A tale of three houses
The original residence was indeed a moated Tudor house, situated on the north bank of the Garden Pool. It was home first to the Lyttleton family and then to the Sheldon family, before wealthy wool merchant and banker, Rowland Berkeley, bought the Estate in 1605.
Rowland passed the Spetchley Estate to his son, Sir Robert Berkeley, a judge in the reign of Charles I, but disaster struck just prior to the Battle of Worcester in 1651 when, in spite of Sir Robert’s Royalist sympathies, a disgruntled band of Scottish Presbyterians, themselves Royalists, succeeded in burning the family home to the ground, ostensibly to prevent Cromwell from using the house as his headquarters.
Sir Robert then converted the stables which became the main residence at Spetchley until the present house, constructed of Bath Stone in the Palladian Style, was built in 1811.
Edward Elgar was a family friend of the Berkeley's and stayed at the Gardener’s Cottage on occasion. He enjoyed fishing and would go out on a rowing boat on the lake. The sound of the wind blowing through the pine trees at Spetchley is mentioned in the Dream of Gerontius.
WW2 - Spetchley Park was to have been used by Winston Churchill and the Cabinet during WW2 should London become too dangerous for them to stay there. Although never needed for this purpose, the USAAF 8th Air Force used Spetchley Park as a recuperation centre for their pilots during the war.
Come and discover some of the history of these gardens for yourself. The house is not open to visitors but teas and light refreshments are available in the Old Laundry Tea Room. Coach parties are welcome and guided tours are available, both by prior arrangement. Disabled toilet facilities are available. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the environment, wheelchair access is limited.
SO 896539 52.18402 -2.15322
Leave M5 at J7. Take A44 signposted Evesham/Worcester South. Go straight over 1st roundabout (A44), right at the 2nd roundabout (A44) and right at the 3rd roundabout Evesham to Stratford (A44). Shortly after crossing M5 you will pass under a white footbridge; the entrance to the gardens is 100 yards past this on the right hand side.
: 3 miles from Worcester Shrub Hill station
- Baby changing facilities
- Coach parties accepted
- Credit cards accepted (no fee)
- Disabled access
- Disabled toilets
- Education/study area
- Facilities for groups
- Facilities for educational visits
- Gift shop
- On-site catering
- On-site light refreshments
- Public toilets
- Welcome Host
- Wheelchairs available
- Accepts groups
- Facilities for conferencing
- Facilities for corporate hospitality
- Helicopter landing
- Children welcome
- Disabled access
- Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)