EVENT: Rare chance to see inside grade I-listed Ombersley Court

8th June 2022

First open day in Worcestershire country house’s 300-year history

The new owner of grade I-listed Ombersley Court in Worcestershire is offering the public the first ever chance to view its early 18th-century Baroque and Regency interiors.

The magnificent grade I-listed country house, which was home to the Sandys family for nearly 300 years, will be open to the public this Saturday, June 11.

As well as the opportunity to picnic in acres of parkland with views of the Malvern Hills, visitors will be able to see inside the main house.

Tim Hopkins, a local businessman who bought the house in 2017, said: “This will be the first time the house has been open to the public for over 300 years and marks a significant moment in its history.”

The ground and first floors will be open, including the main hall with its twin fireplaces, galleried landing, double-height ceilings and a series of exceptionally handsome panelled rooms.

There will also be access to the master suite and the Duke of Wellington Room where the Iron Duke stayed. Lord Arthur Hill, the 2nd Baron Sandys, was one of Wellington’s aides-de-camp at the Battle of Waterloo.

The house, approached along a gravel drive lined by rhododendrons and entered through a handsome 19th-century portico, was originally built by Francis Smith of Warwick for the first Lord Sandys in 1724-32.

The exterior was recased in Grinshill Stone ashlar by the Marchioness of Downshire in 1812-14 to the design of John Webb, a highly accomplished Staffordshire landscape gardener and architect who was also responsible for designing the park and the grade II*-listed stables which are set around an open courtyard. In addition the grounds contain an original walled kitchen garden, an old pump room, kennels and an ice house.

SAVE Britain’s Heritage has been working to protect the house and its contents for many years and produced a detailed dossier on the case in 2018 which can be read HERE.

While the future of the contents is not yet assured, SAVE welcomed the purchase of the house by Mr Hopkins after the death without direct heirs of the 7th Lord Sandys and his wife.

Richard Michael Oliver Hill, 7th Baron Sandys DL was a former Army officer who succeeded his father in the barony in 1961 and took his seat on the Conservative benches in the House of Lords. He served under Edward Heath and later Margaret Thatcher as Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Lords and Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard.

Tickets for the Ombersley Court open day are available from the website of The Elms Hotel, under the vouchers tab here.


Notes to editors:

1. The Ombersley Court open day is from 10am-4pm on Saturday 11th June. To buy tickets click here.

2. For more information contact Elizabeth Hopkirk, editorial and communications manager at SAVE Britain's Heritage: elizabeth.hopkirk@savebritainsheritage.org / 020 7253 3500.

3. Read SAVE’s 2018 report on Ombersley Court, with images courtesy of Country Life, HERE.

4. SAVE Britain's Heritage is an independent voice in conservation that fights for threatened historic buildings and sustainable reuses. We stand apart from other organisations by bringing together architects, engineers, planners and investors to offer viable alternative proposals. Where necessary, and with expert advice, we take legal action to prevent major and needless losses.

Documents (click to read/download)