Houses of Interest: Staffordshire

The continuing ECW Travelogue miniseries looking at houses/churches and places that have a Civil-War-connection-but-not-tied-to-a-bigger-event continues, this time focusing on Staffordshire. For some reason, rather than looking at the bit of Staffs that is a hop skip and a jump from Château KeepYourPowderDry I've started with the corner of Staffs that is furthest away.

The first entries look at the escape of Charles II after the Battle of Worcester.

First up is Moseley Old Hall on the outskirts of Wolverhampton, and is cared for by the National Trust. Moseley bills itself as "the home that saved a king" - considering the number of close calls that Charles had during his escape, this isn't really the unique selling point that you might expect it to be. I do wonder how many other houses, along the Monarch's Way could also make that claim?

Built about 1600, the National Trust have recreated a seventeenth century garden on the estate. A rather splendid knot garden being the highlight.

Moseley's role in Charles's escape: Charles is supposed to have turned up at the back door in the early morning of the 8th of September (a problem shared here at Château KeepYourPowderDry, errant royals turning up at all hours is a real nuisance): cold, wet and disguised as a workman. The Whitgreave's gave him a change of clothes, bathed and bandaged his bleeding feet (caused by ill fitting shoes) and fed him.

Parliamentarian troops came looking for Charles later that day, so the family hid Charles in a priest hole.


Thankfully, for Charles, the priest hole didn't have electric lighting as it would have been a dead giveaway

Once the troops had left, Charles was able to come out of hiding, staying at the house for two days before continuing his journey.

For a change, Charles was able to sleep in a bed - this bed in fact.

A young Charles II, he didn't particularly like this portrait

An even younger Charles II and his mother

What's there today?
There are a number of interesting portraits, other than the many of the royal family.

Charles disguised himself as a groomsman to Jane Lane. She facilitated his escape to Bristol, as she had a document allowing her passage to the port. Jane later had to flee to France when her involvement in Charles's escape became known.

A note of thanks from Charles II to Jane for her help in his escape, dated 1652. Later she would be awarded a £1000 pension and a further £1000 to buy a jewel.

Colonel Thomas Lane, Jane's brother, who was instrumental in helping Charles escape Worcester

One of the many Royal Oak images in the Hall

A morion and cuirass

Proclamation requesting information leading to the arrest of Charls Stuart and other Traytors

I liked it here, very atmospheric; well worth a visit.

Northycote Farm is a few miles away from Moseley Old Hall, and is run by the City of Wolverhampton. A Tudor farm 'steeped in history' it is free to visit, and is located on the Monarch's Way, a 615 mile long distance trail based upon the route taken by Charles II when he fled for France after the Battle of Worcester. For those slightly less ambitious with their walking there is a 3 mile trail connecting Moseley Old Hall with Northycote.

What's there today?
Sadly the Farm is vacant, however there is a cafe on the site that does rather good bacon butties (ample reward for walking there from Old Hall). It does look very pretty though.

Postcodes for SatNavs
Moseley Old Hall, Wolverhampton WV10 7HY
Northycote farm, Wolverhampton WV10 7JF


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