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A moated farmstead was built at Baddesley Clinton in the 13th century when large areas of the Forest of Arden were cleared. The manor house as seen today dates from the 1438 when the estate was bought by John Brome, Under Treasurer of England. Brome and his son Nicholas made substantial improvements to the house and is thought to have built the east range, which is the main entrance.
The property then passed by marriage to the Ferrers family where it remained for the following 500 years until 1940. An influential member of the family Henry Ferrers, known as 'the Antiquary', was responsible for many changes and embellishments to the house. He built the great hall in around 1580 and added most of the panelling and chimney pieces. Henry Ferrers was the first of his family to suffer for his Roman Catholicism. The remote house became a refuge for recuscant catholics in the late 16th century and it has three priest holes. The Ferrars were fined heavily for their religious beliefs. During the Civil War they were further impoverished by their support of the king.
This lack of funds meant that Baddesley Clinton survived almost unchanged. In the 18th century further alterations were made and the stable and barnyard were constructed. A formal entrance courtyard was also added in the south-east corner. Following this period the property fell into decline and neglect.
The upturn in Baddesley's fortunes occurred in 1867 when the house was occupied by an artistic extended family. Marmion Edward Ferrers married the artist Rebecca Dulcibella Orpen and for financial reasons they were joined at Baddesley by Rebecca's aunt Lady Chatterton, a well-known romantic novelist and her husband Edward Dering. All four loved the antiquity of the house and they carried out a sympathetic renovation of the building preserving its character.
Today the house still retains its medieval atmosphere. In 1980 Baddesley Clinton passed from the Ferrers family into the care of the National Trust. The ancient park is set in a remnant of the Forest of Arden and has extensive formal gardens, ponds and a lake walk.