I originally hadn’t intended to visit Greyfriars House and Garden on my most recent trip to Worcester, but the Museum of Royal Worcester, whilst excellent, didn’t take as long to go around as I’d anticipated, so I found myself with a couple of hours to spare. Greyfriars House is a National Trust property that is really nestled away in the heart of Worcester’s Friar Street, a street which still retains much of its medieval appearance. (Tudor House, which I visited previously, is on the same street).
I’ll start by saying that the guides were exceptionally well-informed and answered my brief questions with a great deal of enthusiasm. But the building does only contain a few rooms, and to have a guide in each one bursting to answer questions I hadn’t thought to ask, never mind articulated, did become slightly tiresome given I was the only visitor at the time. Even I can only ignore people staring holes in my head as I take photographs so long before I get uncomfortable enough to rush through a visit instead of taking my time.
However, that minor issue aside, the history of the house itself was very interesting. It was built around 1480, and the name Greyfriars originates from the Franciscan Friary which was once nearby, though the house didn’t actually have any connection to the Friars other than locality.
The house has quite a convoluted history, passing through many owners until it eventually began to fall into disrepair. This is when Mr Matley Moore and his sister Elsie stepped in, offering to restore the house provided they could live in it. They arranged for the National Trust to take over the house in 1966 as well as the buildings opposite, which they had also restored.
Although none of the furniture is original to the house, the Moore’s ensured that each piece seamlessly fit with the feel of it, scoured from car boots, fairs and exhibitions from all over the country. This screen for example was made for the Moore’s from 17th century leather wall-hangings found in a house near Worcester Cathedral.
I did rather like the bedroom too, which belonged to Mr Moore. The bed is 17th century with 20th century fabric.
My favourite aspect though has to be the rather lovely garden.
The Moore’s were responsible for the layout of the garden and choosing the shrubs and trees. It contains a very nice Summer House, which really cancels out the nearby traffic noise, as well as a small water feature.
As a whole it is well worth a visit, particularly if like me you think Worcester’s medieval streets are among its best features.
You can find more photos at my flickr here.