Sunday 18 March 2018

Mosaic Monday # 77 - Harvington Hall, an Elizabethan Manor House.

Here I am warmly ensconced in the sitting room of a small cottage in Worcestershire looking out of the large window at the snow laying gently on the garden. There's a wonderful log fire burning brightly in the super modern high tech stove across the room. The Senior Partner is in the kitchen preparing a typical English Sunday lunch of roast beef, Yorkshire puddings & gravy, roast potatoes with a medley of vegetables and it certainly does feel like home!
But more about our home from home later, first I want to tell you about a wonderful place which we visited yesterday afternoon.

Harvington Hall is a restored Tudor Manor House surrounded by a beautiful moat and gardens.

It's origins date back to the 1580's when it was built for Humphrey Pakington and his family.

They were devout Catholics during the reign of Protestant Queen Elizabeth I and therefore Humphrey had many hidden Priest hides included throughout the building.

Click here to find out more about the largest surviving collection of Priest hides in England @ Harvington.

They really are fascinating to see and the tales of the lengths the priests and the host family went to in order to avoid detection, or in some cases didn't avoid, are incredible.

Harvington Hall is simply steeped in History with a capital H and the very informative and chatty docent, dressed as an Elizabethan female servant, brought it all to life for us.
I couldn't possibly cover five centuries of history in a single blog post but if you're keen to know more then do visit their website, you'll be in for a real treat if you do.
Before we left the 16th century behind we stopped at the Moat Side Tea Room for a pot of tea, toasted teacake and cream tea, well it would have been rude not to.

(The cream tea debate of Devon versus Cornwall has raged for decades in the UK. Do you put cream or jam on your scone first? Well, it would seem that HRH Queen Elizabeth II has finally settled things once and for all. She (like me) prefers the Cornish method of jam first with cream on top not jam followed by cream as they do in Devon).

As we left the tea room we saw that during our tour of Harvington snow had begun to fall but by the time we arrived back at The Perry Shed it had blown over.
During the night it blew back again and this how things looked this morning.


  1. What a lovely place! And your dinner sounds wonderful. :) Kit

  2. Oh how I love to visit historic homes in the UK. Always something interesting to learn ... I did read the additional information on the priest hides ... very clever construction!

    And you'll be happy to know that, in our house, we always put on the jam before the cream!!!

  3. What a great place and interesting info. An adventure for sure---Thank you

  4. What a lovely place! Historical place is always important and full of interesting to see. Harvington Hall with the garden is so beautiful.I love all of your photos of them.
    Have a lovely new week.(^^♪)

  5. Incredible, Maggie! If those walls could talk. The moat (?) or stream of water around the does that play in? The clipped hedge garden is perfection to me, I love boxwood and a manicured garden.

    Cream on scones? Yes!

    Sending hugs across the miles!

  6. I enjoyed the photos and history so very much. Such a picturesque place and your dinner sounds delicious. Wishing you a wonderful week.

  7. Maggie, I watch a TV show called Escape to the Country where folks move to the English country side and this manor was a reminder of the show. Love the tea but not the snow. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

  8. I’ve read a bit about priest hides (generally in novels, but those authors wouldn’t lie would they?). But I am definitely going to your link just in case...thanks for providing it. The Hall, inside and out, is beautiful...wonderful tour...I love that the docent dressed as a servant....they really were the ones who kept those places going back then. And oh yes, it would have been terribly rude to bypass the cream tea ). I thought of you when I saw something about the late winter snows there, but it sounds like you are as cozy as can be in your home away from home. Thanks for hosting from there!

  9. It all sounds idyllic! What a beautiful old home to be able to tour. It makes me happy to know it has been restored...what a treasure. Enjoy your week! Hugs, Diane

  10. What a delightful place this is, Maggie. The British do history well and most of the stately homes/museums/historical sites are well-maintained, well-loved and wonderfully curated.
    Great photos!

  11. Looks like Harvington Hall is definitely worth a visit! I love places like this with docents. So much wonderful history. So much to learn! Thank you for hosting, too!

  12. What a beautiful and interesting place to visit! I will definitely return to read more about it on the links you provided. I love scones and always ate them with jam first, cream second. It was a surprise to see snow in your photo. We had four inches of snow last night--we really needed the moisture as it has been very dry!

  13. Mine is a little warped today ;-)
    Thanks for hosting!

  14. Sounds like an exciting time travel! And the toasted teacake and tea...yum-yum-yum....Thanks for this historical post and for hosting this week's MM.

  15. Oh Maggie, places like this are why I want to get out in the countryside of England and while I adore London, not just stay there. This is really terrific -- a beautiful home. And I agree on the scone debate. (Actually, I can pass on the cream but it can be so delish!) I will have to check out their website. I have no sense of lay of the land here!

  16. oh I would love to visit this place. There is nothing like this in Australia. And yes, jam first, and then cream on top. And jam will do! Have a fabulous holiday and thank you again for the link up.

  17. Thanks you for your beautiful photos and mosaic. Thanks for being a wonderful hostess here at MM

    much love...

  18. I was so taken with your descriptions of your visit to Harvington Hall and seeing all the details and then followed your link to see more that I forgot to join in last night. Thank you Maggie for your 77th Mosaic Monday.

  19. Hello and thanks for the great post. I am watching the restoration of Stoke Hall on youtube and enjoying the shows greatly. I have never heard of priest hides-so nice to learn something new and see how these were incorporated into the architecture. I have also read that the earliest written mention of the jam/cream debate states cream and then jam on scones. I grew up with jam and then cream but now do the opposite. Don't think it affects the taste except I now use more cream. All good fun!

  20. You visit some of the most fascinating paces Maggie. I just so much enjoy seeing where you have been and the images create a wonderful way of letting us sneak into the story.
    Oh and tea and tea cakes...or scones, or biscuits, for me, I like to slit them open a bit and slide in real butter, just a sliver at least and then top it with jams, or marmalade. I am upside down then when it comes to the proper way, but no matter what they are simply divine.
    Have a wonderful week, doing something marvelous to share next time.
    Thanking you~

  21. Dear Maggie - I fell in love with Harvington Hall for its appearance both inside and outside and its interesting history. Staying at that kind of Manor House is one of my dreams. The super modern high tech stove” – I like it when modern facility and infrastructure is installed in the very old structures with patina of age. Only imagining the typical English Sunday lunch made my mouth water.


  22. Thanks for this tour with a wonderful narrative to really take us along with you. It’s amazing how religious strife of one kind or another crops up in historical accounts from any country you care to name.


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