Harvington Hall

Worcestershire                                                                    Photos by Hetty

10th October 2018       Harvington Hall website – a member of Historic Houses Association

It began as a medieval house, which was enlarged in the late 1500s for a Roman Catholic family in Protestant times, and has 7 priest hides . It once had an estate of 6,000 acres. It has not been used as a family home for over 200 years, so was never modernised. By 1923 it was very neglected and in need of restoration.

Surrounding the house is a wide moat, which once a had a drawbridge

There are carp, and ducks

It had its own malt house to prepare the barley, for the brew-house near the kitchen

A farm building was made into a chapel in the 1700s, which was later used as a schoolroom

The formal herb garden

A guide showed us around and gave us an idea of life in Elizabethan times

The kitchen has 2 fireplaces and a well

A model of the house at its biggest, some was demolished a long time ago

Originally all the panelling was decorated like this door. It would have been much brighter 400 years ago

The main staircase, with a painted shadow staircase and decorated wall

In the Elizabethan nursery – a crib and baby walker. They did not encourage crawling, as the floor would have been covered with straw, with its wildlife. The straw (= thresh) would have been 5 inches deep, so needed a deep threshold to contain it in the room – that’s why you have high thresholds for the rooms of ancient houses

400 year old wall paintings

Many floors slope a lot

This fireplace has no chimney – it leads to priest hides above. We saw where various other hides were secreted – all very small, dark and unpleasant places for priests to stay for days on end if necessary, while the house was being searched


A very interesting house


All images on the website copyright of HettyHikes.co.uk

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