Blithfield Hall: A Country House Saved




Nancy Lady Bagot outlines what her book is all about. “This country house has been lived in by the same family for over nine hundred years. When the fourth Lord Bagot died in 1932, the title went to a cousin, but the cousin could not be found. Eventually Gerald Lord Bagot was discovered training race horses near Paris. His new life at Blithfield must have been pleasantly different. So when the South Staffordshire Water Company proposed to build a dam across the little river Blythe, to make a reservoir, everyone here at the Hall must have had quite a shock. However, Gerald soon realised what an advantage it could be to dispose of Blithfield in his old age. The Second World War held up the scheme, but Caryl and I were asked to visit Blithfield on VE day, (Caryl was heir presumptive to Gerald). Gerald needed Caryl’s agreement to selling the heirlooms, of which the house was full to bursting point. Caryl, concerned at the state of the Hall, reluctantly gave his consent, and sales were held in September in the Great Hall, and later the more valuable items were sold at Sotheby’s in London, the last sale in March. Then we heard Gerald had died on April 5th 1946. It wasn’t long before a letter from the South Staffordshire Water Company told us to remove all the remaining contents from the Hall and hand it over to them in three months time. We asked ourselves ‘Why do we have to leave this wonderful old place?’ So Caryl asked the trustees to buy the house and thirty acres of gardens, and our life’s work began. Most people thought we were mad then, but not now!”

244 x 172mm
ISBN: 978-1-904573-86-5