Discover Greyfriars' collection

Built in the 1490s in the heart of Worcester, Greyfriars has been the home of local gentry, shopkeepers, merchants and even a publican. Discover a taster of our top ten items in the collection, many of which have been salvaged and restored by Elsie and Matley Moore.

1.  Leather Screen

The rustic brown and cream leather that makes up the screen started out as a wallhanging from a 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 Elsie's sewing work.

2.  Rescued Brass Plaque

The rectangular brass plaque above our Library shelves commemorates George Street, the owner of Greyfriars in the 1600s. 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.

3.  Green Georgian 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.

A stag on the green Georgian wallpaper
A brown stag on the green Georgian wallpaper
A stag on the green Georgian wallpaper

4.  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 clock in the Parlour 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. Clock winding at Greyfriars happens every Tuesday.

5.  Painted Wallhanging

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

6.  Painted Doorstops

Over 50 doorstops can be found propping open doors or forming fireplace scenes throughout Greyfriars. Elsie Matley-Moore caught wind that a Worcester foundry along the canal was ceasing production. She walked along with an empty wheelbarrrow to see what she could acquire and returned with all sorts, some of them broken and unable to stand. Many of the doorstops 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 Punch and Judy Doorstops

7.  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 tassels from lampshades on her clothes and using pieces of clothing to make curtains.

8.  Red Flock Wallpaper

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

9.  Hall Floor

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

10.  Majolica Biblical Tiles

Above our Dining Room fireplace are three rare 16th-century Italian tiles depicting biblical scenes. Installed by the Matley-Moores, the scenes are of the anointing of David, baby Moses in the basket, and the Ten Commandments.