The House at Baddesley Clinton
After being put to bed for several months we are really looking forward to opening this family home for you again. You’ll find that your visit to the house will be a little different to normal, but we can’t wait to share our intriguing history and beautiful collection with you.
The coronavirus crisis has meant we have had to change things a little in the house. Our friendly team will be on hand to welcome you and share with you Baddesley’s history in a safe environment. Whilst a couple of rooms are closed for your safety most of the rooms in the house will be open as normal.
The house at Baddesley is an incredible survival story. It was the home of the same family, the Ferrers, for 500 years. And, despite never being incredibly wealthy, it passed from father to son for 12 generations.
What you can expect from your visit
The house is now open 10am - 4.30pm (last admission to the house at 4pm) and from 2 November 10am - 4pm (last admission to the house at 3.15pm). There will be a one-way route throughout the house, entry will be via the Scullery in the Courtyard and visitors will have the chance to view the ground floor and first-floor rooms. Catching a glimpse of the 500-year-old priest hide and nineteenth century artist studio, all in a home enjoyed by family until the 1980’s.
Visitors will be asked to queue up in the courtyard in a clearly marked socially distanced queue and will be admitted to the house by a volunteer when it is safe to do so. Hand sanitiser will be available at the house entrance and exit and all visitors will be required to wear a face covering.
Your visit to Baddesley
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 the other rooms such as 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.