Visit Madresfield

Madresfield Court, situated within the Madresfield Estate at the foot of the Malvern Hills, is a moated stately home which has been in the Lygon family for nearly 900 years and is currently home to its 29th generation.

The house is an architectural masterpiece and played a significant part in nurturing the Arts and Crafts movement, and therefore contains a fine collection of paintings, furniture and ceramics.

Whilst Madresfield Court remains first and foremost a private family home, the house and grounds are open to welcome visitors at various times throughout the year.

Access to the house and gardens is by guided tour only, which must be booked online, in advance – see ‘Booking information'

The Madresfield Estate also hosts several popular events throughout the year within the grounds of the Court – see ‘Events’ .

Madresfield Estate - Court & Gardens

Court Tours

Our tours of the Court allow you to see a large part of the house and are enjoyed equally by both expert and enthusiastic amateur alike. 

Accompanied by two knowledgeable guides, each tour of the Court takes approximately one and a half hours.

Following your visit of the Court, we recommend a self-guided tour of the beautiful gardens.

Approximately 10 main rooms are open to visit during the house tour including the Staircase Hall, Dining Room, Library and Chapel.

Unfortunately, due the restrictions of a listed building, the upstairs Galleries and Chapel may not be accessible to those with restricted mobility.

Madresfield Court - The Court

Accessibility Please be aware there are a lot of stairs on the tour route and very limited opportunities to sit down during the tour. If you think that this may be a problem, please contact us at the time of booking (or a minimum of 7 days prior to the tour) and we will confirm if reasonable adjustments can be made to ensure your visit is as enjoyable as possible.

Booking Information

The 2024 tour season runs from the end of April to the end of June.

Tours run Monday (except for Bank Holidays) to Wednesday.

Four guided tours are offered per day of operation, each accommodating a maximum of fifteen visitors aged 16 and over. Unfortunately, tours are not suitable for babies or children under 16 and are subject to accessibility restrictions.

Tickets cost £15 per person (concessionary tickets available for carers) and all visitors are also welcome to enjoy the gardens either before or after their tour.

Madresfield Court - Tours and Opening Times

Visit The Gardens

Access to the gardens is only possible when purchasing a tour of the Court and we welcome you to take a self-guided tour of the beautiful grounds either before or after your Court tour takes place.

The tour includes the striking, formal gardens surrounding the Court which offers far-reaching views across the Estate’s farmland, walking the majestic, tree-lined avenues and a visit to the rare Pulhamite rock garden.

Written guides are available for information and to help you explore the gardens before or after the Court tour.

Accessibility Please note the gardens and grounds are subject to seasonal highlights and changes and that ground may be uneven in places.

Getting Here

You can find us on the map by heading over to Find Us

Getting Here by Car

Madresfield Court is situated in the village of Madresfield, just 3 miles from the centre of Great Malvern and just 8 miles south of Worcester.

If you are visiting Madresfield and using a route finder or a satellite navigation system, the postcode to use to arrive at the estate is WR13 5AJ.  

Some providers will try and direct you the wrong way – there is no access to the house from the B4244/B4211 Powick to Upton-upon-Severn Road. Alternatively use What3Words /// sized.myths.vision

Please make your way through the village of Madresfield itself and follow the signs to reach the public entrance.

Journey Times to:

London 2 ½ hours | Manchester 2 hours | Birmingham 1 hour | Bristol 1 hour | Cardiff 1 hour

Our Facilities

To find us, ' click here' for directions.

Car Parking

Car parking areas are clearly signposted and are a short walk from the Court and gardens, adjacent to the Stables and Play Room.

Follow the signs for Madresfield Court and enter the grounds at South Lodge through the electrically operated gates which will automatically open as your vehicle approaches.

Refreshments

Our tearoom is currently being refurbished (Spring 2024) and temporary catering facilities will be available on certain event days.

We apologise for not being able to offer catering facilities for Tours at this current time.

