History Group May’s Visit

Honington Hall  Shipston-on-Stour  Warwickshire

16 members of the History Group went for a guided tour of Honington Hall. This beautiful red brick building was built in 1670 by Henry Parker, a London lawyer who became MP for Evesham.
The Hall was sold in the early 1700’s to Joseph Townsend, and passed through this family until purchased by the present occupier’s grandfather Sir Charles Wiggin in 1924.
Our tour started in the church which is close to the house, and contains the tombs of members of these three families. The church is used by the parish of Honington twice a month, and buried outside is Mary Elizabeth Butler, a member of the Townsend family, who founded the Girls’ Friendly Society in 1875. This was of interest to one of our members who had once been a member of this society.
Going into the Hall, we started in the entrance hall which has on it’s walls, six beautiful plaster bas-relief panels showing scenes from the classics. We then saw the Oak room, the Boudoir and the Dining room all with beautiful plaster work on the walls and ceilings. However the most spectacular room is the eight sided Saloon, with two toned pale blue walls and a domed ceiling. The walls are adorned with white plaster work panels, representing the four elements and four seasons, and the domed ceiling has 96 rosettes, all depicting different flowers.
Sadly we didn’t have time to explore the grounds which surround the Hall and lead down to the river Stour, but made our way back home, stopping for afternoon tea at Burford Garden Centre.

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