The thumbnails below are linked to larger pictures
The first building at Packwood was a modest timber-framed farmhouse constructed for John Featherstone between 1556 and 1560. Over time this original timber-framed home was incorporated into the main part of the enlarged house, and today the dignified facade is embellished by 16th century pointed gables, mullioned windows and towering chimney stacks.
Packwood House was home to the Fetherstones for more than three centuries and it is not surprising that family legend is now integral to the house's history. In 1642 the Parliamentarian General Henry Ireton sought hospitality at Packwood House on the night preceding the Battle of Edgehill. However, the Fetherstones saw fit to be careful in their allegiances during this troubled time and, according to local lore, Charles II also found refreshment here following defeat at the Battle of Worcester.
The last of the Fetherstones sold Packwood House in the late 19th century and the property passed into the hands of wealthy industrialist Alfred Ash. His son, Graham Baron Ash, embarked upon a visionary restoration project which took the house back in time to its Tudor roots, or at least to a 20th century evocation of Tudor architecture. Ash removed all traces of Georgian and Victorian renovation, transformed a barn into a Tudor great hall and filled the rooms with period furniture, Jacobean panelling and 16th century textiles.
Despite Packwood House's interesting history and fine furnishings many consider Packwood's greatest glory is its garden.
Across the sunken lawn garden is the famous Yew Garden. This was laid out in the 17th century by John Fetherson, the lawyer.
The smooth grass is dotted with clipped yews that are supposed to represent 'The Sermon on the Mount'. Twelve great yews are known as the 'Apostles' and the four big specimens in the middle are 'The Evangelists'. A tight spiral path lined with box climbs a hummock named 'The Mount'. The single yew that crowns the summit is known as 'The Master'. The smaller yew trees are called 'The Multitude' and were planted in the 19th century to replace an orchard.
The 113 acres of gardens also have renowned herbaceous borders and woodland.
Packwood House is situated close to the M40 / A3400 near Lapworth, Solihull.