SOF Arts Section organises trip to Madresfield Court


Proposal: An organised visit to Madresfield Court, Worcs.

Date: Saturday 20th July at 2-30 pm until about 5-30 pm

Organiser: James Ruddock-Broyd. Other non-OF friends will be invited to join the tour.

Cost: £15 per head entrance the Court and Tea at Alms Houses. Maximum numbers 15. First come, first served.

Background: James is keen to kick-start the embryonic SOF Arts Section. He knows this house well, having lived and worked in this part of the country for some 30 years. Opportunities to visit the house are rare and only by prior arrangement. It is beautifully situated, in the shadow of the Malvern Hills.

The House: Madresfield Court is the seat of the Lygon family. It is a moated house of unusual design, being basically an 1860s rebuild of a Tudor mansion. Evelyn Waugh wrote about the family in Brideshead Revisited. The family have been secretive for centuries, so the filming of the TV series did not take place here, but there is a book dealing with the 900 year family history. The Court was prepared for the occupation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth if the situation in London in 1940 had become really bad.

The Alms Houses: these nearby houses are run by a charity set up by the Earl of Beauchamp 148 years ago. A viewing of the communal areas will constitute part of the tour. There is an ornate Chapel, covered with murals which have attracted much attention nationally. Tea may be served here, and donations invited.

The Alms Houses are very much in the architectural style of Framlingham College, and, as such, very appropriate to the approaching 150th commemorations at the College. It is through his association with the Alms Houses that James came to know the house well.

Applications: please contact James on 0208 249 1636 or by April 10th should you wish to attend. He advises that there are good B and Bs nearby.

While understanding that this visit has geographical limitations, the Council of the SOF is fully supportive of this initiative, and it is hoped that it will motivate others to think of comparable visits designed for OFs with broadly artistic interests.


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