for 250 years. Its surrounding park has its origins in the ancient forest of Feckenham.
- Bus stop
Start: Hanbury Hall gardens, next to the mirror pool, grid ref: SO943637
The walk begins at the Cedar Walk within the garden, which is best approached from the far end of the Wilderness by the mirror pool.
Hanbury Hall is a fine example of the type of mansion built during the reign of William and Mary in the 18th century and was built in 1701 by Thomas Vernon, lawyer and MP. The clay that was used to make the bricks which built the Hall was dug up from Brick Kiln pond, now a valuable wildlife habitat. Inside the house is a painted staircase, with wall paintings by Sir James Thornhill - the only surviving examples of his work in a Georgian house of this age.
Follow the pathway and walk through the gate, over the ditch (known as a ha-ha) and down the slope. On your left you'll pass the ice-house, which was used to store ice, collected during the winter months before the use of refrigerators was widespread.
The 20 acre (8ha) garden contains the recently restored formal early 18th-century gardens, including the parterre (pictured), a symmetrical garden with clipped hedges.
Follow the track down the hill until you reach a gate by a black poplar tree. Black poplars were common in the Middle Ages, but due to modern agricultural and woodland management practices, they're now very rare. Follow the worn path to your right, straight across the field. Pass the remains of an old oak plantation (containing a monument to one of the Vernons horses, Pulpit) to your left until you reach an iron gate.
You are now next to Brick Kiln Pond. Once through the gate continue uphill, keeping the plantation on the right, known as The Semicircle. This rare landscape feature originally had vista lines cut through to provide views to places of interest in the surrounding landscape. It's currently being restored and has been planted with oak, field maple and hazel trees.
Keep the fence to your left and pass the ancient oak trees until you reach Lime Tree Walk; a newly planted avenue of trees. Continue straight ahead, up the incline, through an avenue of oaks until you reach a gate.
Hanbury's ancient oaks and pools offer a habitat for hundreds of wildlife species, from rare fungi and insects to protected species like the great crested newt (pictured).
At this point turn right and walk down another avenue of oaks (Church Avenue). Follow this until you meet the road.
Follow the road in the direction of the house. At the cattle-grid, pass through the kissing gate to reach your journeys end.
End: Hanbury Hall gardens
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- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Easy
- Distance: 1.25 miles (2km)
- Time: 45 minutes
- OS Map: Landranger 150
Uneven ground with some sections containing steps. Keep an eye out for ponds and ditches. Dogs not permitted due to the presence of lvestock.
- How to get here:
By foot: Wychavon Way passes within 1.5 miles (2.4km)
By bike: From Droitwich, 4.5 miles (7km) along B4090
By bus: 144, Worcester to Birmingham, alight Wychbold, 2.5 miles (4km). Follow Astwood Lane (off A38) to Hanbury
By train: Droitwich Spa, 4 miles (6.4km)
By road: From M5 exit 5, follow A38 to Droitwich. From Droitwich, 4.5 miles (7km) along B4090
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