Boscobel House, on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border was built in 1632, and converted from a farmhouse into a hunting lodge by John Giffard of Whiteladies. Giffard himself a Roman Catholic, Boscobel served as a place of shelter for other Roman Catholics (at a time when the religion was much persecuted)..
Following the death through execution of King Charles I in 1649, his eldest son Charles failed in an attempt to regain the throne. Young Charles was forced to flee for his life following defeat in the final conflict of The Cival War at Worcester.
The future King Charles II originally attempted to cross the River Severn into Wales, but found Cromwell’s patrols blocking his way. He sought refuge instead at Boscobel, hiding first in a tree which is now known as The Royal Oak and then spending the night in a priest-hole in the house’s attic. He travelled on in disguise via other safe houses before escaping to France.
Boscobel remained a working farm and visitors today can also see the dairy, farmyard, smithy, gardens, and a descendant of The Royal Oak tree. White Ladies Priory, now a ruin, another of Charles’s hiding places, is a short walk away and set in peaceful Shropshire countryside.
- Discovering the future King Charles II’s hiding places, including ‘The Royal Oak’ tree and secret priest hole
- Spectacular views over the fields on the two-mile round walk to White Ladies Priory
- Exploring Boscobel’s history as a working farm and seeing the ducks and chickens
- Visiting the education and family room where you can try on armour and dress as a Roundhead or Cavalier, get creative at the art table and try and guess the mystery object!
- Victorian games in the garden including croquet, quoits, skittles and skipping ropes
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