|The Museum and Hall|
|Ornamental lake and ducks|
Now you all know I am keen on peeps being aware of historical buildings and places of interest on their own doorstep. It is so easy to live somewhere and ignore local attractions while being aware and visiting places on the other side of the globe. Recently, I made my first visit to Haden Hill Park and was surprised at what I found there. Children's play area, bowling green, leisure facilities, nice gardens but of more interest and my main reason for visiting - Haden Hill House Museum next to the Haden Old Hall.
Haden Hill House Museum in Cradley Heath is a Victorian gentleman's residence furnished in period style, surrounded by 55 acres of award winning parkland. The house also holds a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
The House was built in 1878 by George Alfred Haden Haden-Best who did not wish to live in the Old Hall next door where he grew up with his sisters, aunt and uncle. Haden Hill House has plenty to entertain younger visitors too and the museum has a lively programme of events and activities for all ages as well as a popular selection of activities for schools.
Haden Old Hall is semi-detached to the Victorian house. The Hall was probably originally built around the late 1600s and evidence suggests it was later split into two farm dwellings. By the time Mr Haden-Best inherited in the 1870s he wished to build a new house to live in. The Old Hall has been rebuilt and restored many times over its lifetime and what you see today is largely a copy of the building which once stood there. We don't know how much of the historic fabric remains.
We believe he intended to eventually demolish the old hall and build an extension to the Victorian house in its place, but this never happened.
Although the Victorian house is furnished as a museum with Victorian objects, Haden Old Hall is now just a shell after it was damaged by fire and partly restored. (Taken from the info on the Sandwell Council website)
I had a great afternoon there and thoroughly enjoyed wandering round the rooms before having afternoon tea. I think Sofia and Donald, (who will be back in November) have something to say about this!
"Sofia, how long has she lived in this area?"
"Forty years Donald."
"How far from her home is this gorgeous house?"
"Five miles but I don't think she wanted people to know that!"
"It's taken her forty years to just pop down the road?"
"Well, at least she practises what she preaches even if it does take forever!"
The Morning Room
Until next week, have fun, Lady M xxxxx