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Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire

Hanbury Hall is a wonderful example of an 18th century English country house, preserved in the condition that it would have had when lived in by its original owners, thanks to the National Trust. It is in open countryside not far from the Worcestershire town of Droitwich.

The house dates from the first decade of the 18th century, having been built on the instructions of Richard Vernon, a wealthy well-connected lawyer who moved in all the right circles and earned huge fees by working for very rich people. He spent his fortune on his house and estate, which are now open to the public.

 

Ha Ha!

This is a ha-ha fence - probably so called because of the surprise it allows one to see. A ditch is dug with one side vertical and the other sloping. The vertical side is walled with stones that do not protrude higher than the top of the ditch. Animals in the park cannot therefore get into the formal gardens and lawns.

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Hanbury Hall – a typical Queen Anne frontage

The date over the door is 1701, but that appears to be when the work started rather than when it was completed.

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The sunken parterre

This formal garden must take a lot of work with the clippers to keep it in order!

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The Orangery

No expense was spared to get exotic fruits to grow in cold, damp England!

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The mushroom house

This room was completely dark, so the only way to see it was to take a flash photo!

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A laugh of a view

The view from the lawn shows the effect of the ha-ha - no hedges or fences obstruct the vista. This must be the 18th century equivalent of the infinity pool - but without the water!

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A very old tree

This cedar is about 300 years old and must therefore have been planted at about the time that the house was built. In former times it was thought to bring good luck if you left a coin in the bark of the tree, but this was not good luck for the tree, parts of which have died off as a result. 

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An avenue of healthy, mature oaks

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Looking out over the parkland

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