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Poundland founder opens his country estate to public

Walsall | News | Published:

The founder of the Poundland empire is preparing to throw open the doors of his Jacobean mansion to give visitors a glimpse of the stunning country estate.

The grounds of Ludstone Hall, near Claverley, will be open to the public tomorrow. Owned by Keith Smith, who founded the Poundland empire with his son, Steve, the site is home to a kitchen garden, lawns and flower beds and three pools – all surrounded by a moat.

There is also a museum in an outbuilding next to the 400-year-old hall, which features artefacts relating to its history, as well as items collected by Mr Smith during his 50-year business career.

Mr Smith, who bought the hall and its 190-acre estate in the 1990s, said he was looking forward to offering a rare glimpse into its history.

"We only open up once a year, but it is always a special day for people of all ages," said the 72-year-old, who grew up in Willenhall. "It gives me a lot of pleasure to invite people into the grounds, and with plenty of different stalls and entertainment planned I hope this year's event will be a great success."

The present house was built in 1607 by John Whitmore and remained in his family for more than 250 years, although the history of the site dates back much further.

Originally known as Luddesdun, the area was owned by Roger Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, in 1086.

The hall and its grounds will be open from 10am to 5pm. Entry is £3 for adults and free for children, with proceeds going to All Saints Church and local history society Claverley Memories.

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