Top 10 things that make Moseley Old Hall a special house
Moseley Old Hall is the house that saved a king. It holds many intriguing items and has lots of stories to be told. Here are just 10 fascinating things that make Moseley so special.
The King's door
The back door to the house is the same door used by Charles II when he sought refuge here after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
He later described this door when he dictated his memories of his escape to Samuel Pepys.
The King's bed
This is the original four poster bed on which Charles rested fully dressed whilst at Moseley.
The hiding place
Concealed under the floor of a ‘frippery’ cupboard is the space where Charles hid when Parliamentarian soldiers came to the house.
It would have been very cramped for Charles who was over 6 feet tall, but he declared it to be 'the best place hee was ever in'.
Charles' letter to Jane Lane
In our collection we have the original letter Charles II sent to Jane thanking her for her assistance in helping him escape to France.
He was disguised as Jane’s travelling servant and rode towards Bristol. After the Restoration, Jane was rewarded with £1,000 to buy 'a jewel for herself'. This was the same sum offered for the capture of Charles whilst he was on the run.
Thomas Whitgreave's portrait
Over one of the fireplaces upstairs, is a portrait of Thomas Whitgreave who was the owner of Moseley at the time of Charles’ visit.
He later became known as ‘the Preserver’ for his part in sheltering the king.
When Charles saw it in 1651, the chapel would have looked different to today. The roof was open to the rafters and it wasn’t possible to openly worship as Catholics.
The barrel vaulted ceiling was added following the Relieving Act of 1791 which allowed Catholics greater freedom of worship.
The best view of the Knot Garden below can be seen from the attic.
We constructed it in 1962 using a 17th-century design.
From inside the attic the original Elizabethan star chimneys can be seen.
The house was constructed using a timber framework of oak beams and infilled with wattle and daub panels, but the chimneys are built in brick.
Table in the hall
The large refectory or dining table is around 400 years old. The top is not attached to the legs so that it can be turned over to the plain unpolished side to allow for the preparation and eating of food.
It is on display laid out as if it is ready for a meal to begin.
Portrait of John Huddleston
John Huddleston was a Catholic priest in the house at the time of Charles’ visit, Father Huddleston received Charles into the Catholic faith and administered the last rites to him in 1685.
Charles’ brother James is said to have remarked, 'This man who once saved your body is now come to save your soul.'