Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Alphabe-Thursday - H is for Hellens Manor

Joining Jenny @ off on my tangent
Jenny Matlock

With a visit to Hellens Manor. Much Marcle.
Hellens Manor and the famous knot garden.
In 1096 Hellens Manor, a beautiful historical house, situated in the lovely Herefordshire village of Much Marcle, became the property of the de Balun family who were witnesses to the signing of the Magna Carta by King John.

In the Spring of 2011 the Senior Partner and I spent an enjoyable afternoon touring the house and gardens.
This door leads into the medieval part of the house.
This post is really all about the photo's that we took that day, with just a little bit of info gleaned from the tour guide and the brochure we were handed as the tour began.
The Stone Hall has a Minstrel's Gallery and a great fireplace which bears the crest of the Black prince.
In the 14th century the house was the property of the Earl Of Gloucester.
His nephew James, a companion to the Black Prince, rented Hellens Manor in exchange for a pair of silver spurs.
He later leased the house to Walter Helyon, who gave his name to the Manor.

The great fireplace in the Stone Hall bears the crest of the Black Prince.
His descendants have lived at Hellens ever since and it has always remained a home and not a museum.

In the 16th century Hetty Walwyn, a daughter of the house, ran away with her lover.
She returned years later, destitute apart from a diamond ring. She was imprisoned in a locked room with iron bars at the windows, for the rest of her life.
She used a small bell as her only means of communication with the rest of the household.
It is believed that she haunts the house, still ringing a bell.
This case contains the family coronet and some items said to have belonged to Anne Boleyn.
The rooms are filled with inherited paintings, furniture and decorations, most are family heirlooms.
Some belonged to Anne Boleyn, Mary Tudor, the Earl of Essex (a favourite of Elizabeth I) and Charles I.
Bloody Mary's chamber.
At great expense to the family a room was prepared for Bloody Mary and her tutor Featherstone, it is also said to be haunted.

In the early part of the 20th century Hellens passed into the hands of Lady Helena Gleichen one of Queen Victoria's neices.
Her decendants, the Munthe family, have created a charitable trust in order to keep the house running.
The richly panelled Music Room, which is used by the family when in residence, has a large stone fireplace, on the mantel above are family photographs.

I hope you've enjoyed my virtual guided tour of Hellens Manor and if you would like to learn more about Hellens then click here to go to the website.


  1. Interesting post Maggie, Have passed by Hellens so many times as my friends lived at Rushall for many years.
    Of course Much Marcle has been put on the map in recent years not for Hellens but because of the Fred West's murder's

    Will have to put it on my to do list.

  2. Fascinating! I loooooved that tour! ~ Maureen

  3. That looks a great place to visit, although we don't usually go that way!!Maybe we will have to have a weekend break up that area sometime this year. I love the old door, what a story it could tell of who has walked through it!! Jackie in Surrey, UK.

  4. It is amazing to me to think that a house has been in one family for such a long time (centuries)...Poor Hetty! I hope she haunts the heck out of that place!

    Great post. :D

  5. Lovely, Maggie. I just completed the last of Phlippa Gregory's books on the Cousins War. Have you read them? Thanks for sharing these images. ~ Sarah

  6. I'm just reading the book that Sarah has just finished - love the coincidences! I'm, mentally, so completely in the times portrayed that I thoroughly enjoyed the post.

  7. Maggie, Thank you for the wonderful tour. It is a beautiful place. I am very interested in places like that so will check out the website. xo Jenny

  8. I have a master's degree in English literature. If you visit my school web site: you will see my photos of my first trip to England. We toured the homes of the great British writers. Hellens is so beautifu, I wish it had been on the tour. I love English history probably more than my own American history. I love your pictures and your posts and find them interesting and learned.

  9. What an amazing house. So much interesting history. I loved the cozy feel in the paneled room with the big fireplace and pink sofas.

  10. Lovely pictures of the manor. That place certainly has lots of character and history.

  11. Hi Maggie I enjoyed it very much. so interesting. Just goes to she we humans are only the cutodians of property and don't really 'own' it but rather have the opportuniyt to use it.

    A Lovely post.

    Happy New Year to you xx

  12. This is a new one for me so I shall put it on my 'to visit' list especially as it is not far away!

  13. Maggie,
    Thanks for the tour. Wonderful photos and information. Between you and Jackie, I am traveling quite a bit!

    Have a wonderful day.

  14. Great & informative , can't beat that:-)

  15. What a house, indeed! Thanks for the tour! It was great!

  16. That was very interesting! They imprisoned her for running away with her lover? Today it would become a reality show, and they would buy her a white wedding dress for her next 2 month marriage, lol!

  17. What a lovely old manor! It's so wonderful to be able to stroll through places such as this, so haunting and full of history. Great 'H' post!

  18. What an interesting and informative post this is! I loved touring vicariously with you.


  19. I love that exterior door, but the red and pink furniture is a little too much for me. Your home is also very beautiful! {:-Deb

  20. How incredible...and thank you so much for the look!

  21. I adore that doorway into the medieval part of the house! Poor Hetty. I wonder how she came to return destitute. Obviously didn't work out so well!

  22. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic.

  23. Hi Maggie,

    Thoroughly enjoyed this tour -- I love these medieval homes. I really like the great hall, the picture with the staircase and the diamond paned windows, and the wonderful paneling in the music room. Poor Hetty! Not a very kind way to treat the prodigal daughter. Things were really tough back in those days apparently.

    Thanks so much for sharing and have a great weekend!


  24. What a wonderful tour! Such history~ it reminds me how young the US is by comparison!

  25. Wow, Maggie.

    This was a heavenly tour. The history and those magnificent rooms really captured my attention.

    That pink and red room was quite a surprise after the somber grays and browns.

    I would love to tour that place...although I think I would definitely be loathe to encounter any of the resident ghosts!

    Thanks for sharing this fascinating link with us. Hooray for fabulous post!


  26. Maggie- what a wonderful tour and step back into history. I'm so intrigued with that part of history- seeing these photos was just magnificent for me! Thank you so much. Things that belonged to Anne Bolyn - that is SO exciting to me!!

    A wonderful tour--


Thanks for stopping by, your visit just made my day!