Once there were windows…

This weekly challenge is hosted by Dawn from ‘The Day After’ who invites participants to post pictures of any windows that  they find curious, inviting, photogenic, or in some way tell a story. Visit her blog to see more windows and/or to join in with the challenge.

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Witley Court in Worcestershire was once a grand Victorian country house, developed over several centuries, but it’s heyday was in the 19th century when the 1st Earl of Dudley invested heavily in the refurbishment of the house spending the equivalent of £100 million. His fortune came from the coal mines of the Black Country together with iron works, chemical factories and the railways.

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After the First World War the family’s fortunes declined and the second Earl decided to sell it to a carpet manufacturer from Kidderminster. In 1937 the main part of the house was destroyed by fire, believed to have started in one of the kitchens. Now you see the shell of the house, without any glazing in the stone mullion window frames.

The South Wing
The South Wing
Through the Door
Through the Door

The main attraction to the site is a restored working fountain which represents  Perseus and Andromeda and reaches the original high cascades when fired on the hour between 11 am and 4 pm.

fountainThere are also lovely woodland walks and  restored parterre gardens and the ruins of a gorgeous conservatory which once housed exotic plants and had an enormous cast-iron, plate glass roof.

conservatorySource: English Heritage and Information plaques on site.

Published by

Heyjude

I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

29 thoughts on “Once there were windows…”

  1. Windows without glass. This reminds me of the bricked up windows in some London houses. A hangover from the days of the window tax!
    Regards as always, Pete. x

  2. Lovely post about Witley Court, Jude. I think windows without glass makes a perfect frame photos. There are lots of them at various church entries in North Norfolk and the ones in Cley are especially pretty. 🙂
    Have a lovely evening!
    Love, Dina

    1. Oh, yes, I do like using empty windows or doors to frame a view. You have a lot of lovely churches and ruins in Norfolk. A place I definitely must return to in the future.
      xx

  3. Wouldn’t it make a wonderful film set or a venue for an open air performance? I’d love to visit this place – I bet there are ghosts around every turn.

    1. Thank you LD 🙂 There are some lovely architectural details still, it must have been some house in its heyday!

    1. Well it is sort of out of the way (as much of Herefordshire and Worcestershire is) but we drive past on our way to the M5 (only takes us 1 hr 15 mins to reach a motorway 🙂 ) and one day I decided it was time we went and had a look at the place. It is quite extraordinary and the fountain is very impressive!

    2. Oooh and the tea room is delightful – I must go back there and take some more photos of it (as well as have some cake) 👿

  4. What an amazing place Jude, so huge, imagine the number of staff needed to run it when it was the home of the 1st Earl of Dudley and of course they wouldn’t have any labour saving devices. My mind runs away with images of grand balls and lots of upstairs, downstairs intrigue.

    1. Ah those were the days PP when the rich benefited from the poor. Made their wealth out of the poor buggers down the mines etc. and spent it on huge flash mansions that their ancestors now can not afford to keep!

  5. You’ve introduced me to another place I want to see! Being a sucker for a good ruin….will have to see if I can make this a detour on a future journey West!

      1. Because if we are curious, we are always eager to see/experience more! And I am curious, it’s what keeps me going, and I’m quite sure you are too! 🙂

        1. True. And there are so many interesting and beautiful places / buildings / landscapes in the world. It is a good job that people like you take me to places I shall never have time to visit myself.

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