Visit Madresfield Court

Madresfield Court – June 2024

On 11th June 15 members of the Civic Society visited Madresfield Court set in extensive parkland with splendid views of the Malvern Hills.

The house has never been bought or sold since records began; being first recorded in the early 12th century and passed down by inheritance through the same family. The current occupants are the 28th and 29th generation of the same family to live on the estate.

Two very personable and knowledgeable guides gave us an in-depth tour of the magnificent interior of the house which retains architectural features of the many transformations the house has undergone from moated feudal property to Tudor house with later major alterations and renovations in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Probably most notable is the Arts and Crafts work carried out in the house by contemporaries of William Morris. The Library and the chapel are considered by some to be the finest work in this style and the sheer volume of Arts and Crafts work in a single property is indeed breathtaking.

The family have been renowned collectors and there is a huge quantity of objets d’art: paintings, porcelain, furniture, an extensive library and armoury, all collected, one feels, with an inherent appreciation of each piece’s integrity and worth. The collections are furthermore a display of the political, economic and cultural influence of an English country house.

There is so much to see and to learn; a veritable history of architecture and interior design manifest in one family home, that by the end of the tour there lingers a desire to return and discover yet more. To that end I hope members may favour a return to Madresfield Court another year given that numbers for a tour of the house are strictly limited and we did have a waiting list this time.