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05 Feb 2013 78 views
 
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photoblog image Witley Court

Witley Court

The vast and rambling remains of this palatial 19th century mansion, surrounded by magnificent landscaped gardens & containing huge stone fountains, provide a great day out in Worcestershire. The largest fountain, representing Perseus and Andromeda - now restored - was described as making the 'noise of an express train' when fired.

Before 1846, when William Humble Ward (later first Earl of Dudley) inherited Witley Court, the land surrounding the house was laid out in the 18th century English landscape style. William Andrews Nesfield, whose skills in designing intricate and elegant parterres were complemented by his great ability as an artist and engineer, was called in to transform the estate, creating the South Parterre with its great Perseus and Andromeda fountain and elegantly designed planting and clipped evergreens and shrubs.

Following the disastrous fire in 1937, the Witley Estate, including its gardens, fell into long decline. English Heritage has restored the south garden. In addition, Wolfson Foundation funding has assisted with major restoration works in the East Parterre garden which was completed early in 2011. This funding also enabling us to plan development of the formal gardens based on the original Nesfield designs. The showpiece Woodland Walks in the North Park pass many different species of tree and shrub from all over the world.


Text copied from English Heritage website

Witley Court

The vast and rambling remains of this palatial 19th century mansion, surrounded by magnificent landscaped gardens & containing huge stone fountains, provide a great day out in Worcestershire. The largest fountain, representing Perseus and Andromeda - now restored - was described as making the 'noise of an express train' when fired.

Before 1846, when William Humble Ward (later first Earl of Dudley) inherited Witley Court, the land surrounding the house was laid out in the 18th century English landscape style. William Andrews Nesfield, whose skills in designing intricate and elegant parterres were complemented by his great ability as an artist and engineer, was called in to transform the estate, creating the South Parterre with its great Perseus and Andromeda fountain and elegantly designed planting and clipped evergreens and shrubs.

Following the disastrous fire in 1937, the Witley Estate, including its gardens, fell into long decline. English Heritage has restored the south garden. In addition, Wolfson Foundation funding has assisted with major restoration works in the East Parterre garden which was completed early in 2011. This funding also enabling us to plan development of the formal gardens based on the original Nesfield designs. The showpiece Woodland Walks in the North Park pass many different species of tree and shrub from all over the world.


Text copied from English Heritage website

comments (21)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 5 Feb 2013, 00:34
You seem to have captured it all rather well, Bill.
Bill Phillips: I am obliged to you Ray
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 5 Feb 2013, 05:06
Absolute fabulous shot... What a place to live.
Bill Phillips: It certainly was. sadly now it is just a shell. It was damaged by fire in 1937 and effectively abandoned. The fountain was restored a few years ago and is very impressive
Much to look at here, Bill! Wonderful place!
Bill Phillips: It was indeed. Sadly it is only a shell now as it was damaged by fire in the 1930s and abandoned. English Heritage has done a tot of work on the site including restoring the magnificent fountain
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 5 Feb 2013, 06:58
I remember to have seen this gorgeous estate with manor house and garden on S/C - but in colour. The fountain is magnifique -and some of its drops/splash has just touched my nose!
Bill Phillips: I have featured it before Philine. The fountain is magnificent
  • Chris
  • England
  • 5 Feb 2013, 07:10
I am sure this was not taken on the occasion we went there many years ago. It is a wonderful place with a terrific fountain
Bill Phillips: Actually it was. 2008!!
  • noel
  • France
  • 5 Feb 2013, 07:53
great treatment on your photo and the B&W reinforce the old style of the building
Bill Phillips: Thank you for your visit and comment Noel
  • Ginnie
  • Netherlands
  • 5 Feb 2013, 07:54
It feels like a brooding estate, Bill, on this particular day...the kind of feel I like!
Bill Phillips: It is a magnificent ruin Ginnie. The fountain has been restored and is a sight to see...and hear!
a nice view. this place is massive. the restoration could not have been smooth or speedy
Bill Phillips: The house was damaged by fire in 1937 and abandoned. The shell of the house has been made safe and accessible. The fountain has been restored to full working order and is quite something Ayush
Have not come across this place, it looks pretty extensive.
Bill Phillips: It was a fine house and is a great ruin! The fountain has been restored and is quite something. The site is cared for by English heritage and is well worth a visit. It is about 20 minutes drive from Droitwich
What a lovely place, the b&w makes the sky look very threatening. Thanks for the history, it's good to learn something everyday.
Bill Phillips: It is a place well worth a visit Pauline. The sound of the fountain is very impressive
A great shot in B&W, Bill!
Bill Phillips: Thank you kindly Martin
What a fine house, and once again, like many others, a long history. That fountain is worth a memory card on its own.
Bill Phillips: The fountain is a must see...and hear Brian.
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 5 Feb 2013, 14:16
The treatment of this photo is nostalgic - just like the NT photos in their guides years ago
Bill Phillips: This is an English Heritage site Lisl gringringrin
  • Frances
  • United States
  • 5 Feb 2013, 14:24
A truly wonderful building Bill.
Bill Phillips: Thank you Frances. I would love to have seen it before the fire in 1937. Sadly it was then abandoned and is now only a shell. The fountain has been fully restored and is wonderful
  • Chad Doveton
  • where latitude and longitude meet
  • 5 Feb 2013, 15:03
Quite a good compositionm Bill but not sure the contrast is right., I presume that you tried a black background?
Bill Phillips: I used a green filter Chad. I rather liked the result. This was taken when You and Chris visited Witley Court with me, would you believe that was back in 2008!
You framed the estate and gardens very well Bill... since the mansion itself is a burned out shell the B&W photo works for you....petersmile
Bill Phillips: It looks good in colour too Peter!
the masonry and architectural patterns look great in monochrome!
Bill Phillips: Thanks Sesan. I thought so and am pleased you agree
You have given it a rather subdued atmosphere. I think the richness of the architecture is battling to rise assertively through the Phillipsian veil.
Bill Phillips: I used a green filter and was rather pleased with the result
Looks rather impressive, I must use my memberships to English Heritage and the National Trust better this year!
Bill Phillips: This one is well worth a visit John.
A wonderful treatment here Bill! Thank you for the history words.
Bill Phillips: Straight from the English Heritage website. They have done some great work at Witley court. I remember the state it was in 30 years ago!
splendid view and text Bill
Bill Phillips: Thank you Juan Carlos. Only the picture is mine!

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