We regret that dogs are not permitted within the Court, with the exception of Assistance Dogs.

For certain outdoor events, well behaved dogs are permitted when kept on the lead.

WC Facilities

Tours – Toilets are available in the Play Room building where the tour starts, near the car park.

Events - Toilets are available in and close to the Play Room building, near the car park.

CCTV is in operation throughout the Court and Estate grounds.

Photography is not allowed within the Court.

Accessibility Statement

The following Access Statement details a visit to Madresfield Court from arrival through to tours of the House and Gardens and event attendance.

Stay & Dine

If you would like to extend your visit, our beautifully appointed, boutique holiday cottages, situated in the village of Madresfield, may provide the perfect solution.  

Alternatively, if you are seeking to spend more time in the local area before journeying home, The Madresfield Butchers and Grill in Great Malvern, will provide a memorable dining experience offering delicious dishes, cooked on the grill.

Most of the meat used is from our native-breed stock, ethically born and reared on our Estate.

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Madresfield court.

Home of the Lygon family for 900 years

Madresfield Court, Madresfield, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR13 5AJ

Madresfield Court

Experience this house

Madresfield Court is a moated stately home which has been in the Lygon family for 900 years and is currently home to the 29th generation of that family.

The house is an architectural masterpiece and played a significant part in nurturing the Arts and Crafts movement, as well as acting, at least in part, as the inspiration for Evelyn Waugh and Brideshead Revisited. It also contains a fine collection of paintings, furniture, and ceramics.

Our tours allow you to see a large part of the house and our guides are a fount of knowledge and anecdote. The tours are enjoyed equally by both expert and enthusiastic amateur alike.

Madresfield Court is open for pre-booked, guided tours during the Spring and early Summer. Details of tour dates, availability and how to book can be found on our website.

Getting here

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Madresfield Court

Madresfield Court is the ancestral home of the Lygon family, the eldest son of which bore the title Earl Beauchamp between 1815 and 1979, when the eighth and last Earl died. The house contains outstanding collections of furniture, pictures, porcelain and objets d’art, and a wonderful library designed by C.R. Ashbee. It is particularly a centre of the Arts and Crafts movement. The Chapel, commissioned from Birmingham artists and craftsmen in 1902, is widely regarded as the most complete, and perhaps the most lovely of all British Arts and Crafts achievements. Fittings and other commissions from the period are scattered throughout the house.

The house has strong connections with Evelyn Waugh who visited frequently. In Brideshead Revisited , his imaginary house (especially the Chapel) was partly modelled on Madresfield, and most of the main characters are drawn from members of the Lygon family.

The extent and quality of the collections in the house have become increasingly recognised, most recently by Simon Jenkins who rated Madresfield among the 50 best in his book on 1000 Historic Houses. The Elmley Foundation assists with conservation, research and archiving of the house’s historical records.

Guided tours of Madresfield Court take place between April and June and are for individuals or for groups, but must be booked in advance.

To book please follow the link below:

https://www.madresfield.co.uk/visit#Times

Please click on the following icon to view the guide book

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madresfield court tour

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madresfield court tour

Grand Private Castles and Houses Tour

2 nights starting from £599

We have a handy rating for each tour to let you know how strenuous it maybe.

Gentle : Some walking between sites and standing for viewing, good flat walking surfaces.

Moderate: Walking between sites, lots of standing for viewing.

Demanding:  On your feet all day, uneven terrain (e.g. cobbles)

For more detail refer to our mobility page below.

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The Chapel, Madresfield Court

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Madresfield

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The Long Gallery Madresfeild Court

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Madresfield Malvern

Madresfield Court & Gardens Literary Tour

Wed june 14, 2023 @ 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm bst.

An exclusive tour of Arts & Crafts masterpiece Madresfield Court & Gardens to discover how it became the inspiration for Evelyn Waugh & Brideshead Revisited.

