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 March and September and are for individuals or for groups, but must be booked in advance.
To book contact Cheryl Stone at:
The Estate Office
Tours@madresfieldestate.co.uk or www.madresfieldestate.co.uk or (01684) 573614
Please click on the following icon to view the guide book