We have had a few days out and about around Birmingham with friends.
I’m not a lover of busy cities but I enjoyed a trip into Birmingham to see the architecture, the library, galleries and the German Christmas market got me feeling ever so slightly in the Christmas spirit, or that could have been the Gluhwein.
We visited a couple of NT properties, Baddesley Clinton and Packwood House.
Baddesley Clinton is a beautiful moated manor house, it’s mentioned in the BBC drama Gunpowder.
Unfortunately ( as in the drama Victoria) it’s not totally accurate. There is a priest hole in the house ( used to hide Catholic priests) but it wasn’t as depicted in the program, the priests were hidden in the sewer which was accessed by a rope via the garderobe which must have been dreadful but it saved their lives.
Packwood House is a rather strange but interesting house, it’s a mish mash of a building made from salvaged parts of other houses, which makes it rather interesting.
I loved the topiary garden but the gates were locked so I will have to go back again in the summer months and have a walk around.
Then to finish off our visit to the area we headed off to Bournville, Selly Manor and Minworth Greaves which were moved to Bournville by William Cadbury.
Minworth Greaves is a rare cruck framed building which could date back to 1250.
The wooden posts in the corners of the room, and the ones that form the apex of the roof are cut from one tree with a branch forming the apex, there is no join.
The 3 plaques on the wall are known as Hatchments, which were made for the gentry when someone died. They bear the coat of arms, for a couple one side would show the man’s and the other side would be the woman’s coat of arms. Whoever died first has a black background on that side of the plaque. They were usually hung over the door of the deceased until they were buried then they were moved to the parish church.
Selly Manor is a 14th C. cruck framed building .
What I liked about visiting this manor was the hands on experience , lots of things to touch and smell, and costumes to try on, including armour but I couldn’t even lift the chainmaille.
A trip to Bournville wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Cadbury World. This is a mock up of Cadbury’s drapers shop and his first chocolate shop.
I did wonder with all the free chocolate that I might come to a sticky end like the children in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but I’ve lived to tell the tale.