Discover the collection at Greyfriars

Built c.1490, Greyfriars is bursting at its timber-frames with stories, character and history. Each item in the eclectic and ageing collection tells a tale of an interesting past. Here's a taster of our top ten items, many of which have been salvaged and restored by Elsie and Matley Moore - two unusual siblings whose dedication to Greyfriars has secured its place in Worcester's heritage.

1.  Leather Screen

The rustic brown and cream leather that makes up the screen in the hall started out as a wall hanging from a house by Worcester Cathedral. This 17th-century Spanish leather hanging was rescued by Matley Moore in the 1930s. Matley chopped it up and made the screen and two small chests.

2.  Rescued Brass Plaque

The rectangular brass plaque above one of the bookcases in the library commemorates George Street, the owner of Greyfriars in the 1600s. This plaque once resided in St Andrew's Church in Worcester. The church was demolished in the mid-20th century and the plaque brought to Greyfriars because of its association with the Street family.

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

3.  Green Georgian Wallpaper

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

4.  The Ticking Clocks

We have six working clocks throughout the house, 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 c1680 and 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.

Library clock at Greyfriars
Library Clock
Library clock at Greyfriars

5.  Painted Cloth

In the garden you'll find the summer house, where you will see Elsie's unique, painted cloth wall hanging. 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 all over Greyfriars. Elsie caught wind that a Worcester foundry by the canal was ceasing production. With an empty wheelbarrrow, she went along to the foundry to see what she could acquire. She returned to Greyfriars with all sorts, some of them broken and unable to stand, the highlight being the Punch and Judy now on display in the bedroom. Many of the doorstops she painted in we've come to believe were her favourite colours red, green and gold.

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 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 existence, with the other most notable piece at the V&A.

9.  Hall Floor

The Georgian stone floor in the hall was rescued by Matley and Elsie from Wychbold Hall near Droitwich. Wychbold Hall was subsiding due to the salt mines underneath and was consequently demolished. In 2016, our floor was given some much needed restoration and care, 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. The scenes are of the Anointing of David, baby Moses in the basket, and the Ten Commandments. The tiles were a gift to Elsie from her mother, Florence.

Greyfriars Parlour Cartoon

There are no barriers at Greyfriars  

Greyfriars is excited to be involved in a project called 'Hands On or Hands Off?' exploring new ways to convey our conservation messages.