Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Perfectly Christmassy Packwood

We've been members of the National Trust for almost five years now, and all that time ago our first visits were to Baddesley Clinton and Packwood House.  We generally visit the two together as they are quite close to us and are only about a mile apart. 

Original front of Packwood House

Over the past few years we've visited more times than I care to think. We are recognised by the regular volunteers and have a chit chat with them about all sorts.

 As we know some volunteers and find them all friendly I find that asking a cheeky question sometimes gets an interesting response.  At Packwood, the original front door has quite a large keyhole, so my obvious question was "bet there's a massive key to fit that" I never thought for one moment it would have a massive key, and as the door is never used I assumed the key was long gone.  

Original front door, no longer used

Through the keyhole

No it isn't, it's still in use and hidden in the hallway. If you visit, do ask if you can see, it's a really, really large key!

Packwood always delights at Christmas though and this year was no exception, tastefully decorated trees in most rooms, and although the upstairs was cordoned off, the visit was still magical.

The hallway, complete with minstrel's gallery, and a real fire to warm yourself by

Apart from traditional trees in all the usual family rooms,the house this year was dressed with Christmas trees made of lampshade frames decorated with old maps and pictures, some having cutouts to let more light through, they were very effective.

These in the long gallery were taller than me

The hall, with its high ceiling, was adorned with smaller versions of the trees, all laid out on the very long refectory dining table.

Close up reveals wallpaper, maps and pictures, all stitched together

As a parts of the house were converted from outbuildings and added to by the previous owner, Graham Baron Ash, less than 100 years ago in keeping with the original style, it is easy to forget that the house dates back to Tudor times. The original hallway, now at the back of the house from the main entrance, is smaller and more in keeping with private properties of that era.

Looking both ways from the hall, both rooms are dressed for Christmas

Back towards the front of the house, where dinner is always about to be served in the dining room, note the flowers in the centre of the table which are made of newspaper 

 A quick tour of the grounds, which again are mostly closed off due to weather and to protect them from the heavy footfall of visitors.

A large wobbly yew hedge borders the yew garden

The view back to the house is stunning

When we first came to Packwood, they were about to start building the new visitor reception and cafe.  It has been completed for a few years now and we often treat ourselves to a cream tea, if it isn't too busy.

Special tiles were commissioned from fired Earth for the cafe and toilets, they have designs of all the things we love about Packwood

 More info about Packwood on Wikipedia here

National Trust Packwood page here

For an excellent potted history through the eyes of a first time visitor visit vintage Vixen's blog here

See you soon for another country house tour! 


  1. I have to go back and read Vix post-is it same house she toured? Napkins looked familiar. What a splendid day.

    1. Hi Sam, it is indeed the same house and the same day I believe, she was there in the morning, we got there pretty late in the afternoon as we were in Baddesley Clinton for ages xx

  2. Packwood certainly does Christmas well , the decorations are wonderful especially the trees made from lampshade frames , so clever.Thankyou for the country house tours, they give me ideas if ever a chance to visit again should arise. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

    1. Hi Jill, and thanks for commenting, so pleased you are enjoying the tours, we love going out and exploring these places xx

  3. Yay! Thanks for the mention.
    I loved those lampshades, I'm inspired to make some next year. I'm definitely going to ask the volunteers about the key when we go back.
    Have you seen the vacancy at Packwood? It's only one Monday evry fortnight, you'd be brilliant! x

    1. Hi Vix, I have a bit of an old key obsession and it's a huge weighty thing, wouldn't fit in a modern handbag! Not seen the vacancy, we've been asked to volunteer at Baddesley though, we are there so often! xx

  4. How lucky you are to live near such amazing properties! I'm sure I would visit all the time. And what a coincidence that Vix visited the same property at around the same time. Fancy, you could have bumped into each other! The house looks very inviting, decorated from Christmas. And how lovely are those Fired Earth tiles! We are forever making conversation with the volunteers when we visit NT properties. We've only to mention we're from Belgium and we almost get special treatment ... xxx

    1. Hi Ann, yes, once we started scratching the surface it's amazing how many places there are to visit, we are surrounded! xx


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