Charlecote Park, overlooking the river Avon, is the site of a wonderful hall – Tudor in origin, though with plenty of Victorian additions – which, not too far a distance from Birmingham, is certainly worth a visit.
The Lucy dynasty, who still lives on-site today, was founded around a hundred years after the Norman Conquest and the house in Charlecote, Warwickshire, was built in the sixteenth century (the gatehouse, which I was lucky enough to enter on my visit last week, remains unaltered).
Inside the house – largely Victorian in design – are a number of interesting collections: of art, as is the standard in such homes; books (most of which were ordered to fill empty shelves, according to the guide!), displayed in a glorious library – some rarities among them; and, indeed, a number of historical documents, one signed by Oliver Cromwell.
As indicated above, the park is rich with history. Rather humorously, however, this was only taken under the care of the National Trust in 1946 because of the (most probably false) claim that William Shakespeare had poached deer in the parkland surrounding the house.
Talking of deer, after seeing these stroll along the greens, one can (and should) meander from pasture to platter to enjoy a lovely serving of venison stew in the café on site.
Housing also an old brewery – the former workers in which were apparently paid roughly eight pints of beer a day! – and a collection of carriages; there is plenty for all to see.
Find more on Charlecote Park here.