I’ve been itching to get out and about and visit another National Trust Property after we visited Packwood House four months ago. The place I had in mind was Hanbury Hall in Worcester. It is only half an hour’s drive away for us so it was frustrating that I’d had to wait so long. I think this is why I got impulsive and went from being in my pjs at noon, to having the kids dressed fed and on our way just over an hour later.
Hanbury Hall was built by Thomas Vernon, a highly successful London lawyer, in 1710. The building is English Baroque but not like the styling of those that were built by the upper classes that had inherited their wealth. Vernon was one of the new emerging ‘red brick gentry’ who had gained his wealth by earnings. He commissioned James Thornhill to paint the walls and ceiling of his new country home with lavish mythological scenes.
The gardens were designed by royal gardener George London, thoroughly structured and rigorously preened. The orangery, walled garden, orchard and mushroom house where later added to retain sustainability.
We started our visit in the gardens, starting at the sunken parterre which is beautiful in its symmetry of plants and flowers.
We moved on to the orchard and the kid’s investigated the snob’s tunnel. Then we made our way into the walled garden which was full of fruit and vegetables. They even had a trolley load for sale and we came away with a nice selection of herbs and a few chillies.
The Orangery and Mushroom house was next. Outside the orangery there were lemon and lime trees and the most gorgeous Chrysanthemums. The kids were astounded at how dark the mushroom house was, thank goodness we had torches on our mobile phones, a candle would have been nicer though.
We made our way back to the house for a look around. I could mooch around downstairs but the sweeping staircase was too much for me so the others had to go on without me. I didn’t mind too much though, it was really nice downstairs, and I could spend a while admiring the paintings which depicted the story of Achilles.
There was lots more to explore but as we had left it so late it was getting near to closing time so we had to call it a day. I’d be happy to go back again some day though.
I’ve put all my photos together in a little video.