In August I took a trip to visit Croome Court, a National Trust property in Worcestershire. Price of admission was £8 for adults and I’ll say upfront that you absolutely get your money’s worth. The gardens open at 10am with the home opening an hour later (during the summer – times may vary). We’d arrived just after 10am and there were already cars in the parking lot; when we left nearly four hours later it was overflowing – clearly a very popular venue.
The Court and grounds are currently being restored, and when we were there much of the Court was swathed in scaffolding, thanks to more than £5 million being donated from various organisations, including the National Lottery. As the grounds are restored, “lost” monuments are being rediscovered once undergrowth has been cut back.
As we did the grounds first, then the Court, our first stop was the Church of St Mary Magdalene. Although a church was in Croome from around 1283 the present church, designed with Capability Brown and Robert Adam, was consecrated in 1763 and is now looked after by The Churches Conservation Trust.
It’s actually a really lovely church, sat amongst trees but with a clear view of the Court and surroundings. It was also in use when we arrived by a visiting family of bell-ringers who had received permission to ring the bells that morning, which added nicely to the atmosphere.
I was particularly struck by the memorials to various members of the Coventry family, who originally owned the Court. The one below is for Thomas, 1st Lord Coventry who died in 1639. He rests under a canopy with Justice and Virtue on either side.
There are no stained glass windows in the church but designs for them do exist, suggesting they had been planned at one time. There is a small cemetery nearby and a little further away is a bird hide through which we were able to see, though not take photographs of, a variety or birds (dirty plastic windows made photos impossible). Just past that there is an 18th century Ice House, which the National Trust has restored, as below.
From here we proceeded into the grounds and to the Court itself – posts on those visits to follow.