Places to Visit in Ledbury, Herefordshire
Eastnor Castle, some two and a half miles from Ledbury on the Tewkesbury road, is a superb example of the great Norman and Gothic revival of the medieval fortress. Built in 1812, it is popular with film producers. Two recent productions have been Sherlock Holmes and the BBC’s Little Lord Fauntleroy.
The Castle sits serenely overlooking the Malvern Hills in an estate of some 5,000 acres. Much of it is farmed, but it also includes a deer park with a herd of about 200 red deer.
The first Earl Somers commissioned the building and had the courage to give the undertaking to an original and inspired young architect, Robert Smirke. The Result was a magnificent baronial castle exactly as Lord Somers had requested.
The interior of the castle is equally impressive. A vast sixty foot hall leads to a series of state rooms. The Gothic Drawing Room is spectacular. Pugin designed it and must have been exalted by the task. It still has much of the original furniture. The Octagon Saloon, along with the Gothic Drawing Room and Long Library, has magnificent views over the lawned terraces to the lake and the Malvern Hills beyond.
The pair of coal fires is welcoming on winter days. The Library
is different again with a wonderful collection of books and tapestries decorated in the style of the Italian Renaissance. Many other rooms are open to the public including the Grand Dining Room with many family portraits, dominated by the first Earl.
In the grounds there is also much to see. The trees are wonderful and include some mature cedars, one variety of which was introduced by the third Earl into the UK in the 19th century. Visitors are welcome to picnic in the grounds or visit the old kitchen, now a tea room, for homemade teas and ice cream.
The deer park is home during much of the season to visiting caravans and many special events. This doesn’t seem to bother the deer, nor
do the walkers on their way to or from the Malvern Hills or Ledbury.
The Castle is now owned and occupied by James and the Hon. Sarah Hervey-Bathurst and their three young children. In addition to the public opening the family welcomes corporate entertainment, wedding ceremonies and receptions as well as filming.
All in all, Eastnor is a most dramatic historic house which still remains something of a secret to many people living in the outlying towns and counties.
The Castle is open to the public from 11am to 5pm (last admission 4.30pm) every Sunday from Easter to the end of September; every Bank Holiday; and Sunday to Friday during July and August.
With Disabled Access: Yes
Historic House, Gardens, Tea Room, Picnic Area, Children, Car Park, Private Group Tours, School Tours Available, Dogs on lead allowed in Gardens,
Weddings and Conferences
Conference facilties up to 60.
Licensed for civil weddings up to 80 guests and receptions/conferences up to 150.
In case of alteration, please check prices, opening times and any specific important information before booking or visiting
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