Madresfield Court near Malvern, is a moated stately house, and home to the Lygon family for almost 900 years. It played a significant part in the Arts & Crafts movement and was the inspiration for Evelyn Waugh’s novel, Brideshead Revisited.

The afternoon tour includes coach travel from Broadway, a guided tour of the house, and time to explore the gardens.

The coach will set off from Broadway at 1:30pm for the hour drive to Madresfield Court, arriving back into Broadway at approximately 6pm.

Tickets £40

45 Available

Tickets go on sale through the website at 10am on 11th March, and 1 week earlier (4th March) for Benefactors of the festival who qualify for Priority Booking.

You can become a Benefactor for as little as £50 and support our Outreach Projects in doing so, applications are now open.

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Guided Tour of Madresfield Court, Malvern, on Saturday 15 June 2024

[ Victorian Web Home —> Visual Arts —> Victorian Painting —> Introduction to the Pre-Raphaelite Society ]

madresfield court tour

Saturday 15 June 2024: Guided Tour of Madresfield Court, Malvern

The Pre-Raphaelite Society is lucky to have been able to arrange a guided tour of this beautiful house and estate.

Madresfield Court and Estate is situated in the beautiful, rural Worcestershire and nestles between the Malvern Hills and the River Severn. It has been home to the Lygon family for over 900 years and has never been bought or sold since records began in 1120. Madresfield Court contains some extraordinary examples of Arts and Crafts decoration. The carvings in the Library are considered to be the major achievement of the Guild of Handicraft based in Chipping Campden and were designed by Charles Ashbee with the involvement of the 7th Earl.

The Chapel is considered to contain the most important scheme of decorative painting and probably the most famous of all the Arts and Craft schemes from the Birmingham Group. The wall paintings were designed and executed by Henry Payne and three young assistants and show an idyllic scene of innocent children playing amidst flower-strewn meadows. There are forty-six different flowers and plants, all found on the estate at the time.

Madresfield Court is first mentioned specifically in a charter of Henry 1, dating from the 1120s, and it is known that William de Bracy lived at the court in 1260. His descendants, the Lygon family, have lived here ever since. The house has a rich history, with both Edward Elgar and Evelyn Waugh (who based Brideshead Revisited on the family and the house) being frequent visitors, and later during the Second World War, arrangements were made for the Royal Family to reside at Madresfield had they been forced to leave London. The current occupants are Lucy Chenevix-Trench and her family. Lucy is the great niece of the late Earl, and she and her family are the 28th and 29th generations of the family to live at Madresfield.

The guided tour will take us around the house, showing us the details and telling the stories of the family who have occupied it for centuries. Afterwards you will be free to explore the garden and grounds.

There are no refreshments available at the venue but you are free to bring a picnic or there are local establishments where you can get refreshments or lunch.

Created 1 May 2024

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.................EVELYN WAUGH

Introduction, investigation, treasure trove, day trips, time travel, rhapsody..

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  • Canonbury Square 1928
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MAD FOR MADDERS

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Garden Visit: Daffodil Days at Madresfield Court

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Madresfield Court , at the foot of the Malvern Hills in the English Midlands, is protected by a moat, dozens of noisy geese, and a ha-ha. The side it shows to the world is tall and forbidding, while the intriguing facade, further protected by yew buttresses, is turned away. It’s private, in other words, hindered by its lead role in the novel Brideshead Revisited . And yet, it would be churlish not to share its acreage of spring bulbs, so join us on a tour:

Photography by Jim Powell for Gardenista.

The village church on the edge of the wildflower meadows of Madresfield Court in Malvern, England.

The Lygon family (pronounced Liggon) have lived at Madresfield “since records began,” and they continue to live here. The house, just over two hours from Oxford, avoided the fate of many stately homes after World War II because the family was not impoverished gentry. A protracted inheritance case (said to have inspired aspects of Charles Dickens’  Bleak House ) was central in securing the fortunes of the medieval house.

