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Moseley Old Hall, Wolverhampton

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Published October 5th 2015
Discover The Historic House That Hid A King
It is always good to have an 'edge' if you're trying to attract visitors to your particular historic house.

So what better added attraction could you wish for than being able to say 'the king hid here'.

Moseley Old Hall, National Trust
The impressive Moseley OId Hall which once hid a king


In fact, the delightful Moseley Old Hall near Wolverhampton prides itself on being able to say that it is "the home that saved a king".

And what a home it is.

Moseley Old Hall, now owned by the National Trust, is an Elizabethan house that was built in the year 1600.

Moseley Old Hall, National Trust
The rear of the house where the escaping King Charles ll found sanctuary


Its claim to fame came half a century later when King Charles ll was forced to hide in the house for two days after fleeing the Battle of Worcester where he was roundly beaten by Oliver Cromwell's parliamentarian army in 1651.

Charles ll, whose father Charles l had been executed just two years earlier at the end of the English Civil War, sought refuge at Moseley Old Hall as he made his escape to France.

Moseley Old Hall, National Trust
The main entrance hall area at Moseley Old Hall


The Hall was the home of a local Royalist family, the Whitgreaves, so the king was given dry clothes, food, and a bed, while his feet were cleaned and bandaged by the family's Catholic priest John Huddleston.

Visitors today can still see the original four-poster bed used by Charles ll which stands in what is now known as the King's room.

They can also peer into the tiny priest-hole where Charles ll probably hid when Cromwell's soldiers knocked on the door looking for the escaping 21-year-old king.

Moseley Old Hall, National Trust
The parlour where the Whitgreave family resided


To complete the historical story, Charles ll returned to England in 1660 to claim the throne of England. And, on his death bed in 1685 at the age of 54, he called for the same priest, John Huddleston, to help him convert to Catholicism.

Descendants of the Whitgreave family owned the house until 1925, and during that time made few structural changes, apart from encasing the Hall with brick walls in the 1870s to help preserve the timber-framed building.

Moseley Old Hall
The restored kitchen area


But the interior retains much of the original features, including Elizabethan brickwork and wood panelling.

The Hall has now been fully restored following previous neglect and furnished with generous donations of period furniture.

Moseley Old Hall
Costumed guides on hand to inform visitors


First-time visitors among the 35,000 tourists it attracts every year are strongly advised to take a free guided tour from one of the well informed volunteers to learn all about the Hall's history.

And then treat yourself to a walk around the grounds and gardens, including a fruit orchard and a striking 17th century style knot garden created in 1962 when the National Trust took ownership of the house.

Moseley Old Hall, knot garden
The Elizabeth-style knot garden


Visitors can also follow in the footsteps of King Charles ll by following the woodland route which he took from Boscobel House to Moseley Old Hall as he made his night-time escape.

A tree hide has been created for children to explore, clearly inspired by the oak tree at Boscobel in which Charles ll hid for two days following his defeat at the Battle of Worcester.

Moseley Old Hall
The recreated tree hide in the grounds of Moseley Old Hall


After your exertions you can treat yourself in the tea-room, with homemade scones and cakes, plus soup and sandwiches.

For more information, please visi www.nationaltrust.org.uk/moseley-old-hall/ or call 01902 782808.
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Why? Visit An Impressive Historic House With An Added Bonus
When: All year
Phone: 01902 782808
Where: Moseley Old Hall Lane, Fordhouses, Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, WV10 7HY
Cost: Adults 7, Children 3.50, Family 17.27
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