Our Sites: Baddesley Clinton House

Baddesley Clinton House is a tiny gem nestling in the beautiful countryside between Birmingham and Warwick.

The site is believed to have its origins as a Saxon settlement and several buildings have existed on the site of which almost no trace now remains. The present house has its origins in the fifteenth century and was completed during the Wars of the Roses by the Brome family. When Nicholas Brome died in 1517 the house passed to his daughter,Constance, and her husband, Sir Edward Ferrers. Despite the Reformation of Henry VIII, the Ferrers family remained staunchly Roman Catholic. In 1586 the house was owned by Henry Ferrers and his wife, Jane, who decided to move to their London house and rent out Baddesley Clinton House. Their tenants were Mrs Eleanor Brooksby, a widow, and her younger sister Anne. They were the daughters of Lord Vaux and were devout Roman Catholics.

The Ferrers family continued as owners of the house in the following centuries but the upkeep proved very difficult (as it did for so many country estates in the post second world war period) and it was finally sold to the National Trust in 1980. Today the house is owned and managed by the National Trust – the family continue to live nearby.

Hands on the Past visit the house twice a year, in June and October, and offer an opportunity for school children to visit the house in the year 1588. The Spanish Armada presents a threat to the shores of England and the English troops are readying themselves for battle. Life for the Vaux sisters and their household at Baddesley Clinton was very uncertain and dangerous. Anne, particularly, was determined to maintain her Faith at all costs.

Students visiting the Hall will rotate around a carousel of at least 6 activities, both within the house and around the grounds. The characters they meet might include Eleanor Brooksby – talking about the problems of being a Catholic in 1588, a soldier training the militia, a man-at-arms practising with a new weapon – the caliver, a woman from the still room making medicines for the household’s ailments, a scribe completing documents, a musician who provides entertainment and tutors the Brooksby children in these troubled times, a servant from the kitchens or a visiting pedlar selling wares or, perhaps, playing games. There may even be a priest hunter visiting the house to seek out hidden priests – who knows whether the priest holes will be discovered and the household removed to the Tower of London for questioning.

The day starts at 10.30 with an introduction, we stop shortly after 12.00 for lunch and the day concludes at 14.00. Other start and finish times may be possible by prior arrangement.

Our Sites

Hands On The Past currently invite schools to three sites around the country:

Oxburgh Hall >

Baddesley Clinton >

Hedingham Castle >

Your Event

Hands On The Past can build an event for your school but we also offer 'ready-made' presentions.

Take a look at the list of activities we can already offer:

Presentation/Activities Listing >