Friday 16 January 2015

Witley Court & Gardens

The vast remains of this palatial 19th century mansion, surrounded by magnificent landscaped gardens & containing huge stone fountains, provide a great day out in Worcestershire. The largest fountain, representing Perseus and Andromeda and now restored - was described in its day as making the 'noise of an express train' when fired.
Before 1846, when William Humble Ward (later first Earl of Dudley) inherited Witley Court, the land surrounding the house was laid out in the 18th century English landscape style. William Andrews Nesfield was called in to transform the estate, creating the South Parterre with its great fountain, elegantly designed planting and clipped evergreens and shrubs.
Following the disastrous fire in 1937 the Witley Estate fell into long decline. English Heritage has restored the south garden and in addition, Wolfson Foundation funding has assisted with major restoration works in the East Parterre garden. This funding has also enabled us to plan development of the formal gardens based on the original Nesfield designs. The Woodland Walks in the North Park pass many different species of tree and shrub from all over the world.
Attached to Witley Court is Great Witley Church, with its amazing Italianate Baroque interior (not managed by English Heritage). The church has a tearoom, and Witley Court has a superb gift shop.
The restored Perseus and Andromeda fountain, with its original high cascades operating, will be firing between April and October on weekdays at 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm and at weekends on the hour every hour from 11am to 4pm.