The House at Baddesley Clinton
Baddesley Clinton is a remarkable survivor of a medieval moated manor house and was home to the Ferrers family for 500 years. At one time an artists' retreat, at another a haven for the persecuted, the house nevertheless passed from father to son for 12 generations before finally being sold in 1940.
The gatehouse entrance makes Baddesley one of the most visually pleasing architectural ensembles in England, with its combination of bridge, moat and crenelated gatehouse and with its stonework and windows of several different periods.
Once you’ve passed through the gatehouse you’ll enter the courtyard, with its yews, lawns and brick paths. It was created in 1889 by Edward Heneage Dering and has changed little since. The main charge of the Ferrers arms (seven mascles, or lozenges) is laid out on the lawn and is planted in its gold and red heraldic colours.
Over the course of its 500 year history, Baddesley Clinton has provided refuge for those seeking to escape the outside world, never more so than when it became a place of safety for Catholic priests living in dangerous times.
Henry Ferrers let the house to the Catholic Vaux sisters between 1586 and 1591, and it was at this time that Nicholas Owen, the ingenious ‘priest hide’ builder was asked to install hiding places at Baddesley. This was a dangerous practice, as the 1559 Act of Uniformity made it treason to harbour a Catholic priests.
" It was about five o'clock the following morning... when I suddenly heard a great uproar outside the main door... but a faithful servant held them back, otherwise we should all have been caught."
The great hall was constructed in the 1570s and is dominated by a magnificent stone chimneypiece, which was originally elsewhere in the house. From here you can visit all the other rooms such as the drawing room, the chapel, library, Henry Ferrers’ bedroom and more.
Take your time, wander around the house and our friendly volunteers are posted around to tell you more about the history of Baddesley Clinton.