Spetchley Park Gardens – History

Spetchley Park Gardens, Spetchley, Worcestershire, WR5 1RS

A beautiful 30 acre garden for all tastes and ages offering one of the largest private collections of plants outside the major botanical gardens. Enjoy glorious gardens, a deer park and wonderful Tea Room serving lunches and afternoon teas.

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.

Facilities

  • Baby Changing Facilities
  • Children Welcome
  • Disabled Access
  • On Site Catering
  • On Site Parking
  • Public Toilet

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