Daffodils spread themselves around the avenues between house and village. Although there is a family (high anglican) chapel incorporated into Madresfield Court, several earls and their children are buried at the parish church. The chapel in the house is decorated as a garden of Eden, with the seven children of the 7th Earl depicted on the grass. An amalgamation of them became immortalized as Sebastian, Julia, and Cordelia Flyte, as well as Bridey, in Brideshead Revisited .

Madresfield Court, looking rather French beside an avenue of cedar.

With money, in the 19th century, came an earldom, and the collecting began. Even before the significant contributions of the 7th Earl, by way of Arts and Crafts treasures, the house had been remodeled and rearranged in high Victorian style.

Narcissus narcissus at Madresfield Court.

According to one of the gardeners, the Lygon Family formerly owned land near Newent, in Gloucestershire, home of the wild Narcissus narcissu s. A small, native flower, it has spread itself around that district but is not often seen in vast numbers elsewhere. Some bulbs found their way to Madresfield and have proliferated over the years.

For poetic associations with this daffodil, see The Road Not Taken: Robert Frost’s Daffodils in Gloucestershire .

One need never get wet: a covered exit from the house, leading toward the stables.

The back of the house is secretive and enchanting, with parts of it rising straight out of the moat. On one edge, a bistro table and chairs totter, barely accessible from the house. With its remote location and excellent moated security, Madresfield was earmarked as a residence for the Royal Family in the event of evacuation from Buckingham Palace during World War Two. This was not in the end necessary.

The spreading crocus, C. tommasinianus, weaves between the diminutive daffodils.

In the Wild Gardens, on one side of the house, can be found fritillaries, anemones, cowslips, and violets. Native orchids follow later.

By the time Evelyn Waugh wrote Black Mischief (dedicated to Dorothy and Mary Lygon), the family had gone its separate ways; the 7th Earl banished to “the Continent” and Lady Beauchamp having decamped with her third son. The other children had the run of the house, while Evelyn wrote in the nursery.

Madresfield Court, Malvern, England.

Ducks and geese provide another line of defense after the encircling moat, flanked by more ponds.

The diffident face of Madresfield Court.

Once a year, the gardens are (usually) open for public visiting, to see the daffodils. This is in mid-March, so you will need to make a note for next year.

A little wild daffodil grows out of last year&#8\2\17;s leaves and bracken at Madresfield Court.

The brochure produced at Madresfield is a riveting read, while maintaining the stance of a discreet butler: “Waugh’s imaginary house (especially the chapel) was partly modeled on Madresfield,” it reluctantly acknowledges. With Florentine chair covers embroidered by the 7th Earl in the library, and crystal balustrades and glass domes above the Staircase Hall, there is so much more to talk about.

N.B.: Planning a grand tour of our favorite gardens? Don’t miss:

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Finally, get more ideas on how to successfully plant, grow, and care for daffodils with our Daffodils: A Field Guide.

Interested in other bulbs and tubers for your garden or indoor space? Get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various bulbs and tubers with our Bulbs & Tubers: A Field Guide .

Finally, get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various perennial plants with our Perennials: A Field Guide .

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Don’t Miss Madresfield Court Open Gardens & Fete

Family Fun | Gardens | Summer of Fun | What's On

A green graphic advertising the Madresfield Family Fete

The historic Madresfield Court grounds will be opened to the general public on Saturday 3 June . 2023 sees the return of the much loved open event after a 4 year absence. The event is a community fundraiser and aims to provide much needed support to the local parishes of Madresfield, Newland and Guarlford. The day is a lovely family event offering something for everyone.

