Visiting the house at Packwood
Explore the house at Packwood, where salvaged objects and exotic pieces come together in a Jacobean-meets-Edwardian style. During your visit, you'll wander through several meticulously furnished rooms, including the homely Drawing Room and the Great Hall, which was once a cow barn. The collection at Packwood House includes sixteenth century tapestries, technicolour stained-glass, and a teacup fit for a Queen.
Join us until the 26th of November when one of our volunteers will be giving specialist 30 to 45-minute taster talks delving deeper into the objects and stories of Packwood House including the tapestries, stained glass, paintings and people of Packwood. Spaces for these talks are limited, simply ask at Reception on the day you visit for details of which talks are running that day and to grab a ticket.
A house transformed
The house at Packwood was first built around 1570 by the Fetherston family. Over the following 370 years, it was extended and restored to create the Tudor-style manor house you see today.
It was gifted to the National Trust in 1941 by Graham Baron Ash, a local man whose wealth enabled him to transform the house into his dream Tudor home in the early twentieth century. The rooms you can see today reflect his love of tradition, collecting, conserving and entertaining. Look out for the star items in each room.
Exploring the ground floor
The Birmingham Door and Inner Hall
There are two entrances for visitors to Packwood House: the 'Birmingham Door', so called because it was used by Baron Ash when he travelled to Birmingham, and the 'Leamington Door', for travelling to Leamington. You will enter through the Leamington Door, and a volunteer will welcome you before you go on to explore the Inner Hall, which was originally the entrance room in the Fetherston era.
The Drawing Room
The Drawing Room was created by adding a partition wall to make two separate rooms and was originally part of the Inner Hall. The fireplace is in the corner of the room because of this alteration. The room was likely used by Baron Ash for relaxing and entertaining.
Some of the collection items in the Drawing Room highlight one of Baron Ash’s proudest moments as owner of Packwood, Queen Mary's visit in 1927. The teacup, pen and chair she used while visiting are memorialised in this room, a lasting reminder of a very special visit.
The Dining Room
The Dining Room was used for ‘posh’ dinners according to Baron Ash’s sister, Beryl, who also remarked how the room felt haunted. The six pieces of silver which sit on the two chests commemorate Baron Ash’s time as Sheriff of Warwickshire, a position he proudly held in 1938.
The Entrance Hall
The Entrance Hall was extensively remodelled by Baron Ash, from an open galleried-staircase space to a more Tudor-style hall, with a magnificent double height window. An archive photograph on display shows how the room looked in 1921 before its renovations.
The Long Gallery
The Long Gallery is a deceiving space. From the inside it appears authentically Tudor, with its tapestry-adorned walls and beautiful wooden flooring. However, this space was built in the 1930s by Baron Ash to connect the Entrance Hall in the main house to the lone Great Hall. The tapestries in this room are just some of the 26 tapestries in the collection, and include the first one Baron Ash purchased, ‘Verdure with Two Chickens’, found in a cathedral in Tournai during his service in the First World War.
The Great Hall
Once a cow barn, the Great Hall is the epitome of Baron Ash’s transformation of Packwood. He began restoring the space in the 1920s. A room used for entertaining guests, this is where Queen Mary took her tea in 1927 and where Prince George Chavchavadze gave a spinet recital in 1931. This spinet now sits in the Drawing Room. Dominating the room is a great seventeenth century oak table, bought by Baron Ash from Baddesley Clinton, a neighbouring National Trust property.
Take your time to wander around the house, the friendly volunteers are there to share the stories of Packwood with you.
Exploring the first floor
Queen Margaret's Bedroom
Baron Ash named this room after the bed, which is said to have been slept in by Queen Margaret of Anjou, the wife of Henry VI, before the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471 (when the bed was at Owlpen Manor in Gloucestershire). The Lookout Room next door was formerly the bathroom to Queen Margaret's bedroom next door. Baron Ash removed the fittings and took them to Wingfield Castle, where he moved to after leaving Packwood.
Queen Mary's Bedroom
Queen Mary used this bedroom when she visited the house in 1927. Baron Ash was so thrilled at her visit, that a brass plaque was made and put up here.
The Ireton Bathroom
Baron Ash converted this into a bathroom in the late 1920s - it is incredibly luxurious, with beautiful antique Delft tiles. All the other bathrooms in the house have these taps and lion's heads.
We hope you enjoy exploring the house here at Packwood, if you'd like to know more detail guidebooks can be purchased from the shop
Highlights of the collection
Stained glass windows
Almost every window at Packwood House has a panel of stained glass. There are a number of unusual ones, including an example from the early seventeenth century in the north window of the Long Gallery that depicts a ship. There are not many examples like this known in the world.
There are many fascinating items to see at Packwood House. Alongside its famous tapestries, there is exquisite painted stained glass dating from the sixteenth century, a whole 1930s bathroom lined with old delft tiles, and much more.
Delve into Packwood’s past and find out about how one man’s vision transformed a Georgian and Victorian style house into the perfect country house of Old England that we see today.
Find out more about what it takes to care for and conserve the collection and over 400 years of history at Packwood.
Explore Packwood’s garden and its seasonal delights. Flamboyant flower borders in a ‘mingled’ style, magnificent yew trees and a bountiful kitchen garden all wait to be discovered.
Find out more about volunteering at Packwood and how you can join the team and play your part in keeping Baron Ash’s vision of an English country estate alive.
From winding paths through woodland to wide open spaces, Packwood is the perfect place for a family day out in the great outdoors.
Historic buildings are a treasure trove of stories, art and collections. Learn more about what makes these places so special and plan your visit.