We’ve talked about joining English Heritage for ages, every time we visit one of their sites actually, but we always put it off for some reason. Back in August we visited Witley Court in Worcester, as we were staying at a campervan site not far away. As this was post lockdown we had to book tickets in advance, for a timed entrance (ah, remember the days when you could just rock up somewhere whenever it suited you? Good times for disorganised people like me!)
On arrival one of the lovely volunteers explained the new one way system to us (ah, remember the days when you could just wander freely in whatever direction you fancied? Good times…) and also talked about the merits of joining, which included a refund on what we’d paid for our tickets that day, and a special offer of 15 months for the price of 12, which will cover us all through next summer as well.
Now I know that the pandemic is bad and sad and horrid, but there are some benefits to it (sorry) and that includes fewer people visiting tourist attractions. Which meant that we barely passed anyone else as we walked through the grounds towards Witley Court itself. The grounds alone are incredible; very well tended, clear pathways, huge trees and shrubs, and a big lake.
And then you walk up a big gravel driveway, and the ruins of Witley Court loom large.
100 years Witley Court would have been one of the great country houses in the UK. It hosted banquets, parties and welcomed royal visitors. Sadly it was ruined by a fire in 1937, which tore through the building and destroyed the interior, although the grand scale of the building is apparent even in it’s ruinous state.
The Perseus and Andromeda fountain, which has been restored in recent years is a magnificent sight to behold. The fountain displays for 20 minutes every hour, on the hour and the main jet reaches a height of 30 metres.
The gardens are incredibly well kept and manicured – the green fingered side of me was in awe at the accuracy and neatness of the curated planting!
Due to the layout and location of Witley Court, it’s one of the sites that English Heritage have managed to keep open safely during this second lockdown. Adult tickets cost £9 each (£9.90 with gift aid donation).