Looking for somewhere to go to soak up some culture? Check out our top ten historic sites from around our region. The Midlands really does take some beating...
Our region is brimming with history and it's not short of impressive buildings
from the past. Here’s a few of our must sees...
Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Gardens, Warwickshire
Enjoy a great day out in Warwickshire at Kenilworth Castle and its Elizabethan Garden. It is one of the largest and most impressive historic attractions in the West Midlands.
The whole family will enjoy exploring the splendor of the ruins. Ruins that are best known as the home of Robert Dudley, the big love of Queen Elizabeth I. Dudley created this ornate palace to impress his beloved Queen in 1575. Why not get lost in this 400 year old love story by having a wander through carved arbours, and marvel at the bejeweled aviary and luxurious marble fountain.
Greyfriars’ House and Garden, Worcester
The Greyfriars is a stunning timber-framed merchant’s house where you can get away from the hustle and bustle without leaving the heart of Worcester centre.
This unique house and garden was rescued from demolition after the Second World War and has been carefully restored and refurbished. An archway leads through to a delightfully walled garden which is a peaceful oasis from the busy historic town.
Benthall Hall, Broseley
A fine stone house with a stunning interior including a carved oak staircase, decorated plaster ceilings and oak paneling. Built in 1535, it is situated near Broseley above the gorge of the River Severn. It's been a family home for the last 500 years and the current Mr and Mrs Benthall are, not a little impressively, the 30th generation to live there!
There's an intimate and carefully restored plantsman's garden, old kitchen garden and interesting restoration church. They have collected a large variety of unusual plants over the years so be prepared to find a few surprises drawing your eye as you wander...
Croft Castle is now a lavish country mansion but started life as a Norman stronghold on the border of Wales. It has been home to the Croft family for nearly 1,000 years and is renowned for being a place of power, politics and pleasure.
The fortress was destroyed by Parliamentary troops in 1645, but the rectangular house survived. The interior features Jacobean paneling and staircases with timber roof beams. On a clear day it is said that you can see 14 counties from the top.
Back to Backs, Birmingham
Step back in time by visiting the last remaining collection of Back to Back housing in the Midlands. The courtyard has been carefully restored to reflect four different time periods moving from the 1840s through to the 1970s. Have an intimate look into life at the Back to Backs with the cramped conditions where people lived and worked. Admission is by guided tour only so don’t forget to book a place.
Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton
Wightwick Manor is a Victorian manor house of the Aesthetic Movement, set in stunning gardens. The house’s interior features original wallpaper and fabrics by arts and crafts pioneer William Morris, along with Pre-Raphaelite stained glass and paintings.
The 17 acres of gardens surrounding the manor are particularly interesting as they feature terraces, woodland, and water pools, creating colour all year round. Step back in time and visit the ever-changing family home that’s also, perhaps, the world’s most unlikely art gallery.
Wenlock Priory, Much Wenlock
Discover where the modern Olympic Games began in the little town of Much Wenlock. The tranquil ruins of Wenlock Priory stand in a charming setting on the fringe of the beautiful picturesque town.
The Anglo-Saxon monastery attracted both pilgrims and prosperity. The famous topiary-filled cloister garden is set against the backdrop of the complete infirmary wing, which was converted into a mansion after the priory's closure and is still a private residence today.
Stokesay Castle, Stokesay
Stokesay Castle is the finest and best preserved home of its kind in England. Set in the peaceful Shropshire countryside near the Welsh border, the castle, timber-framed gatehouse and parish church form an unforgettably striking assembly.
Stokesay Castle is not really a castle at all, it’s a 13th century fortified manor house virtually unaltered since it was built in 1291.
Witley Court and Gardens, Worcestershire
A hundred years ago, Witley Court in Worcestershire was one of England's great country houses, surrounded by magnificent landscaped gardens and containing huge stone fountains.
The largest restored fountain, representing Perseus and Andromeda,was described in its day as making the 'noise of an express train'. The romantic ruins are the perfect picnic spot, especially when the fountains are operating from April to October.
Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire
Baddesley Clinton has been described as 'the perfect late medieval manor house', and it’s not hard to see why. The manor occupies an island hemmed in on all sides by a wide moat, where swans float about peacefully.
It is nestled in the lovely setting of Warwickshire, boasting accurately recreated period gardens. Historians say the house and interior perfectly reflect the life of Elizabethan era English nobles. It was originally a haven for persecuted Catholics - there are three secret priest's holes in the house. With a stewpond, a romantic lake and nature walk you’re bound to feel completely relaxed.