Moseley Old Hall, Staffordshire

The nice thing about being on holiday not too far from home, is you have time to visit other places on the way home. My plan was the NT property at Wightwick Manor, but when we got there the car park was packed. We continued driving, thinking we’d continue home, perhaps stopping somewhere en route. En route we saw a brown NT sign to Moseley Old Hall, so followed it. We were very glad we did! A nice welcome – Loo and tea room to start with. The Hall was fascinating, garden gorgeous, 2nd Hand bookshop, and I purchased a rose. Several trips were required to get everything to the car.

Henry Pitt built a half-timbered farmhouse in around 1600. He was a Catholic, and built this nice house in a rural area, not far from the main Wolverhampton Stafford road. His daughter Alice married Thomas Whitgreave, a Protestant Royalist, but she (and her children) kept their faith. After Thomas’ death, she managed the estate. The Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651 was a disaster for the Royalist forces fighting for the heir to the crown, Charles II. As the remnants of his defeated army straggled its was past the Hall, she tended to their wounds, and gave refuge to a stranger (who she later discovered was Charles himself). Alice’s son Thomas had fought at Naseby, but was ill and did not fight at Worcester, he agreed to let Charles shelter here. Charles had fled north to Whiteladies, then tried to escape west into Wales, back to Boscobel, then to Mosley. He arrived here on 7 September, and spent much of his time in what is now known as The King’s Room. There was a hiding place in the corner, which might have been very necessary. The King continued down to Bristol, disguised as the servant of Jane Lane, from a Protestant Royalist family who lived at Bentley Hall, four miles from Mosely. From here he escaped to the Continent.

Although the house is no longer half timbered, you can imagine what it felt like on the day the King arrived. The Chapel would have been less visible – too dangerous to be a Catholic, so you put everything out when you need to.

Less than an hour to get home, which means we are not very far from Moseley. Julie had a very large pile of parcels to review for, and there were no phone calls on the answermachine. That must be a first!

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