Visit to Pitchford Hall
We passed a very enjoyable afternoon at Pitchford Hall, made very welcome by Rowena Colthurst and her husband James Nason and their young family. The 35 of us were divided into five smaller groups each with a guide. Our time was spent partly in the garden, partly in the semi-restored house.
The estate was acquired in 1473 by Thomas Ottley, a Shrewsbury merchant who probably built the west wing as a three-bay hall. It was extended into a full E-plan building in the 16th century. John Sandford of Shrewsbury, with his distinctive style, was responsible for this massive extension during the 1550s and 60s.
The hall and garden are currently being restored by Rowena and James. Rowena is a direct descendant of Thomas Ottley and the hall has been in the family for more than five centuries, except for the 24 years from 1992, when it was in the hands of a Qatari Princess.
The name Pitchford comes from the bitumen or pitch well in the grounds of the hall which is near to a ford across the Row Brook. We examined the well and observed the old drive leading to the south frontage of the house. We visited the stables, the pigeon house, the orangery and the tree house in an ancient lime tree, where Princess (later Queen) Victoria sat to admire the view and listen to a harp. Many of us also visited the church of St Michael and All Angels in the grounds of the Hall.
Visit to Waddesdon Manor including the Silver Caesars exhibition
Visit to Brampton Bryan Hall, home of the Harley family for over 700 years
Combined with Friends of Ludlow Assembly Rooms a group of over 50 of us visited Brampton Bryan Hall. Finding the Hall was easy once you realised that the hedge you were instructed to follow was not just on ordinary one!
We were first given a very warm and informative welcome by Edward and Victoria Harley whose family married into the Brampton family in 1309 and has lived in the house ever since!
This was followed by a tour of the house, led by either Edward or Victoria, with an amazing amount of family, historical and architectural information to hear about and see, including a ruined castle in the grounds.
After this we were all treated to a delicious tea of sandwiches, sausages, cake and scones in the Old Dairy building before dispersing home.
Edward and Victoria made the visit tremendously interesting and have very generously donated the entire proceeds to Brampton Bryan church restoration.
A very successful and enjoyable visit.
The imposing entrance portico, with Edward Harley centre
Powys look to your laurels (or should I say yews)