Packwood House is situated in Solihul near Lapworth in Warwickshire, it is a tudor mansion that has origins of the 15th century. History discovered by the National Trust shows that the house was built in the late 16th Century for a John Fetherston, who was a prosperous Warwickshire farmer.
Packwood has tall Tudor chimneys with a half-timbered structure that has been gradually filled in with brick and rendered over. The adjacent brick stable-block was added by a member of the Fetherston family later on in the 1670s. The Fetherston family has ties to the Civil War, they were also said to be involved on both sides.
However, Packwood house fell into decay until it was acquired in 1905 by a metals manufacturer and racehorse-owner, Alfred Ash. His grandson, Graham, Baron Ash, gave it to the National Trust with its contents, some of which came from Baddesley Clinton (National Trust) before its donation to the Trust in 1941.
Between 1924 and 1932 Graham Baron Ash transformed Packwood, he wanted to rid the old house of any trace of its Georgian and Victorian inheritance. He bought many original items of furniture, tapestries, pictures, fabrics and fixtures in the 1920s and 30s to recapture the original 17th century style of a Tudor manor house.
It was said that Baron Ash created his own little world at Packwood, he encompassed himself in nostalgia, creating a sepia-tinted world, he was said to have thrown great parties for the county and the house became a stage where he could live out his own country house hospitality.
Packwood House was the perfect place where he could live the life of an English country gentleman and where many came to enjoy his primly perfect version of country house hospitality.
Packwood is also home to a wonderful kitchen garden and a Yew Tree Garden, both are steeped in history. According to legend the yew trees at Packwood represent the ‘Sermon on the Mount’, they are over 350 years old. However, the Yew Trees are very fragile and sometimes have to be closed to protect them, sadly the garden was closed when we arrived to visit the House.
The original gardens at Packwood were laid out in the mid 17th Century, the National Trust believe that the Yew Trees were originally planted in the 1650s and generations of children have enjoyed playing hide and seek among them.
The kitchen gardens at National Trust homes are one of my favourite things to see, it often gives me inspiration for my own house one day. Especially, how the gardeners plant all of the vegetables and herbs, everything is so precise, it’s just wonderful to see. In the kitchen garden at Packwood, there was a well in the middle of the garden with vegetable patches all the way around it.
Packwood house is an unusual house, with the gardens and the entrance on one side of the road and the house and surrounding parkland on the other. If you are ever in Warwickshire near Lapworth, I’d definitely recommend visiting it, I hope you enjoyed, let me know what you think in the comments.
Great location! I need to start using my Trust membership.
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