View Full Version : Witley Court, Worcestershire Feb '09 ARCHIVED

24-02-2009, 10:15 PM
Sometimes I think I'm pretty alone in my love for ruined buildings and abandoned places. Then I visit places like this and realise of course i'm not. Whether it's the great artists painting falling down abbeys after Henry VIII's burning spree, or kids playing in the bombed buildings of our cities after the war, large numbers of us are attracted to them. Today, I'm visiting Witley Court with my parents, and my kids.
If i'd visited in 1880, this is what I would have seen.

However, it's February 2009, and this is what I saw.

Witley Court is one of the finest ruined country houses in Britain today. It was built by Thomas Foley in 1655 on the site of a former manor house near Great Witley.

Subsequent additions were designed by John Nash in the early 1800s and the Court was subsequently bought by the Dudley family in 1837.

In the September of 1937, whilst the house was owned by a Kidderminster carpet manufacturer Sir Herbert Smith, a fire started in the ballroom. These are the ballroom windows. I love the remains of a shutter upstairs.

Although causing a lot of damage, some of the house survived. In one of the two towers, you can see where a staircase used to be.

The following year, the house was divided up into auctioned lots and sold off to demolition contractors and timber merchants. On some of the walls are the remains of what would have once been fantastic plasterwork.

It remained derelict until the 1970's and is now under the watchful eye of English Heritage. My favourite shot of the day of person on a mobile phone silhouetted in the doorway.

I love these ruined country homes. I can't believe so many of them were pulled down in the 1950's

Can you imagine the cool parties that people must have had amongst the ruins in the 1960's, when it was totally derelict?

I would love to live in a house that has an orangery.

I love the colour of the sky on these. Sadly I had left the camera on ISO 800 the night before, and although the grain count is high on these snaps, at least the colours are cool.

Work has been done to restore the gardens after they were left to go to seed in the 1920's


Underneath the house is where the secrets are. The bulters pantry, the kitchens and sculleries are still there. This was the best I could do today. If only...

Outside is this strange tree. That is mistletoe growing like that, a common sight in Worcestershire.

This made a really nice change from scrubbing around in rat infested, nasty places full of needles. Todays challenge was probably much, much harder than usual; trying to take pictures while being repeatedly booted in the stomach by a two year old who won't walk properly.
Still, a great place to visit.