Moseley Old Hall, which is famous for being one of the resting places for Charles II during his escape to France, opened up its vast gardens for the first time since lockdown began in March.
The gardens of the Hall, near Fordhouses on the Wolverhampton and Staffordshire border, were the first part of the 17th century hall to formally reopen, with a number of safety measures in place.
These included limited numbers on site throughout the day with bookings required beforehand, toilets and facilities being cleaned regularly and some facilities such as the shop closed.
Visitor experience manager Zoe Willems said the measures were in line with National Trust policy and had been adhered to by everyone who came to enjoy the gardens over the first weekend of opening. She said: “The admissions to the site are spread throughout the day to ensure people don’t have to rush and have the space to enjoy the facilities.
“It’s helped make the weekend super, with lots of people coming to what is a hidden gem down a dead end lane in the countryside.”
Samantha Smith from Wombourne had come with her two children Peyton and Kai to see the hall for the first time and said it was a lovely way to get out of the house. He said: “I’ve been cooped up for months with the kids during lockdown, so it was nice to come here and see this hall for the first time. It’s a great setting and I think they’ve done a brilliant job with getting the safety measures in place, so it was just a great day out.”
Ms Willems said there would be a gradual process to reopening the whole hall area to the public, working with the National Trust to get everything ready. She said: “We’ll get guidance sent down and we’ll apply it to the hall and shop, as well as learning lessons from our reopening. We have so much to offer, such as the wildflower meadow, the tree-hide and the knot garden. I’ve had this to myself for four months and it’s nice to have people to share it with again.”
To find out more and to book a ticket, click here.