Events include:

  • Live music from The Chase Brass Band and Rock Choir.
  • Birds of prey display from The Falconry School.
  • Fun dog show – enter your pet for a chance to win some lovely prizes sponsored by Pets at Home (Malvern).
  • Children’s fun area – with fair rides and activities, Emma’s Fantasy Faces, Pampered Ponies, Lodge Valais & Friends – small animal enclosure. Available to purchase is a £5 children’s wristband giving unlimited use of Chair O’Planes, bouncy castles, inflatable slide, face painting and lawn games.
  • Food and Beverages – including BBQ, vegan food from LEAF, YUM, bar provided by Wye Valley Brewery, tea room serving hot drinks and cake.
  • Art, craft and market stalls to wander around inc – The Shop at The Top, The Gallery Pershore, Lin Kendrick Art, The Little Felt Shed, Malvern Sweets, CMS Jewellery.
  • Classic & prestige cars on show from The Ombersley Collection. As well as a selection of privately owned vintage vehicles.

And so much more..

Not forgetting the opportunity to explore the beautiful gardens of Madresfield Court. Madresfield Court is a moated stately home set in beautiful surroundings and containing an extensive collection of artwork and furniture. It has been the home of the Lygon family for nearly 900 years and is surrounded by a wide moat. Situated at the foot of the Malvern Hills in a spectacular setting among parkland and gardens at the centre of a large, predominantly agricultural, estate of approximately 4,000 acres. Entry is £5 per person . Carers and children aged 11 and under are free. Well behaved dogs welcome, but must be kept on a lead. Disabled parking is available. For more information and a chance to win a family pass which includes – 4 entry tickets, tea & cake for 4 and 2 children’s wristbands please see our event’s Facebook page:

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IMAGES

  1. Madresfield Court & Gardens Literary Tour

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  2. A walk in the footsteps of Evelyn Waugh at Madresfield Court, the real

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  3. Madresfield Court: A Worcestershire garden where new and old combine in

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  4. Madresfield Court

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  5. Exploring Madresfield Court Country House 2023

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  6. Madresfield Court

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  1. Scratching the surface at Madresfield Court

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  4. 809 B Dudley Court Tour

  5. Magical Madresfield Court

  6. Visit to Madresfield 1963

COMMENTS

  1. Visit

    Whilst Madresfield Court remains first and foremost a private family home, the house and grounds are open to welcome visitors at various times throughout the year. Access to the house and gardens is by guided tour only, which must be booked online, in advance - see 'Booking information'. The Madresfield Estate also hosts several popular ...

  2. Visit

    It also contains a fine collection of paintings, furniture, and ceramics. Our tours allow you to see a large part of the house and our guides are a fount of knowledge and anecdote. The tours are enjoyed equally by both expert and enthusiastic amateur alike. Madresfield Court is open for pre-booked, guided tours during the Spring and early Summer.

  3. Guided Tour of Madresfield Court

    The 2024 tour season at Madresfield Court runs from the end of April until the end of June, Tours generally run on Monday (except Bank Holidays), Tuesday and Wednesday. Four tours will be available per day of operation, with each tour taking a maximum of fifteen people aged 16 and over. Sadly, the tours are not suitable for babies or children ...

  4. Madresfield Court

    Access to the house and gardens is by guided tour only and tickets must be pre-booked online. The Madresfield Estate also hosts several popular events throughout the year within the grounds of the Court. Madresfield Court is open for visitors in 2024 on selected dates from the end of April until the end of June.

  5. Madresfield Court

    Madresfield Court is the ancestral home of the Lygon family, the eldest son of which bore the title Earl Beauchamp between 1815 and 1979, when the eighth and last Earl died. ... Guided tours of Madresfield Court take place between April and June and are for individuals or for groups, but must be booked in advance. To book please follow the link ...

  6. Madresfield Court

    Madresfield Court Madresfield, Malvern, Worcs. The 2024 tour season at Madresfield Court runs from the end of April until the end of June, Tours generally run on Monday (except Bank Holidays), Tuesday and Wednesday. Four…. £15. Tue 7. 7th May Guided Tour of Madresfield Court.

  7. Tours for 27th June 2023

    Madresfield Court Tour (P) - 27th June 2023 - 11.00am Madresfield Court Madresfield, Malvern Fully guided tour of Madresfield Court. Each session lasts approximately 1 ½ hours. £15.00 12:00 pm 27 June @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm.

