Built: 1600 (original date unknown)
Location: Wolverhampton WV10 7HY
History: Moseley Old Hall is a historic Elizabethan timber-framed house that provided a hiding place for Charles II during his escape following the Battle of Worcester in 1651. When Charles was fleeing from Parliamentary troops after the Battle, he sought refuge at Moseley Hall. Visitors can see the bed in which the fugitive prince slept and see an exhibit covering his eventful escape to freedom overseas.
The three-storey timber house was built in 1600 but was later remodelled with brick cladding covering the timber beams, so that at first glance you do not get any sense of the building’s true age. It stands within an attractive garden which has been renovated to appear as it was in the mid 17th century when King Charles was here, including a knot-garden and nut walk.
The interiors are richly panelled, but the panelling conceals several hiding places meant to conceal priests in that time of religious turmoil. Charles spent a cramped night within one of these priest’s holes.
Review: Luke and I visited Moseley Old Hall on a Saturday (the same day we explored Wightwick Manor) and we did not know what to expect at all!
The house is a little walk away from the car park, but the good news is that there is ample parking space.
There are two pathways you can take, one goes through the wooded area and is a little bit bumpy. So people with wheelchairs, or pushchairs would be better to go the other way.
Once you go in through the gift shop, you’ll come out and see this farm building.
We noticed that there were people inside but we weren’t sure if it was an event or something, and we didn’t want to intrude. Maybe if we return we’ll have a look and see if there is anything of interest.
The main house isn’t far from here though and I have to say the building was not what we expected and when you go inside it’s a total surprise!
This house dates from the 16th century and is a fascinating property to visit.
It is famous for its connection to the fleeing Charles I and is jammed packed with artifacts from the time of time of the civil war.
It’s not a grand house but it is a very homely farmhouse with a fire lit in the kitchen and tables set for dinner.
The large refectory or dining table is around 400 years old. The top is not attached to the legs so that it can be turned over to the plain unpolished side to allow for the preparation and eating of food. It is on display laid out as if it is ready for a meal to begin.
Guides take you round and they are so very knowledgable and interesting. There was one guide upstairs, and I wish I could remember his name because he was fantastic.
He knew so much history about the place and got us all to sit down in one room and he gave us a great little history lesson.
We learned how the road behind the house would have been the main road to London. How salt showed how important a person was.
How the word uppercrust (as in a person’s status) alluded to the choicest part of a pie or loaf of bread – the top part of the bread/pie is the best bit. And the lowercrust is the burnt bit that would have been given to the poor people.
He was enthusiastic and knew how to keep a crowd engaged. If he was my history teacher, class would have been absolutely perfect.
We unfortunately couldn’t go up to the top floor though, where the attic is. As this was closed as there were bats occupying it or something.
Luckily since this isn’t too far from home, I know when things are safe me and Luke will come back to explore the attic. The attic is actually a chapel, so that would be pretty fascinating to explore.
Regarding the attic though, we learned that when Charles saw it in 1651, the chapel would have looked different to today. The roof was open to the rafters and it wasn’t possible to openly worship as Catholics.
The barrel vaulted ceiling was added following the Relieving Act of 1791 which allowed Catholics greater freedom of worship.
You can at least explore the second floor.
This is the picture of the King’s Bed – this is the original four poster bed on which Charles rested fully dressed whilst at Moseley. I mean how cool is that?
There are loads of fascinating things about this place, something which I wasn’t expecting. But you can read more about that on the National Trust website.
I would love to go back, the staff were so friendly and they knew so much history about this place. They wanted to tell us all they could and I loved that.
I love places were the people want to engage with you.
Once you’ve finished with the house, you’ve got the gardens to explore as well. Now me and Luke didn’t explore all the garden, as one part of it was closed. But there is the Knot Garden that you explore as well.
And apparently the best view of this garden is from the attic (but again, we didn’t get to go in the attic when we went).
So clearly there is still plenty more for us to see, which is a perfect excuse for us to come back!
I know that this isn’t a grand stately home, or a huge castle. But this place was actually a really nice surprise. There is so much history at this place, so much to learn and see. It’s a great place to go explore.
And I love that this place actually surprised me, and I enjoyed it. Clearly I don’t always have to go to a big, elaborate place. Something like this is just as good, if not better.