Thursday, 27 May 2010

Moseley Old Hall

Anna and I spent a fascinating day at Moseley Old Hall recently.

It was built around 1600 by a recusant Catholic family (ie a family regularly fined for failing to attend the new, compulsory, Protestant services).

Not only did they fail to attend the Protestant services, they built a concealed hiding place into the structure of the house, so that they could hide a Catholic Priest there. He said Mass for them and other local catholics in the attics of the house. This was at severe risk to himself, the family and anyone who attended. Imprisonment or execution for treason were all too common in such cases.

Moseley's other claim to fame is that it sheltered the future king, Charles ll, after his defeat by Cromwell's army at the battle of Worcester (pronounced Wooster, like Bertie) in 1651. The king was hotly pursued by Cromwell's men and only just escaped, eventually fleeing to France, before his return in 1660 following Cromwell's death.

The house and gardens are both fascinating, and a great reminder of our Catholic heritage in days when persecution seems nearer than for some time in this country...

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