Sunday, 25 October 2015

Greyfriars House


Happy Sunday!

This is the last post from Worcester as after 5 days and 80,000 steps each we had to make our way back home again. Just time for one last visit.

There are several Tudor buildings in Worcester to enjoy, the Commandery by the canal, the Tudor House and the National Trust's Greyfriars House. There was no contest, when we decided to choose which to visit, the NT won.

Greyfriars House is beautiful from the outside,

in a beautiful street,

with a quirky story.

The timber framed building was built for a successful merchant in 1480. Thomas Grene was a brewer and High Baliff of Worcester. By 1603 the Worcester Corporation leased the property to the Street family who lived there for generations, one family member being Sir Thomas Street, a barrister, Town Clerk and MP. In 1870 the house was turned into a number of shops. After World War II it was due to be demolished but was rescued by a brother and sister Elsie and Malcolm Matley-Moore who were keen to restore it, if they could live there.

They did an excellent job, collecting all sorts of items sympathetic with the house from other properties, car boot sales and antique fairs. Apparently the chequered floor in the hall came from Wychbold House in Droitwich and it could well have been walked on by Guy Fawkes' co-conspirators of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot when they fled from the Houses of Parliament to Wychbold.

Elsie Matley-Moore completed many pieces of beautiful needlework which are displayed around the house. The furniture all fits so well in the cosy house, all working brilliantly together. Some items were adapted and used in different ways than intended, like the bedposts that were turned into lampstands.

The charming garden with two summerhouses is again an example of materials having been used in an innovative way. Mustard pots form part of the floor of one summerhouses, whereas roof tiles have been integrated into the path.

It's amazing to think that 10 town houses and all their residents together with the 2 privies for all of them were crammed into the garden. The Matley-Moores purchased them to turn the area into this lovely spot where nowadays you can enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

If this house could speak, it would have a lot of stories to tell.



  1. recently found your blog and have really enjoyed reading about your adventures and observations. Inspiration for places to visit, and a virtual tour of those which we are unlikely to be able to see in person. Thank you.

  2. 80,000 steps in 5 days is good going - you must have needed a rest when you got home! Your holiday looks to have been lovely - I am glad. x