12 August 2017
Great Witley Church and Court, Worcestershire, WR6 6JT
Great Witley Church, one of the UK's finest Baroque churches and of particular interest is the Foley Family (who created Witley Court) monument by Rysbrack (reputed to be the tallest monument in England) and the crypt. The architect of the church is unknown but the interior is by James Gibbs. The vaults in the crypt were opened up in recent years and contain nine lead coffins and the 1st Earl of Dudley's original granite sarcophagus by Forsyth. There is also a coffinn chute and a coffin stone. The guided included the vault.
Witley Court and Gardens. These dramatic ruins take one back to an era of lavish house parties. The guided tour enabled us to learn the stories behind the people who once lived and partied here, from servants to royal visitors. Elaborate parterre gardens and monumental fountains lead to an enchanting woodland. In the 1890s fashionable society flocked to Witley Court, including the Prince of Wales later King Edward VII. What remains after the disastrous fire of 1937, destroying one of England's greatest country houses, is still impressive.