Grade II* Abberley Hall has been described by English Heritage as one of the finest remaining examples of a Victorian country house. Its history can be traced back to the medieval period but the current house was built by Samuel Daukes in 1845. Forty years later James Lamb of Manchester was employed to refashion the interiors and much of his furniture and décor remains to this day. Other features include a chapel and a theatre, which is decorated with murals depicting rural Worcestershire life and said to be one of the earliest examples of its type. The house remained in the Jones family until it was sold complete in 1916 for £10,000 to the headmaster of Lindisfarne School. He was looking to relocate from Kent, to escape the Zeppelin raids, and that is when Abberley Hall became the home of an independent school, which remains to this day. As the school has expanded down the hill, the historic house and grounds have remained largely intact and are surprisingly well preserved.
Features of the grounds include the clock tower, a water garden and balustrade, walled garden, ice house, and lime kilns. The clock tower, also built in the 1880s, can be seen from miles around and has become an iconic feature of both the estate and the Worcestershire countryside. Visitors can climb up to the top of the tower and see seven counties on a clear day. The oriel room on the tower’s second floor has beautiful stained-glass windows and glazed tiles around the fireplace decorated with the initials of John Joseph Jones who commissioned the building. It houses one of the earliest examples of a flushing water closet.
Guide Jo Roche has been closely connected with Abberley Hall as a parent and governor for more than 20 years and has researched extensively into the history of both the estate and the surrounding area. Newly appointed guide, Paul Crane is a former pupil of Abberley, Foundation Trustee, historian and published author.