  8. Madresfield Court

    Discover the rich history and captivating beauty of Madresfield Court, an extraordinary country estate in Worcestershire, England. Immerse yourself in the Victorian fantasy created by extensive restoration and rebuilding. Madresfield Court is a testament to historical continuity and an enchanting destination showcasing the enduring beauty of English heritage.

  9. Tours from 17 June

    Madresfield Court Madresfield, Malvern. Fully guided tour of Madresfield Court. Each session lasts approximately 1 ½ hours. £15.00. Jun 28 2023. 28 June @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm.

  10. Tours for November 2023

    Madresfield Court Tour - 28th June 2023 - 2.30 pm Madresfield Court Madresfield, Malvern Fully guided tour of Madresfield Court. Each session lasts approximately 1 ½ hours. $15.00 Jun 28 2023 28 June @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm. ...

  11. Madresfield Court

    Madresfield Court is a country house in Malvern, Worcestershire, England.The home of the Lygon family for nearly six centuries, it has never been sold and has passed only by inheritance since the 12th century; a line of unbroken family ownership reputedly exceeded in length in England only by homes owned by the British Royal Family.The present building is largely a Victorian reconstruction ...

  12. Grand Private Castles Houses Escorted Tour 2 nights from £429

    This afternoon we visit Madresfield Court which began its life as a great hall in the 12th century. In 1593 the house was rebuilt and substantially remodelled in the 19th century to resemble a moated Elizabethan house. The Court chapel was decorated in the Arts & Crafts style and the Lygon family have owned the house and estate for several ...

  13. Madresfield Court & Gardens Literary Tour

    An exclusive tour of Arts & Crafts masterpiece Madresfield Court & Gardens to discover how it became the inspiration for Evelyn Waugh & Brideshead Revisited. Madresfield Court near Malvern, is a moated stately house, and home to the Lygon family for almost 900 years. It played a significant part in the Arts & Crafts movement […]

  14. Guided Tour of Madresfield Court, Malvern, on Saturday 15 June 2024

    Saturday 15 June 2024: Guided Tour of Madresfield Court, Malvern. Two tours booked at 11.30am and 1.30pm (please book one slot). There are only 15 spaces available on each slot. ... Madresfield Court is first mentioned specifically in a charter of Henry 1, dating from the 1120s, and it is known that William de Bracy lived at the court in 1260. ...

  15. Evelyn Waugh Madresfield, Lord Beauchamp, Lygon sisters

    MAD FOR MADDERS. Why visit Madresfield Court in Worcestershire, not far from the border of England and Wales? Three reasons. 1) Because Evelyn Waugh wrote much of Black Mischief there in 1932. 2) Because he turned Madresfield Court into Hetton Abbey in A Handful of Dust in 1934, transforming the exile of Lord Beauchamp into that of Tony Last. 3) Because in 1944 he wrote Brideshead Revisited ...

  16. Madresfield Court (Garden Open for National Garden Scheme)

    Madresfield Court (Garden Open for National Garden Scheme) Event Description. Gardens of moated stately home (house not open, but does open for booked guided tours on selected dates) mainly laid out in 1865, based on three avenues of oak, cedar and lombardy poplar, within and around which are specimen trees and flowering shrubs. ...

  17. Garden Visit: Daffodil Days at Madresfield Court

    Kendra Wilson March 22, 2017. Madresfield Court, at the foot of the Malvern Hills in the English Midlands, is protected by a moat, dozens of noisy geese, and a ha-ha. The side it shows to the world is tall and forbidding, while the intriguing facade, further protected by yew buttresses, is turned away. It's private, in other words, hindered ...

  18. Don't Miss Madresfield Court Open Gardens & Fete

    The historic Madresfield Court grounds will be opened to the general public on Saturday 3 June. 2023 sees the return of the much loved open event after a 4 year absence.The event is a community fundraiser and aims to provide much needed support to the local parishes of Madresfield, Newland and Guarlford.