Hampton Court, Malvern

Breakfast was still a bit chaotic with not everything being where it should be at the same time. At least we had a pot of tea for two, although sadly there were not enough teabags so it was still a rather weak brew. At least we both had a good night’s sleep, Mr C had got the heaters regulated to just the right temperature.

Fine weather was forecast so we headed off to Hampton Court, Castle and Gardens, a place I had not heard of before I picked up a leaflet whilst we were dining at the Cotford Hotel. Unusually for us we arrived at the property before it opened and were the first visitors to arrive.

Hampton Court Gardens, Malvern

Hampton Court Castle, Malvern

The gardens are stunning they include; flower gardens, herbaceous borders, kitchen garden, magnolia walk, sunken garden,Dutch garden and a yew maze. Although badged as a castle the building is more accurately a fortified manor house dating back to the 15th century. The housekeeper took us on a guided tour of the house, explaining its potted history and the various owners of the property. When the tour was over it was time for lunch which is served in the orangery. Their cakes looked so delicious that I couldn’t resist a piece of lemon and coconut cake.

Malvern Court

After lunch we finished our tour of the gardens and found that we had time on our hands so we perused the map to find somewhere suitable for the time we had available. We chose Little Malvern Court and Gardens which is a 15th century prior’s hall, home of the Berington family by descent since the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s.

When we arrived at Malvern Court we purchased tickets for the timed tour before going for a cup of tea in the courtyard tearoom. I couldn’t resist another piece of cake, this time spiced apple cake. We chose a seat looking over the severn valley, but unfortunately the wind had other ideas and blew up into a frenzy which meant that for safety reasons the doors had to be closed.

When we arrived for our guided tour, we learned that in addition to the other history of the house that it was a recusant house, a safe place for Catholics that did not wish to renounce their faith in favour of the Church of England. The house had a resident priest and a secret chapel in the eaves of the house. On our way up to the chapel we were shown black marks on the wooden beams which are thought to be marks warding off evil spirits. We were also shown an access point in the ceiling that could have been an escape route for the priests and worshipers, although it is not known where the exit led to. The chapel is accessed by staircase which is more ladder than stair. From the chapel we were shown where a landing had been cut away. The landing when intact would have connected the chapel to a spiral staircase on the opposite side of the building.

When we had returned downstairs we were shown the access to the spiral staircase, which still exists. After looking at the wall I was convinced that there would have been a secret panel in the wall concealing the staircase access.

Malvern Court

The garden with its series of monastic lakes that would have provided for the monastery were a joy to visit and very photogenic.

For our evening meal we dined in the Chase Inn which provides good honest, home cooked pub fair. After we had dined we returned to Colwall Park for a nightcap.

16 Comments CherryPie on Jun 15th 2017

16 Responses to “Colwall – Day Three”

  1. Hels says:

    I would love to see the prior’s hall at Little Malvern Court and Gardens. I knew about privatisation in church facilities, but how noteworthy that this clerical property become the home of a private family after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. And survived well.

    Even more amazing was that a post Protestant Reformation church facility would become a recusant safe-place for Catholics

    • CherryPie says:

      It is actually the other way round the priory was of the Benedictine order and the medieval priors hall was once connected to the priory by cloisters. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries the medieval hall remained in Catholic ownership (recusant families) and has passed by descent through to the current owners.

  2. Everything you post is amazing…Such beautiful garden and I know it takes a lot of work.
    Coffee is on

  3. Ginnie says:

    In between all your eating, Cherry, you do see some wonderful places. :) Seriously, it doesn’t get much better than “good honest, home cooked pub fair.”

  4. james higham says:

    “Breakfast was still a bit chaotic with not everything being where it should be at the same time.”

    What a perfect opening line for a novel.

  5. shabana says:

    marvelous place through your extraordinary pics and narration my friend

  6. Such an interesting post and wonderful photos. I have never heard of either of those two places so off to find out more :) Cakes sound delicious!!!!!

  7. Another Hampton Court?
    So different to the one we have in London!

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