Saturday, 28 January 2017

Hanbury Hall - what a difference a week makes

We visit Hanbury Hall a lot. 

Since New Year I think we have been 3 times.  It is our nearest National Trust property and our go-to when we need a stroll around and haven't much time.

One foggy Sunday a couple of weeks ago, we decided to stay local.  Picnic bag packed, we drove off into the fog for a Worcestershire walk.

Hanbury is usually extremely busy, however, the fog appeared to be putting people off, Good!  We enjoy wandering around as if we own the place!

Yep, lord and lady of the manor, if you please.

Hanbury Hall was built in the early 18th century by wealthy lawyer Thomas Vernon, the Vernon family were already a prominent and well established Worcestershire family.  Thomas inherited the land and previous house, Spernall Hall, from his childless uncle.

 Hanbury is built in the Queen Anne style and is grade 1 listed. It has been in the care of the National Trust since the 1960's.

As Hanbury is so close, we've never really delved into the history of the place, we often go to wander around the grounds and not the house.

Mistletoe growing on a host tree

In Summer this is a lovely place to sit, shaded by trees

The money tree, for some reason this one tree has hundreds of coins hammered into the bark and splits in the wood, we have added a coin ourselves

The orchard looks quite haunting in the fog 

The huge orangery, home to many citrus trees

 Peeking through the steamed up windows, I spotted the potted orange and lemon trees, sheltering from the Winter

A video playing on a loop in the long gallery provided this image of the orangery in Summer, with all the trees out enjoying the weather
The parterre, as viewed from the long gallery steps, dramatic in Winter and very colourful in Summer

The whole parterre can be seen on this aerial shot, again from the video playing in the long gallery (visible here at top left)

Robin sitting atop the ashpans (outside loos)

One of my favourite gateways, returning the following week we were surprised to see it had been taken, or fallen, down.

Onwards to Hanbury church, a short drive or long walk away.

On a clear day there is a fabulous view from the graveyard, today it was just atmospheric

The church has some beautiful ironwork on the doors, as well as lovely architectural details

 The following week I took just a couple of photos at Hanbury, the weather was rather different

Back to real life, and we still have lots to do on the cottage, new light fittings upstairs, several new radiators, a bathroom refit, new extractor fan, oh, and ten new windows, we are currently drowning in condensation in some rooms!

The rental is pootling along and the tenants are sensible adults, they have relative free reign to live in the house as they see fit, they can redecorate if they wish, too. We all had a nasty shock when, not long after they moved in last Autumn, the sewers proved incapable of taking the waste from a bigger household than one person.  Thankfully I had taken out proper landlord insurance, and the insurers have just completed works to line and replace the sewers to the back of the house, with minimal disruption to the tenants.

I've had a couple of charity shop buys this week, I seem to be obsessed with toiletries at the mo, so swooped on this Grace and Cole shower gel for 50p.  I understand it is quite expensive (that's more than a pound to me) and sold in House of Fraser stores.

Finally, I thought this was a great find, until I got it home.  An Aquascutum skirt, found lurking at the back of a new local charity shop for just £1.95

The label had been removed and I only noticed the hanging loops which identified the brand, excitement got the better of me and I paid and dashed home with my booty.  I soon found some stains and several moth holes around the hem, not surprising as the fabric is approx 75% wool and 25% silk, according to the care label which is still attached, hidden between the skirt and lining.  

So, I have cut off the bottom 4 inches or so and will be altering the skirt length and back split soon.  Spot cleaning showed that the fabric can take soapy water so I might just try a hand wash as well.

Every cloud and all that !!

Have you had any charity shop disasters recently?


  1. Hanbury Hall is my 'local' too and I love the walk to the church - especially on a clear day. Have you tried the longer loop down the lane to the canal, along the tow path then back into the park across a couple of fields? It's lovely! Jx

  2. Wish I had a NT property like Hanbury Hall nearby! It's gorgeous and so are the foggy photographs, including the spooky churchyard. How interesting is that mysterious money tree. There must be some kind of legend attached to it. xxx

    1. I will have to find out about the tree, Ann. Hope it's a good story! xxx

  3. Hurrah for landlord insurance!! I'm glad it paid for your renovations. Goodness you are clever to identify the Aquascutum skirt by the hanging loops. Good for you for being resourceful and altering it! Most of my charity shop fails are bits of china which have cracks and chips which I don't notice until too late.

    happy thrifting ;)

    1. I'm thankful every day for that insurance policy! Annoying about the chipped china, grrr! xx

  4. I would pop the skirt in the freezer overnight before hand washing, just to be sure of getting rid of any pesky moth eggs that may still be in it. It's a great colour though - very versatile!

    1. Ooh, never thought of freezing it, thanks, Sally! I hope the bubbles from the Stergene wash have suffocated any bugs! xx

  5. Love the misty atmospheric shots of Hanbury Hall. The parterre is stunning! Great shot also of the dear little robin. Hope you can save the Aquascutum skirt, even with holes and stains it was still not a bad price.

    1. I can't resist a robin shot! Skirt is saved (hurrah!) just needs an iron. xx

  6. I hope you can save the lovely Aquascutum skirt- that was a real bargain...if!!!!
    Wow that place looks sooooo different in the fog and sun! I love the view of the gardens from above!xx

    1. Skirt sorted now, Kezzie, will have to remember to report back xxx

  7. The fog certainly made for some superb atmospheric shots of Hanbury Hall and its interesting gardens. Glad your insurance has come to the party and all is well. Good luck with the skirt , hope it pans out as it is a great classic number.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Jill, all sorted thank goodness! xx


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